The internet is loaded with an abundance of channels to information we never dreamed of having access to twenty years ago. Wanna know how to build a shelf? We would hit up Home Depot to ask some asshole in an apron who didn’t give a shit. Now, with a couple of keystrokes on the Google, you don’t have to interact with that teenage prick! Wanna find out what your secret high school crush is doing? Back in old grandpa time we would follow them; waiting outside their houses with binoculars in the harsh winter cold. Today, we can stalk our obsession in the comfort of our warm homes with Facebook! Wanna know how your favourite celebrity looks without the security blanket of clothing? Now you don’t need to use your imagination! You can hack the cloud for their nude pictures…. you know….. the ones they took the time to upload to their hard drives so they could one day show their kids. Wow, the age we live in!
The same web principles go for seeking out information on making an indie game. There are hundreds of game dev articles spanning across the internet galaxy written by many aspiring game designers. Question is, which ones are actually useful and are these people legit? Are they offering pearls of wisdom, or talking a bunch of hot garbage? In other words, are game dev articles useful? I’m not talking about articles on how to make a sprite sheet or how to model in Unity. Those are tutorials and aren’t necessarily opinion pieces. Articles I’ve proudly written here are more opinionated so the question is: do you trust me? Yes, I am putting my raunchy rhetoric on trial here too. So let’s get started in sending me to the electric chair!
The Court of Public Opinion
The internet has placed humanity under an interesting lens…by revealing how fucking stupid and gullible we are even in the age of information. Young adults get their Poly-Sci degrees from pompous politically correct internet memes. Thirty-Five-year-old basement dwellers blog theses on why Star Trek is better than Star Wars as if people give a fuck. Douchebaskets have found a way to make fake news exciting by realizing people love soap operas more than fucking facts. That’s right folks. Anyone can jump on the internet and pretend they’re smart by making you look like a fucking flake. Welcome to the millennium of morons!
Game dev articles can follow a similar route. They are opinion pieces not word of law or word of god. A blogger recently wrote on this site about game design difficulty and its flaws. You can find it here. The People acted as if he shot Horombre and performed unprotected necrophilia on his cold hairy corpse to further insult them. It wasn’t that the author was necessarily wrong, it was just the viewpoint that people didn’t agree with. It would make no sense to abolish difficulty settings on every game but it begs to ask the question if you should for yours.
Whether it be an article that challenges the status quo or one that reinforces it, it’s up to you to discern what is helpful and what is a waste of brain power. Don’t just rely on where the trend is going.
There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat
Dirty Chinese Restaurant was built with Adobe Air. Now don’t judge! Hold your horses before one breaks a leg and all of a sudden we’re sending Seabiscuit to the glue factory. Why did we use it? Because that’s all we currently know. I’m not against learning a new programming language or design software. It’s just that my current tools are enough to make a game people will like (I hope). On the flipside, just because I’ve been successful with one platform it doesn’t mean I have to walk around like Captain Jack-Off Ego saying it’s the only way.
When someone touts that their game is being built with unity I tout about how much I don’t give a fuck. All I really care about is what kind of game is being made. If you’re a C+ master or a Python expert stick with it. Don’t force yourself to change ‘cause some asslord writes an article on why Unreal engine is rule and you’re a holocaust denier if you say otherwise. Look for articles on C+ and its capabilities. The end.
Someone’s methods of success will never match yours. You can’t be a pioneer by marching to somebody else’s fife. You also can’t be a pioneer without murdering countless aboriginals. Just switch murdering countless aboriginals with don’t read game dev articles as if its rule of law. You’re going to be just fine!
Take Tidbits That Work
In Canada, the greatest country in the solar system (that’s right we’re calling you out Klaxu 89B), we have a delicious treat called Timbits. They’re basically donut holes that are fantastic for people who don’t want the whole donut. If you like chocolate dip, honey dip, birthday cake remix, honey cruller, maple, and plain (loser) you don’t need to order half a dozen donuts. No sir you can avoid that diabetic disaster with six Timbits making up one donut. Us Canadians diet way better than those fat fucks on Klaxu 89B!
Make Timbits out of the game dev articles you read by picking out tidbits. Every book I’ve read or article I’ve scanned has always offered something interesting I’ve taken away with. Sure you’ve started projects before but reading an article on one might outline a step you missed. A piece on mobile vs. console may not be important to your development but the section about customer behaviour will. Hell, even a written piece on how to get away with murder will give you plenty of tips on how to plan and account for setback scenarios!
These articles are based on developers past experiences. You don’t need to agree with everyone’s point of view but they will provide some kernels of truth. It is up to you to take those kernels and use them to your advantage.
Take a Look at Their Current Work
I’ve met a lot of great people and a ton of pieces of shit my entire life. Funny thing is they all start off as great people….usually because the shitheads keep saying how great they are. Over time these self-absorbed individuals reveal the fucktarts they truly are via their actions. I may be naïve but I’m not stupid. We can all be fooled in the beginning but it’s up to us to decipher who is accountable and who is a cuntible.
It pays to do a little digging with some of these ahem ‘writers’. Are they a reviewer? A game developer? A self-proclaimed genius of game design? Be careful of those with a high opinion of themselves and zero street cred. Reading articles written by game developers is usually the way you want to go but take a look at their past work. I wouldn’t want to read an article titled How to Make the Perfect Game by a dev who made this shit stain:
Do your research and you’ll be okay.
Conclusion? Articles are like condoms…one size doesn’t fit all. What some people have to say will fit on nicely and feel great. Others will feel forced and painful while robbing you the pleasure in making a game. And if not applied properly you will end up with less than desirable results. That’s not to say game dev articles are some sort of poison; you just have to take some with a grain of salt. Use your better judgement while keeping an open mind. The more you read the better you’ll understand the craft.
I have to admit I’m a bit out there on this one. Usually what I write is more focused. However, someone on Twitter tweeted this comment compelling me to write on the subject:
With so many game dev ‘articles’ how the fuck am I supposed to know which one is right? #imtoostupidtofigureoutshit
Okay, okay he didn’t write it like that I just like being a Super Dick. He did however make a good point regardless.
Don’t sweat it I got you on this one. I’m sure this post will help you navigate the labyrinth like tunnels of opinions on game design. Or maybe I just wrote a pack of shit to make myself look smart? Or maybe I actually believe in my own garbage. Who do you trust?! Mind blown Inception style!