Making Games

Even if the world ended tomorrow, I would still make a game

I’m currently churning out a level per day for Operation Balalaika. That’s the cadence that I deemed possible amongst all the actual nine-to-five workdays I need to ace, late night telcos I need to mumble through, sausages I need to Weber, Minecrafting I need to do with the son, and wife’s feet I need to massage.

I also finally started to read the megalomaniac historical book of all the Finnish games ever released, called The White and Blue Book of Games – although as I write these words I’m simultaneously googlin’ it and noticing it’s actually called Finnish Video Games – a History and Catalog and available here: English and/or Finnish.

The first chapters reminiscence about the dawn of game development, when games could and would be developed by one guy in a garage. Because the machines were simple, and it was just impossible to waste resources even if you tried.

With the better technical capabilities of the next generation computers, things got more complicated and you soon needed a whole team with a programmer and an artist. As years and decades passed, eventually each little 3D cog in the machine needed to have a person working on it to make it look realistic and spin like it should. Grand Theft Auto 5 had a team larger than a place called Harlowton, Montana.

This reminded me of the current day and the fact that the circle is closing: with Unity and other such tools, one man and a hot dog can again create a game – and totally compete with the quality of the 80s Spectrum games. No really, I mean to create good, fun, solid games. The tech and the tools are democratizing game development, which is great, because democracy is cool. But it also means there’s a thousand games released every day.

Is there really a need for more? Why am I creating a level per day for a game that will be overrun by thousands more? After these rousing questions, I’m sorry to let you down by this: I do it, because it’s fun. Martin Luther had a thing for apple trees, I have it for games. If the reference went too deep into the obscure, check out this handy explanation:

Mmm, apples.

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