Thursday, March 12, 2009


Congratulations; you've stumbled into yet another completely useless corner of the internet. And it gets worse; this particular corner happens to be one of those damn blogs where self-important people ramble on senselessly, pretending the rest of the world is listening attentively.

Well, as long as you're here, you might as well take a look around. Based on the pixel-art joystick, it's probably safe to assume this blog is going to be about video games. That's good news, right? I mean, considering what's out there on the internet these days, you're lucky it's not more kitten pictures...

... or porn...

... or kitten porn.

Upon closer inspection, this blog appears to be about game design. That must mean the author is one of those basement-dwelling ultra-nerds, not content to play video games but rather obsess over them as a form of "creative expression". Look, it even has a witty title! Level 1 Game Designer. I bet he starts calling it "L1GD" before the end of the month like it's some kind of trendy internet hot spot all the kids want to abbreviate.

Perhaps you're not so lucky after all. These amateur game designers can be a pretty horrible lot, talking about about how awesome their game is and how awesome they are for coming up with the idea, and if only someone would give them a million dollars they could prove it's the Best. Game. Ever. In fact, amateur game design blogs are such a common sight these days, you could safely put money on it. Twenty bucks says there's a notebook full of scribbly notes and stick-figures having sword fights.

If I were a betting man, I'd bet against me too.

After all, this is the new millennium; video games are part of an enormous, profit-driven industry, not the kind of place a single guy working alone can hope to make any impact or produce anything worthy of attention. The days of the renegade coder putting together a shareware game are well behind us, replaced by big-budget productions and create-by-corporate-consensus design. A good idea by itself never was never worth much, but in the game development industry, you can't even get a penny for your thoughts.

On top of that, the game industry is notoriously difficult to get into. Most of the game development studios require a potential employee to have a few years of on-the-job experience under their belt, but it's difficult to earn that experience if you can't get a job without it in the first place. Quite a catch-22, that is.

Well, if you're at all familiar with gamer lingo, you probably picked up on that not-so-subtle level 1 / earn experience bit. Clever, eh? It only took six paragraphs to get to the point, the reason behind this little patch of cyberspace. I have, for almost all of my life, had a casual interest in game design. I have pages of crudely-crafted level designs from my youth, drawn in the finest shades Crayola can provide. I have spiral-ring notebooks and D-ring binders filled with pages of ideas.

Unfortunately, I'm a terrible self-educator and am treading water financially; there's no fancy game design schools in my near future. While I would eventually like to turn it into a career, at the moment I am just happy to treat it as a hobby.

So now we come to it, what this corner of the internet really is; a space for me to toss ideas around and maybe share them with any poor souls who accidentally wander in. I have no grand hope that some angel-developer will come across this space and 'recognize my genius', because that's not the way the real world works. The way I look at it, we have painters, sculptors and poets who have never made a dime off their endeavors, but keep painting, sculpting and writing because it brings them joy. I don't see why game design has to be any different.

So that's that. If you have even a passing interest in game design, gaming in general, or just enjoy reading the opinions of others (and really, who doesn't?!), you may find something worth reading. I'll keep updating as long as I have something to write about, which, given the length of this introduction post, will probably be a while. I hope you'll stick around and maybe share a few thoughts of your own.

Ugh. When you look away all you can see is an inversion of that hideous blue gradient. Really wasn't worth the click, was it?

1 comment:

Zenodotus said...

You have a great writing style. The humility you show in this post is refreshing.

Keep your chin up and your confidence intact and, if I were a betting man, I'd say you'll make it there.