All gamers have a good idea for a game. But most gamers don’t realize that it takes a lot more than a single good idea to build a game. It takes hundreds of good ideas. It takes good ideas about very specific portions of the game. Layout, style, user interface, controls, mouse movement, icons, graphics, colors, storyline, game mechanics, the list goes on and on.
Bamboo Cyberdream posted an excellent write up of why it sucks for Game designers to listen to amateurs (like me) talk about game ideas. They suggested an interesting twist by Derek Sivers about ideas which is dead on. Honestly it’s more fun to talk to game designers about their ideas… but maybe I’m just nuts like that. Or maybe it makes Boston Indies meetings more fun to talk to people who actually know what they are doing.
There seems to be this interesting moat between game developers and gamers with ideas. This mote is made from the idea that ‘game designers are going to steal my idea’. It’s amazing how amateur game design and litigiousness go hand and hand sometime. I have friends (not coworkers, personal friends) who want NDA’s signed for listening to ideas about a game they haven’t even started yet. It never occurred to me before, but maybe there is a reason why this myth about designers stealing ideas exists.
Maybe this rumor helps prevent people from proffering their gaming ideas at every turn. It prevents the kinds of conversations that sjml is talking about. Maybe that it is a good thing that gamers think that game designers are going to steal their ideas because it keeps them from talking about them.
When you boil down all the aspects of what makes a gamer move from being a player of games to a designer of games it really seems like each person needs the ability to produce. Passion is a wash, because gamers are all passionate about gaming. Some kind of knowledge or experience that gives them an edge in ‘making it happen’ becomes critical to making the leap between gamer and game designer.
It seems like learning that piece is what this year is all about for me. Learning it by just jumping in and making mistakes. My chosen area of knowledge is the one that few gamers go for; Business, Finance, and Project Management. For example, my project really has no feedback mechanisms built into it. That really needs to be fixed.