Inspiration for Board Game Makers
We all know how difficult it is to make a board game, especially for the first time. I dedicate so much of my time on this blog to useful how-to guides, case studies in board gaming excellence, and long-form pieces about difficult truths you must accept. But what about inspiration?
Inspiration keeps us going when times are hard. Taking a moment to appreciate the true extent of our potential is important to do sometimes. We are often much more capable than we believe ourselves to be.
Feeling down and out? Need someone to cheer you on? Check out these articles to put some wind back in your sails!
Game development is a notoriously iterative process. Your final game will bear little resemblance to your first draft.
Your to-do list is ever-growing. You need to play-test your game a few hundred times, commission some art, start a Twitter account, keep your blog up to date, fix that broken mechanic, tweak some minute detail…
Creative freedom is intimidating, even horrifying, because suddenly you assume the responsibilities of creating a cohesive product, testing and perfecting it so it reaches its potential, and sharing it with people who don’t see what you do.
Game development is extremely iterative by nature. Many game developers create dozens (or even hundreds) of versions of their game before it is finally complete.
Ignorance is a reliable shield from the emotional strain of the trials and tribulations of starting a business or beginning game development. If you are a first time developer, you know less now than you ever will, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The most corrosive thought to ever threaten the creative soul is deceptively simple: “I am a fraud.” High-achieving students, artists, and business professionals alike find themselves believing these false words.
If you’re game developer, you’re an entrepreneur. Even if you’re not in it for money, the amount of physical material, labor, and funding you’ll need to organize to make your game real will make you into an entrepreneur. It’s a scary prospect.
It’s tempting to ask “how to I become more motivated” or “why am I so lazy?” They’re big, abstract, complex questions with no clear answer.
I didn’t get into the board game business by being a human calculator. It wasn’t all about costs and benefits, supply chain management and marketability. I was 22 years old, chasing a childhood dream with blind passion.
I didn’t mean to be a board game developer, but everything I did to get here was on purpose. I’ve got multiple dresser drawers and an almost immovably heavy chest full of creative projects from back then.
In my geeky analysis of game dev Twitter gripes, I found some common threads. The top five complaints were ones of exhaustion, time constraints, difficulty communicating with other people, disappointment in existing games, and frustration with development tools.
I’m talking about art in the sense of pouring yourself into a project, finding a way to creatively express yourself, and making something you truly care about. Where does art for art’s sake come into the business savvy game dev’s process?
If you ask any self-improvement guru or successful businessperson, they’ll all preach the importance of setting clear goals.