Bacon and Games

Category: On Games (page 2 of 5)

On Playtesting

It may not be the easiest thing to endure, but it might be the most important.

On Prototypes vs. Shipped Games

Don’t let your proto graveyard scare you. Its value cannot be measured in the present.

Whether it’s reusable code, lessons learned or simply having stumbled upon an unexpected idea the value is there. Musicians don’t sit down and write masterpieces start to finish, all screenplays have rewrites and every book has an editor. Games are no different. A discarded prototype may not reveal its worth to you as it’s going into the garbage bin, but that doesn’t mean it was without value.

On Starting AND Finishing Your Game

Don’t forget that we create in order to share. If you don’t finish your work you’re depriving yourself of a lot of the experience, some of which can be the best part. Even if you don’t love it, finish it. A mediocre but complete complete project is almost always better than an unfinished game.

On Doing What You Love

This one is applies to more than game development, as many from the onGames series do, but this one more than most I think. When you do something that you’re passionate about it’s not only hard to make the distinction between work and play, it’s often impossible. This can be good and bad, but more often than not it’s great :)

On When to Take a Break

In the programming world especially, there’s this badge of honor that seems to come with hunkering down for long stretches of coding. And certainly when you’re in “the zone” (yes, it’s a thing) you want to keep things rolling. But other times, like when you’re really stuck, you’ve probably hit that point of diminishing return where your time isn’t being well spent any more.

One of the most valuable skills I’ve picked up over the years isn’t having learned a tool or a language. Rather, it’s having learned when to push through a problem and when to take a break. Whether it’s your subconscious working for you while you’re “unplugged” or just returning with a fresh mind, walking away from a problem is very often a better way to solve than simply bludgeoning it with time.

Sure, you might solve the problem if you throw another 3 hours at it, but you’re also very likely to have a fresh look and a 15 minute solution when you come back to it the next morning.

Learn when to walk away. Nobody is keeping stats on how long you’ve gone without getting up… except maybe you.

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