Vision and Focus Part 2

Posted On: 2018-09-03

By Mark

It has been over a year since my previous post, but I have made valuable progress in understanding my Vision, both for my games as well as for myself as a person. Putting it into words will (almost necessarily) lose many of the subtle nuances, but I think doing so will be beneficial. Even if this post doesn't provide value to others, it will at least be good for myself as a reference, in case I find myself questioning my Vision again. To that end, I will attempt to describe why I create, why I create games, and what this means for me going forward.

Throughout my work, both personally and professionally, I always strive to understand what the system wants to be, and then do whatever I can to help it realize itself. While it might sound strange to personify a system in this way, it's perhaps the best I can do to describe the experience. This motivation, in turn, drives me to better myself in service to the work. This pursuit of mastery in service to something beyond myself - through which I both make the system a part of me and indelibly leave my mark upon it - is at the heart of why I create. (Unfortunately, I am not able to clarify this better through means of an example, since the best examples I am not at liberty to share, and the instances wherein this occured during my hobby projects are generally murky and would miss the mark to the point of being more confusing than helpful.)

Knowing that I have this same approach to all creative endeavors, why is it that I want to create games, specifically? While there are a near-infinite number of reasons I could cite, (certainly more than I can wrap my head around at any given time) there are a few that stand out as particularly compelling. Firstly, play is itself an act of creation, so by creating games I give others means to create for themselves. Secondly, games have a power to connect with people and enrich their lives. This is something that manifests in play, but it is amplified by the structure and design intrinsic to games. Thirdly, games' unique advantage as an art form is that, through the player expressing their creativity, they in turn experience a unique message - seperate, distinct, and powerful - which transcends anything the author could have envisioned. In summary, I believe that games are the ultimate storytelling medium. And I yearn to be a storyteller.

Going forward, I will be focusing on realizing this vision as best I can. This means that I will expand my scope beyond simple mechanical prototypes, and instead aim to create a story that can only be told through the harmony of theme, narrative, and play. (Though that way of phrasing it is inadequate to properly express what I intend to create. It may be less "creating a story" and more "creating a framework through which players tell themselves a story" - even then, that doesn't seem to quite accurately capture the relationship between a game and its player.) Creating a project of such magnitude will demand tremendous amounts of time and attention, and as such, I will be committing myself to this work full-time. Starting in October, I will begin the process of creating this work - and I will chronicle my progress on this site with regular updates. Until then, I will be taking care of some pre-existing commitments, and eagerly looking forward to this new project.

(Fun fact, I started this post mid-August, and didn't finish until September. I am really looking forward to how much faster I can accomplish things when I don't have so much context switching.)

Thanks for reading, and see you in October!