There was a lecture I had in university yesterday morning about game design theory, and an interesting thought occurred along the way. A lot is made of how in the game industry you as a designer will end up working for a client of some kind, with specific ideas of what they might want (not sure if that’s completely true in the world of indie games but that’s besides the point), about the need to meet the demands of consumers, and how creativity can only account for so much. But it’s important to remember you can’t make a game for everyone, and I did learn that if you have an idea for a game, it’s entirely possible to find a demographic for your game and hone in on it. Not only that, but if you focus on that niche, you may in fact be more likely to succeed than if you tried to have something for everyone. Like putting something from Battlefield in a game that isn’t Battlefield for any of its competitors, for instance: the result is something that’s just half of Battlefield in a game that’s supposed to be completely different.
And along the way it occurred to me that maybe, if you do all the planning, the market research, and the consideration for who’s going to receive your game idea as soon as you plan the idea, which would be somewhere in very early stage the game, likely before the pre-production stage, then you might just be free to explore the creation and production of what you really want to make, knowing that you’re making it for people who might actually want to play it. And that takes thought, consideration, and planning, specifically coming up with a plan for what you’re making. And I thought that maybe that planning and that consideration is what frees the creator in the world of game design, rather than having an idea and just expecting it to get through on the sole basis of it being your fondest creative vision.
I think it takes a certain faculty within the human self: the willingness to embrace and create structure to benefit your own personal goals or to fulfill your own desires. Order or structure is ultimately a product of the will, so the power to create it is another expression of the self, its will, and its potential, rather than as necessarily being detrimental to the imagination, or at least not if applied in tandem with creativity and/or flexibility in the case of game design. With that in mind I feel something about my attitude towards order and chaos might be changing, as I hope to explore in a future blog post.