Design Notes

HEART, BRAIN & HAND!

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In my opinion, It takes three things to be a game developer. Almost everyone I talk to about this has two of them. 

Heart Brain and Hand(BTW, these are three of the icons that I've made for AQ Dragons! COMING SOON!)

This weekend I was on TeamSpeak with a gaming friend of mine. We've been gaming together for a while now but this weekend was the first time that we talked about what we did for a living. When I told him that I make games for a living he said "That's completely unfair. That's my dream job".

It turns out that he is (like a lot of people that I know, and a lot of you guys) a lifelong gamer with a REAL PASSION for video games. He has SO MANY ideas for games that he's wanted to make and has even written out several complete worlds with their own races, rich histories and even languages. Stunningly deep, amazingly detailed stories that could riavl The Elder Scrolls mythology. It all sounded GREAT!

Then I asked him what was holding him back and he dropped the I BOMB (like the F Bomb but much worse to my ears). He said "I'm more of an IDEA GUY,". He can't draw, or animate and doesn't understand even the basics of programming or marketing. 

Here's the dirty little secret about Idea Guys. Every single game developer out there is an Idea Guy. They have all played video games for most or all of their lives and they all have their worlds in their heads just waiting to pop out onto the screen for others to enjoy. 

I've mentioned in a past post that I feel that I need to lie to people about what I do when I go to parties because someone there is an Idea Guy who just can't wait to talk to me allllllllllllll night about his game idea and how we can start making it happen. (I just came for the chips and Cards Against Humanity, dude). 

Most gamers have a PASSION for gaming. That is the heart. 

Most gamers have great IDEAS for games. That is the brain. 

Where most people get stuck is the ability and will to MAKE games. That is the hand. 

There are SO many people out there who really think that all they need is to find an artist and a programmer and they can just be the Idea Guy (so everyone else does the work, on TOP of having ideas of our own? Cool, where do I sign?).

Every person who works with me in the Secret Underground Lab is an Idea Guy (guy being used as a gender neutral term here), but on top of that they ALL have some amount of skill that allows them to participate in the creation of our games. These aren't skills they they were born with (a little talent helps but is not necessary to learn any skill). That is where most people hit a challenge or get bored and give up. 

The difference between my friend and a game developer is that the game developer took the extra steps to learn how to make games. Now they can take all that uncontainable creativity and build a framework for it so it could be appreciated and experienced by others in the form of a video game. 

I'm sure it's the same in any creative field. The novelist didn't just come up with an idea for a novel, but learned how to write well and put serious effort into sending it to TONS of publishers. The rock star didn't just stop at writing bad poetry and learning a few chords, they practiced their craft, mastered their instrument and worked their butt off to get gigs. The big time Hollywood writer/director didn't just come up with an idea, they got into the industry and worked very, very hard to get the chance to MAKE their own movies. 

This is what I meant when I wrote NOBODY WANTS TO MAKE YOUR GAME. They all put time and effort in so that they could make their own stuff, not make your dreams come true. 

If you want to be a game developer or ANY kind of creative professional, You will need all three: Heart, Brains and Hands. So, if this is your dream... what's your excuse? Start TODAY. Put in the time and effort, look for resources online, don't give up when it gets tough and MAKE IT HAPPEN! 

