Just gonna make a small post about some thoughts I had today, when is a game done? when is that idea done? When is the creative process over?
The more I play around with this though I have started to understand that it is never over, I create new game ideas daily, but they rarely ever get to a prototyping stage, rarely ever more then a what if?
But when the thoughts actually materialize into something and you start working on it, you rarely get it to publishing or release, it just becomes a dead prototype, that might be a really good idea for any number of reasons. But you as a creator just have that feeling that either, you aren’t good enough to realize it to its full potential or you just keep working with it into the infinite.
I’ve had both of these types of projects, especially lately I’ve looked back at my large library of design documents either saying to myself, I could never finish this, I don’t have skill X or I’ve looked at it, tried pushing into the project again, doing more and more updates without ever thinking that the game is more finished then when I started.
I’m currently working on several projects in different stages, one, state of wonder, is pushing into some sort of beta soon. While a game such as Motra, Which I’ve been working on for years upon years is a game that I think is largely unfinished, even if it has more design hours and more hours in writing, testing and more.
You can look at scope and say that is why, but I don’t think so. The Scope of State of Wonder was a Card Game without Random elements. That is a huge undertaking, especially if you want to make the game good. While Motra had the scope, Pen and Paper Roleplaying game with focus on religions in a post apocalypse setting. This is also a huge undertaking.
State of Wonder is feeling more finished, for 2 large reasons, first of all, State of Wonder has a feeling of polish when you play it, there is thoughts behind everything and this is because I’ve become a much better designer since I started working on State of Wonder, Compared to when I started working on Motra. This allows for a much more streamlined design.
Motra also has this sandbox feeling for me as a designer, whenever I go back to work on Motra I look at it and I say to myself, I need to fix this and this before I want to market this. When those problems are fixed, bigger problems show up and I keep doing these fixes and sometimes I just tear everything apart and build a basically new game and salvage from the rubble.
This is a game that will most likely never be finished, there is just revisions upon revision to be made and it helps me design harder things, later as it gives me experience in whatever it is I’m making for motra at that specific moment.
Whenever I go back to work on that title, I don’t really work on it to finish anything, I just want to poke it and see what happens, what changes, how do players behave differently, how do players do this and that.
I have ideas that I feel finished with as well, I though that the design from my older post Until We Tear us Apart (https://designbynight.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/design-thoughts-until-we-tear-us-apart/) I had felt satisfied with for years as I had worked on a design very close to that very design years ago and something struck me and I dug up some old things and just had to get into it again.
That design isn’t done anymore. But it was done for several years.
Overall, finishing games are hard, not only because of how getting the game out on a market is hard or getting people to know the game is hard, but because just doubting you can complete a project or just that feeling that a game isn’t done can easily stop you from being done with a game.
That is pretty much it, just some rambling on games not being done.