02 May 2012

Game Development Gaming Influence

I just played through Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 and realized something, my ideas are not that original! I have been working on a game concept for a while, a story heavy first person shooter. I envision it like a role playing Killzone(the first Killzone(the best one)) and metal gear mishmash. And you realize that if you mix the two you will get something entirely different from both of them, something unique spun from the two. So yeah, not very original. Then there is the whole Konflikt project that is in the works, my input in the write up is influenced by Metal Gear ACID 2, and the co-writers always draw comparisons from Magic: The Gathering. OK, so we have two potential projects that are influenced by major names in the industry. Not very original at all!

So lets make an original game, lets make something that isn't based on anything else. But I can't imagine such a game, can I remember a game like this. Quake 1, but that was sort of based on DOOM. What was DOOM based on? I am too young to know the answer. How about Sims, an economic simulator, so no first there either. There is definitely a first for everything, if you care you can research to see what game started what genre. That would be irrelevant, we only care about the last five to ten years.

What innovative games did we have in the last five to ten years. I don't know. What good innovative experiments did we have in the last five to ten years... none, one? Do you know the answer? This is a hard exercise, so lets make it easier. What original movies did we have in the last 20 years? We didn't. The Matrix and Fight Club, as good as they are they aren't as original as you think. If you are in your forties, nothing seems new, does it.

Your taste for games is subjective, as is for everybody else. There are titles we like and genres we prefer, there are platforms we are comfortable with. Everybody likes playing different things, but true (by my definition) gamers have tried a lot of different things, enjoyed some more than others, and have thought of how something can be expanded on or made better. So as game developers think about what the best game would be, they think of the context of some game and build from there. It is a flow of differentiation that gives us variations of sub genres where basic game principles are repeated with variation giving the gamers a plethora of choices. Thus, I submit to you that wild never before seen things aren't as important, as the shared common understanding of what we like.

Don't worry that you are making the next Star Craft, just make a better Star Craft!

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