Sorry Comments are now closed for this post.
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Reaper12
Reaper12: Heart: Check. Brain: Check. Hand: Check. Wallet: Nope :(
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maniza
maniza: game engien =unity free to use :-P
maniza
maniza: and the 3d program is also realy esay to get :-) and when you have it it's almost for a living (but if you don't have any Money then use a torrent if you realy have the dream of games the take a riske <3 :-D
KazrielEversio
KazrielEversio: I really like posts like this. I aspire to be a game developer one day, and I've been searching the internet for a while trying to find any sort of resources or anything that can help me take that step forward. Posts like this give me an inside look at what it's like to develop games. It's not all fun and games (pun intended.) It's a lot of hard work, and work it is. I have multitudes of ideas, a deep-seated passion for games, and I have the will to use my hands to create, but for me, the problem is finding the resources to do so. I don't want anyone to make my ideas for me. I want to make them for myself, so that I can cherish them, and if multiple people end up enjoying what I create, then that's even better. I really hope that maybe one day, there could be posts about the first beginning steps that someone in my situation can take in order to begin developing their game, so that we can have that first step guided by someone who's made multiple games before. A teacher, guiding a student, instead of someone making the game for us.
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zuvizu
zuvizu: I have just been consistently trying to make the games using resources from different people like music from Aaron Krogh or Jeremiah George and graphics for RPG maker vx ace and Game Maker. I haven't been able to complete any of them...
Obsidian6
Obsidian6: I got the same problem
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XxAVENGERxXXX
XxAVENGERxXXX: So Motivational. But I'm only 15'sigh'. But dudes/dudet If yah have any places for young develpers in Singapore please tell meee. Thank you for rreading this message. XD
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SomeDuctTape
SomeDuctTape: Hey, I've made an RPG and I'm only 15! It's far from the best, but if you can find a good "game maker" that's all it takes to practice and even make your own game. And my stepfather also made Life of D. Duck 1 and 2, so he helps me if I need help. But if you know someone you could ask them or you could look on the internet etc.
Cysero
Cysero: So your excuse is your age, XxAVENGERxX? It doesn't matter where you are from, if you have internet access then the whole world is your oyster and you can meet TONS of other aspiring game developers. Get out there and get in it. If you want it MAKE IT HAPPEN. No excuses. No Idea Guys.
Ferozakh
Ferozakh : I wonder if anyone of you in the AE team watches Kamen Rider Drive. Those icons simply remind me of the 3 Roidmyudo executives Heart, Brain and Chase.
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emmsnp4662
emmsnp4662: Brain is the best chase the brain.
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Glerax
Glerax: My problem is figuring out where to learn the skills needed for the hand. I have the money heart and brains *ideas*, just don't really know WHERE to go for the hands.
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Cysero
Cysero: This is what I'm talking about. Idea Guys say "I don't know where to look" and stop there. The Hands uses whatever they can to find the resources. You have access to the Internet and there are TONS or free game development resources and communities out there, especially YouTube. That's where I learned everything from how to use Unity3D to how to replace the water heater in my house. Get in there.
Glerax
Glerax: Good idea, I'll look for stuff. Although, I'm looking less of being an actual game maker, but more of a developer for AE, implying it survives to the point where I'm old enough to work. I'll start trying to draw out AQW's character styles and making weapons.
Glerax
Glerax: Good point, although i want to be less of a full game maker and more of an AE worker, because childhood enhancement. Here's to hoping AE survives by the time I'm at working age, and to hoping I figure out drawing AQW stuff.
Cysero
Cysero: And AE worker? What exactly do you think that we do? We're all game developers. Unless you mean that you want to be a member of the Player Support team (like a moderator or Help Team member), because they do not do any of the development.
emmsnp4662
emmsnp4662: Cause the brain is controlling all function of our body we can leave without hands we can leave with heart but the is can change if we have any problem with heart but the brain? We can't leave without it
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Cysero
Cysero: I need to have all three, besides. Those are just metaphors.
asasqw
asasqw: Hand and heart are the best as ideas can be gathered. Heart is something that comes naturally and hand takes training.
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Alzerkos
Alzerkos: Absolutely fantastic post, Cysero. This is definitely something that a lot of aspiring developers need to be made aware of, not just game developers but also individuals looking into any creative field. I'm currently in college learning programming to supplement my true passion (writing/storytelling for games) and have been considering taking up learning how to draw, too. I'm definitely looking forward to when I'll finally be able to fully execute what I want to do.
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kabimarta1
kabimarta1: I believe I might have all three of these, especially when it comes to using my RPG Makers.
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zuvizu
zuvizu: Oh you have used RPG maker before?
Axelicum
Axelicum: that awesome feeling reading Cysero's idea.
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yakusa_014
yakusa_014: heart,brain, and hand(fists)
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Gerrand
Gerrand: A most worthy slap in the face. I'm an idea guy, worse, I'm an idea guy with a strong education in programming. The only flimsy excuse I'll make for myself is full comprehension of the commitment that people do make to bring their dreams to life. It takes heart indeed to firmly grasp your brain in your hands and splat it into interactive media. Only criticism I'll leave on your article is that its too lenient on us who haven't written books ^^
