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