Know Thy Game


Before Unite and GCAP 2015 in Melbourne, I thought I knew my game. After talks given by people such as Tim Ponting, Tim Dawson, Tony Parmenter, Steve Halliwell, Joel Styles and others, I realised that perhaps I needed to take a closer, more analytical look at what I was creating.

Tim Ponting, director of Renegade PR, spoke about generating your key messaging which helps to define your game not only to others, but—more importantly—to yourself. “Do it early,” he said then went through the five step process. So I started at step one, the brainstorming stage. What is my game about? I regurgitated onto the page all the words that fit my game. Five words later, I realised I was either not so hot at this brainstorming thing, or I had no clue what my game was about.

Not willing to be defeated by the very first step, I took a break, ate one of those delectable convention cookies, had a mental snooze, and then got back to it. This time I came up with a bunch more words, but they were words that fit the game in my head, not the actual game. Tim mentioned in his talk to be careful of these kinds of words. Remove them and get to the truth.

Well, fine. I crossed out a few aspirational words on my dog-eared page, and stopped. I’m still exceptionally early in the development of my game. If these are the words that fit the game I want, then why don’t I keep the words and change the game? For this micro-indie developer, that’s a daunting task to face. But I must face it if I want this game to offer the kind of depth it’s singing out for in my heart.

Decision made. The five steps complete, the new pillars built. Time to get cracking with my clearer vision… after a minor drowning incident in a lake of chocolate.

Lynda Young