There’s a great story from the book Art & Fear that shows us how to get better at something:
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.
Well, come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
I want to become a great games designer and therefore I’m going to follow a similar strategy. Each week I’ll be releasing a prototype that explores a new gameplay idea.
I’ve created a barebones version of my turn-based strategy game. It contains just enough code/art to communicate my intent, while still allowing me to iterate quickly. This will allow me to focus on the mechanics rather than all the other parts of game development.
My weekly process will consist of:
- Deciding on a gameplay experience to explore
- Adding new features/mechanics to support that experience
- Publishing a new prototype to itch.io
- Collecting feedback from players
- Writing a blog update with my findings
This can only work with your support so please try out the games, leave feedback and let me know your thoughts.