Friday, December 3, 2010

Army of One

Right now, I'm doing everything myself here. I'm not even working with any contractors at this point, although I do anticipate doing so at some as-yet-undetermined point in the future.

1) The framework for doing so just is not in place. While I do have an idea of what will be needed to execute a contract agreement effectively, the means for doing so just aren't in my hands - yet. I'm a cook with a recipe but short a couple of key ingredients.

2) Working on my own is a very valuable experience. I'm able to really see what my limitations are instead of arbitrarily imposing them on myself. While eventually I will be delegating everything to other people, I always think it is a good idea to understand at least a good chunk of the work that is to be delegated, to walk in the shoes of my future employees. :)

3) It's cheaper. I'm on a super tight budget for now, and the cheapest hire is no hire at all. Yes, I understand that time is money, and the time I spend doing work that could be delegated for a modest sum can be just as costly, if not more so. This obviously imposes some fairly severe limitations as to what I'm able to do within the timeframe I have to execute; however, I'm finding some creative solutions to this challenge.

Of course, this does mean that it will take a little bit longer for me to produce a finished product than if I were working with a team, but I think I've got it figured out such that I can make it work for at least my first release or two. Once I get a game or two out there that really prove the whole concept of what exactly I'm doing, then we can start talking about delegation and bringing more people into the picture.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I'm a big believer in design as the ultimate trump card when it comes to games. A small game with a good, solid design will beat out a much larger game that is not very well designed. Granted, this does not account for things such as marketing or even simple craftsmanship in what is included with the game. A game's value comes mainly, in my opinion, from the implementation and arrangement of its mechanics. If these are done well, the game is "fun"; otherwise, it "sucks".

So what about all these games that come out now that have "hundreds of hours of game time" through this riveting story that will just knock your socks off? It's all gravy. Games with budgets on the scale of Hollywood movies are essentially just Hollywood movies with a controller. A new and interesting form of entertainment, no doubt; however, as the rising tide of iPhone games, and soon Android games, and maybe even Windows Phone 7 games (that's a mouthful, isn't it?) are showing us, great games can be made even today without multi-million-dollar budgets. I'd argue that they may even be easier to make without multi-million-dollar budgets. It's all about good design.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

obligatory intro post

Hello, Interwebz!

I'll be relatively brief, since I definitely plan to get onto some other posting very soon.  I'd just like to take a moment to say hi ("Hi!") and informally announce the existence of neocade.  What is neocade, you may be asking?  Well, over the coming weeks and months, I'll tell you - just not yet.  

You see, I'm not exactly completely sure what it is just yet, either.  Since I don't want to make a liar of myself by telling you one thing and then possibly changing my mind about it halfway through execution for whatever reason, it's probably best for me to just keep my mouth shut for now.

But ohhhh, there's so much to talk about!  I thought that instead of trying to hype a bunch of stuff that doesn't really exist yet, I'd open up this outlet to just talk about some of the things that neocade is about, mainly, as the name suggests, video games.  

Why?  Well, I, like many of you, grew up playing video games.  Lots and lots of video games.  Possibly an unhealthy amount, depending on who you ask.  It's embedded itself into my very soul.  So much so that the only logical thing for a guy like me to do with his life is to make more of these video gaming experiences.  Better ones, in fact.  I'll admit that it has been an obsession of mine for many years - just ask anyone who's known me for any length of time.  And, like some of you, I did try putting those dreams aside in favor of a more pragmatic approach to earning a buck (which working in the video games industry is generally not - just ask anyone who makes them for a living).  It's kind of a long and ultimately mildly depressing story, so I'm not going to blog about it.  I did learn a few things about working on very large projects, and especially about making a high quality product, and what it means to do that.  So when I finally did leave the company that I worked for, and spent some time that evening sitting by a lake near my home in Seattle, with not a care in the world, reflecting on what I'd been doing for the past four years of my life, I realized something - I've been given the chance now to do what I really want to be doing with my life - make really awesome video games.  And so that's what I intend to do with what I am now calling neocade.

..exactly how, well, I'll leave that as a mystery for now. 

Thanks for reading.  I hope to blog at you again soon :)