It’s time to finally say it - I hereby officially sign-off from One Game A Month.
It’s been a great year for me, thanks to the 1GAM initiative I’ve pushed myself into making games and basically I’ve started chasing my dreams again, however cliche that might sound.
All my best games, including A small talk at the back of beyond, Don’t Escape and 400 Years were made for 1GAM. Hell, this very blog has been made because of 1GAM.
Christer Kaitila‘s little meta-game, this achievement-hunting experience turned out to be great starter of my creative engine.
But as I’ve been creating a game after game, the 1GAM’s premise has transformed into an obstacle of sort. Creating one-game-a-month while having a full time job and trying to have some sort of social life has turned out to be much harder than I initially thought it would be. The one month deadline has become a burden that – after giving my creativity a spark, it started limiting it. How much can one do in one month after working hours, without sacrificing too much? Small games, sure. But what if your ideas go beyond that?
Don’t get me wrong - I don’t say 1GAM is a stupid idea – I’m far from that statement. An ability to cut features, to limit ideas to a bare minimum is indeed a valuable skill to have – and for a fact I can say McFunkypants’ initiative has taught me that skill. I had to reduce 400 Years length by almost 50% to release it in time. Is it bad? No, because if it wasn’t for 1GAM, 400 Years wouldn’t have been made in the first place. A single game developer with limited time and resources HAS to be able to cut features AND to make it with the deadline – because even indies have their deadlines.
But I’m tired with this. I was tired halfway through 2013 – if you check my 1GAM profile you’ll see half of my games there are stupid little games, fillers if you may, created in rush just before the deadline, just to get the points for make it another month in a row. I CAN make a game in a month – but it doesn’t allow me to show my full potential. I have several BIG projects in my head, like the 3rd Deep Sleep game[*] or other ideas that are far too big to cram them in 4 weeks time.
So again… big THANK YOU to McFunkypants for his wonderful initiative. It has taught me a great deal of things, game design-wise AND time management-wise. I’ve stared making games again. I’ve started meeting other game designers that live nearby. I feel like I’ve gained enough momentum to act for a longer while.
Thank you and goodbye, 1GAM!
- * by the way, Deeper Sleep was not made in under a month time, it just happen that I’ve finished it at one point and had my game for that month [↩]