The Game Developer's Journal: The Conquerer

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Conquerer

Abraham Lincoln once said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Now that I think about it, I like this quote. It tells us that, at some point or another, secrets will come out. I like it because it reminds me of mediocrity, deceiving marketing ads, and stinky products. Of course I don't like those things, which is the point. I desire that truth be found about these things. I associate these things with big businesses that trump the "other guys" (that is, small innovators like myself), and win by taking advantage of the weaknesses of man and outnumbering the little guys.

Even as I type this, I realize how severely Steve Jobs' philosophies have affected me. That guy was a perfect-product enthusiast. That's what I get for reading a 500 page tome of his life story. 

So it shouldn't be surprising that his ideas have dripped into game development.

But it didn't start with that. You see, the Amoeba Of Light is a game for geniuses. Not those with a high IQ, but those with creative genius. It's for the underminder, the frontiersman, the hero, and yet it's also for those looked down upon. It's for the "little guys" who can outwit the big ones.

From the first days when I was designing the game, I wanted to nail something right on the head that is nearly apart of me: creativity. It panned out like this...

Anyone Can Cook

I like children. Yes, but I don't just like children, I have a connection with them. It's been present ever since I was a child myself, and it seemed that I commonly became acquinted with those younger than me in a social environment. There's a plight of children that is obvious to anyone who pays attention: they can be treated as "inadequate." Now obviously certain skills come with age and practice. But this is what I see when I see children, and it's no coincidence for sure. I am learning to overcome inadequacy myself.

So this heartfelt concern directed the design of my game. The Amoeba Of Light is filled with challenges, but they're different: nearly everyone of them is heavily dependent on creative thought, not skill. This means an adult could puzzle over a challenge for 10 minutes and give the iPhone to his kid (while he helps his wife change the baby's poopy diaper), only to come back and find that the kid beat the level!

But there's another aspect, too. I like improving skill on video games. But there are games that I want to be really good at (okay, Super Smash Brothers specifically) that I question if I'll ever be super good at because I'm not as great as the pros who play for hours a day. A game like The Amoeba Of Light fixes that. My game  rewards thought over speed, and innovation over skill.

And in a strange but interesting way, this whole game reflects my current drive in life. I want to be the hero: the herald who leads the way to victory by outwitting the bigger guys.

The Amoeba Of Light is a game for everyone. Will skill be rewarded? Yes. But anyone can outdo the other by thinking outside the box, and yet thinking intuitively at the same time.

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