Here’s what I’ve got:
Goal 1. Learn Unity:
I’ve selected the Unity game development software to learn. Unity really seems like an exciting tool. It’s quite user friendly, has an incredible community and is making some very interesting moves in creating things like the Unity Asset Store, a market for game art, scripts and other resources which is built into the software. Cool. It also has the capability to target a whole range of platforms including Mac, Windows, iOs, Web Player, Xbox 360, Ps3, certain TVs and I’m sure they’ll continue to add more. Theoretically you could create a game in Unity and then deploy it to various platforms without rewriting the entire thing. And you can get a very full featured license for FREE (see links below). Super cool!
Goal 2. Document and Share:
Blog, podcast and record video of my progress. I know that there are other people in the same situation and I hope that by showing my actual process in making my first game I can help them and make their lives easier. Ultimately I want to see more people making cool creative games. I think this is the only way we will see game making develop into the deep art form I think it can be. I especially want to support the non-programmer types like myself who come from more of an art, writing or music background. I think the more people like this that can come into the field and make things the more diverse and interesting the art form will get.
Goal 3. Concept / Intellectual Property I can be Proud of.
I have two little boys (ages three and one and a half) and they love playing with games and toys on the iPhone and iPad. I want to make something that I would be happy to let them play with and that they could enjoy. Making a game world which is something beautiful, welcoming, non-violent and which would be a healthy thing for little kids to look at is very motivating for me. Ideally there would be enough there as well to appeal to grown ups too, or maybe slightly older kids.
Goal 4. Create and Sell:
My goal is to make a small 3D game using the Unity 3D engine and deploy it to whatever platform I can. I’d like to end up with iPhone and iPad but will happily stop off at a web playable or downloadable Mac/Windows release on the way there. If it turns out that the idea works for one platform more than another, so be it. Whatever platform I end up on I want to try to market and earn some income from this game. The key word here is try. This is not a get rich quick plan but as much as I want to learn to MAKE games I also want to learn to EARN from games as well. I have a family to feed and would like to do it creating things I am passionate about. Learning Unity means I don’t have to lock into learning a certain tool or language for a certain platform right away.
The idea as of now:
I’ve got pages and pages of notes in Evernote with little half baked game ideas in them and two Unity projects I’ve started that are a bit stalled. I’m thinking I need to really get things as simple as possible so I can start something and get a prototype working. Here’s what I’m thinking: a game with a cloud that flies around and rains on a landscape causing plants to grow. I think it will be a race against the clock where the cloud is constantly being evaporated by the sun and has to stop over puddles to replenish itself while watering a certain percentage of the level. It’s not that refined but I’m hoping to get a little prototype going and play with the basics to find some fun in there. If nothing else I think my kids would like the ‘paint’ like component of it of watering on a patch of ground and changing it from dirt to grass and grass to flowers, etc. I want the world to have a lush, colorful feel.
I know a lot of people are very protective of their ideas but one of my concepts with this blog is to try to be open. If someone takes this idea and develops it I like to believe that the intangible vision that I have outside of the core mechanics will make my version unique enough that it will connect with an audience. I really don’t believe in ideas as being valuable, I feel that it’s more about execution. I think I could create something with this that would be special and so am not that worried about someone else creating something similar after reading about it here. I would respectfully ask if you’re thinking about copying this idea that you come up with your own idea please and leave it at that.
The other bonus effect I’m hoping for here is that someone will read about my idea or see my prototype as it develops and want to get involved. Sort of like the open source movement where by opening up the process you get a lot of great minds involved in the problem. Everything about this blog is an experiment so we’ll see how it works!
What do you think? Is this a misguided plan? Does my idea sound dumb? Am I the greatest? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment.
Stuff mentioned in this post:
Download Unity for FREE from Unity3d.com
Unity Asset Store
Evernote (awesome free note taking platform for desktop, web, mobile)