Process ⏳ — Make games, not made games

While growing up there have been multiple times when I tried making games, but in reality I wanted to play games, not make them. On the notion that playing games is fun I thought that making the imaginary games is my head would be cool. The cool part was the end – the made product. It was not the process of making it.

Lodum Dare 43 – 1st of December 2018
Obviously blurry as per artistic intention.

Going to a game jam in 2018 and that was the first time I made a game and enjoyed the process of it. I didn’t do any coding, but I worked with other people, talked about the process that they were taking, I made some kinda shitty art and some kinda crap level design, I saw people play the game and got feedback on it. Likewise, I played other games and gave feedback. It was an absolute blast and I feel in love with the process. The act of making was the fun part.

There are people that say they want to make games, but they want made games – not to make them. It is easy to make an assumption that you want to make something when you dream of an artefact that does not (yet) exist. You want it to exist and the way for it to exist is by it being made. If you make it then you can make it exactly the way you want to make it. And that’s why I believe people can easily think that they want to make a game. Because they have an idea, they want that idea to become a reality.

I think this is quite a normal assumption to make, but it is definitely more common than I have expected. I’m attending the Games course at ITU in Copenhagen, a master’s degree about video games. I expected people here to be super enthusiastic about making games. Some are, but definitely not all. In their defence, this course is not just about making games but also games as a medium to study – imagine a literature course that’s both about analysing writings and writing them but for games.

But I digress, I recently watched an old interview with Derek Yu of Spelunky and a line struck me there where Derek said that he was always proactive about searching for communities that his creative interests. The solution to being surrounded with people that want made is to find a community of people that want to make games.

I really, really miss in-person events and sharing enthusiasm about making games with people there. Over the past year I tried to find digital places that would replace these events for me.

Here are some cool communities I found of people making games:
NYU Game Center Events DIscord – NYU’s games programme hosts playtesting sessions every Thursday where you can show up with your game or play some cool games
Eggplant Discord – The Eggplant podcast is amazing and so is the community of people in their discord. While it’s not only about making games which I think is important as there are more places to find inspiration in
Salman’s Discord – Salman is a really cool gamedev and there are a few people in his discord that share their progress and that always inspires me. Tiny place, sometimes it’s quiet but very wholesome people.
Timeframe Discord – This is not really games related, it’s an animation and motion graphics that’s small enough to have a good sense of community and big enough to find fun people to chat with. Animation is a big part of games (topic for another post) so consider checking it out.
Jam Discord – This is a discord I have, it’s just a place where I jam with people feel free to join it. Maybe we can jam together.