Have You Made a Video Game Yet? [VIDEO]
I’ve always loved playing video games. And I’ve always thought about making video games. I’m finally giving it a proper go (but don’t expect much). What about you? Have you ever thought of making your own video game?
Hey future Caleb, have you made a video game yet? I mean a real video game. Not a brick breaker clone or a Galaxia clone, a shitty text adventure, a number guessing game, or your toilet defense game appropriately called Toilet Defender… You heard me. Toilet defense. It’s exactly what it sounds like. And maybe I’m being way too dismissive. Perhaps the jar that surrounds your disembodied future head is made of pure gold because Toilet Defender catapulted you to game developer stardom. Sure, you can’t really enjoy the riches, because a pure gold jar would be impossible to see through, so you’ll just have to trust your handlers when they tell you that your high-priced hookers are gorgeous, that the furniture in your top-floor penthouse is made of 100% pure dragon skin, and that the view from said penthouse really is definitely not for sure facing a brick wall because your penthouse really is definitely not for sure a single story tool shed in the backyard of a meth house.
I’ve always loved playing video games. And I’ve always thought about making video games. As a child, I would spend entire afternoons designing maps for 2d sidescrolling platformers. Perhaps “design” is a bit grandiose. I essentially scribbled long, winding, uneven, and logistically misguided corridors on lined notebook paper. I could have used those built-in notebook lines to guide my uneven corridors, but no. My levels were going to be terrible without any help, thank you.
Nothing ever came of those scribbles, of course. I think the idea of porting my drawings into actual, playable video games was a massive leap in rational thinking for my child brain. The sketches themselves were the real end goal. We didn’t even have a computer in our house. Programming software wasn’t even real enough to be a concept. Even though Clarissa made a new game every single week on her archaic looking…I don’t even know what model of computer that is. You didn’t explain it all, Clarissa! Explain how you make those games!
But now, at 35 years old, I have a computer, and I’m currently learning how to create video games. I’m telling myself that it’s just a hobby. That it’s just something fun to do, that I’ve always been interested in it, so why not take a few courses and make a few terrible games? But the truth is, creating video games is part of a pattern that’s played out my entire life. I’ve never been able to simply imbibe creative works. I am compelled to participate in the creative process. I read, so I write. I listen to music, so I make music. I watch videos, so I make videos. I play games, so I make games. It’s debilitating to an extent. I’ve been asking myself lately, why can’t I just be passive?
There’s a certain logic to this desire to participate in the creation of something you love. From a converse approach, it would be weird for me to participate in the creation of something I hate. But the idea that I can never be just an audience member is scary. And this fear has actually prevented me from trying new things. I don’t watch movies very often, because I start dismantling the product and explore–even if in my own head–how I would make a movie. Then I subscribe to filmmaker YouTube channels, watch some tutorials, and…then I’ve got to talk myself out of everything because there’s no way I have the skill or the time to actually follow-through on this.
The larger fear is that I may never find a life-defining passion. A jack of all trades, master of none approach to life feels empty to me. But the more trades I attempt, and the older I get, the less life I have to define.
And I’m willing to accept that I’ve romanticized the notion of a master. Maybe it comes from my childhood love of martial arts movies, the trope in question being that of the wizened sensi who has dedicated his entire life to perfecting a single punch capable of killing a grown man with little more effort than that required to simply make the fist. I find honor and value in such dedication, as close to verging on psychosis as it is. I hear a story about a person whose home is brimming with a ceramic bird collection born of a gifted sparrow 20 years back, and I think YES. The image of an author at the desk in his office, surrounded by teetering towers of books and obvious disorganization and where some may become stressed by the clutter, I think, that’s who I want to be! I think, anyway. Again, it’s a romantic notion–and therefore a likely inaccurate notion–and I’m sure the brain that welcomes that kind of clutter is a brain itself cluttered with all sorts of mental issues. I’m asking for the trip without the baggage.
The point is, I want to be uniformly dedicated to something, something that other people appreciate. I tried writing. I tried music. I tried making YouTube videos. I’m trying game making. Will this be my cluttered office, my death punch, my ceramic bird collection?
Probably not. But for now, I’m enamored by the simple possibility.
But only you, Future Caleb, know for sure. If you do have millions in the back, please give a bit to my grandkids. They’ll need the funds to pay for the psychiatric help required by having their grandfather known as the guy who invented a toilet game.
Current viewer, have you ever thought of creating a video game? If so, why aren’t you creating one right now? What’s holding you back?
Thank you for watching.
Research/Sources/Credits/Inspirations (this is not a comprehensive list, as that would be impossible, especially the “inspirations” items)
8bit Dungeon Level Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/