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shadowmoon522
shadowmoon522: heart & brain check.
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shadowmoon522
shadowmoon522: i hate when i do that, i get so used to being able to use the enter button everywhere.... anyway i could have the hand if i ever put any real effort into it, outside of certain artistic skills such as drawing & shading cause for some reason no matter how much i work at it, it always sucks. same go's with my handwriting. i can edit things together such as with taking multiple pokemon sprites & creating a pokemon from them or with legos(namely bionicles). namely i'm good at taking multiple things & putting them together into something new. that aside i know where my problem lies, i have no motivation or ambition, no dreams that i wish to accomplish. as long as i can get though another day i'm content. that's just how i am & how i've lived throughout my life.
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pingpom3
pingpom3: Unfortunately I'm just an idea guy. No skills, barely any money, and no friends willing to help. My game ideas will have to go die I suppose. And no, I'm NOT looking for pity.
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Carlys_Awesome
Carlys_Awesome: Can confirm what Cysero's saying here. I'm 16, and my high school is wonderful enough to offer computer science/programming, but honestly most of the raw, nitty gritty stuff I learn on the internet. In class most of what I learn is just how to code "properly". I'm not extremely good, but I'm capable of making simple enough games on my own from scratch now (albeit with really simple turtle art). One of my other friends has been learning programming on his own since 6th grade, and he has made some really, really cool stuff, with full UI's and multiplayer, the whole shebang, all learned on his own (granted, this kid is a genius anyways), but all I'm saying is that you CAN learn to do something. Also a tip, if you were thinking of learning any sort of programming, I definitely recommend downloading and starting with Python, and finding beginner videos and guides. Good Luck Everyone!
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Doomfullord
Doomfullord: I've never been really able to even begin to learnt to program. It doesn't make sense to my brain. As well I can't really focus myself into perfecting my art skills, but I chose not to actually go into videogames. I don't personally want to make it a career, but I chose to instead invest what I can into making tabletop games (think dungeons and dragons), and hopefully a card game. It utilizes a lot of the skills I do have. Instead of molding my hands in a way they can't bend I've found a new media that I can truly shape to my will! Soon! SOON! I SHALL PLUNGE THE WORLD INTO DARKNESS WITH MY UNDEAD TABLETOP HOBBYIST ARMY! And there is nothing you game designers can do about it. :P
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DerpSonic
DerpSonic: Well said! It truly is the Hand that makes all the difference. I reckon you could stretch it out to cover pretty much EVERY field. For any goal, you'd need the head for it, the passion and most definitely the will and commitment. Well said indeed.
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 Nick_Pyro
Nick_Pyro: Thanks Mr Cysero. This is a really good morale boost for me. I have ideas, be it writing or programming or games. I will work towards making them come to life.
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Relaxbleu
Relaxbleu: heart brain and hand I have all many times I have a idea you guys work it out before I can post my ideas as if I reading u guys brains but I never give up in anything its just my job to entertain people with my art and help you guys with running the games by posting bugs in anyway I can do just stil have a lot of ideas a lot of fantasy to set on paper and work out when I finished of my burse for adobe flash than after I go try to make my own game or kids movie at least I go try or try to let my drawings move around :D thts and other part as I pass thn I go do game / computer programming just everything on its time and have the patient to do so to make a dream come true that's my passion to keep up going to reach my dream to come true
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Turtle11267
Turtle11267: You also needs your Socks!! ;)
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AErules
AErules: Heart: check brain: check hand: check (if making a. Game on paper counts) age: nope
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Azazel_ae
Azazel_ae: Yah very true ..... you need all of those
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superdude227
superdude227: Listen, to all the guys saying their reasoning for not having all three are things like money, age or resources your excuse really isn't valid. I'm 17 years old and have been programming for almost 4 years. I developed my first game, however simple it was, at the age of 14. You do not need money and you don't have to be an adult to learn how to develop games. It just takes the will to do it and a lot of time to learn. I'm still in high school, yet i have entered 3 programming competitions and placed in all 3. Sure, it's fun to think of ideas and how great it would be to develop those ideas as a career but it isn't as easy as having the idea and throwing it in to a few lines of code. A good game takes hours, usually in to the hundreds of hours to develop and it is very difficult mental work. It is also, for the people who are passionate about it, extremely enjoyable. Do not make excuses about not having much money or not having "resources". There are plenty of things in the game development industry that are free. If you want to learn basic development, learn something like rpg maker. If you want to start developing 3D games, download unity (guess what, it's free) if you have taught yourself a full language or 2 download unreal engine 4 (guess what, also free and used in many major game titles). Don't let any of this stuff atop you, go out, learn and have fun developing games.
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