Recently I began to browse Game Jams for various reasons.
- My indie game development team, Nerd Bomb Studios, tends to get more work done during such events.
- Sometimes I’m able to finish at least a demo of some game idea I’ve had by myself.
I found a site called itch.io, which is a “open marketplace for independent digital creators with a focus on independent video games.” There I saw a list of user-created game jams that were either ongoing or upcoming.
One of them was aptly called “Scappy Jam”. From it’s description:
Sometimes games don’t work out. Feature creep renders them unmanageable. You make a nice prototype but can’t figure out what to do with it. You have a grand plan that goes to hell because its scope is beyond your current ability. And so your hard drive becomes home to the scraps of your games, a solemn reminder of your failures.
Does this sound like you!? Then join Scrappy Jam! Pack up all your scraps and put them out in the world. Achieve catharsis through release. Let players enjoy your beautiful messes. Get SCRAPPY.
Reading this, I began thinking to myself – ‘Hey, don’t I have several of these?’
While I had several unfinished games, these were the only two that actually had an “ending”. They were most like demos. While playing through them again, making sure they could actually be played by someone, nostalgia and regret hit me hard. I recalled all the silly plans I had for these projects. The mechanics. The storylines. The characters.
Often I try to rectify this by reusing old concepts into something I’m currently invested in. This is actually the case with both of these projects. I saw reoccurring elements: an elf girl heroine, forest homes, and some childhood event. I even remembered how in the latter game “Mercenary Maiden” I was going to give Sylria pink hair instead of blonde to offset the busty, blonde stereotype in media.
The fact that I worked so hard on these games, caused me to think about how I always start things I never, ever finish. Not just games either, but writing novels or finishing a full art piece. I have so many ideas bottling up inside my brain, that I constantly switch between them. And having three different ways of telling my stories (games, novels, comics) makes it all worse for me. Not only must I choose a story to stick with, I have to decide how to portray it.
Sometimes I wish I had the mania of Bipolar I, regardless of the negative factors that comes along with it. I’ve heard many that just get so much done while manic, I tend to get a bit jealous. Instead I get irritability, egotism, and heightened goofiness. Even when I’m hyper and energetic I hardly get things done – except maybe a chore or two. With my longer bouts of depression, doing anything seems like a waste. Pointless, even.
Right now, while feeling guilty for have wasting my time, and everyone else’s time on these cancelled games, I attempted to think positively. After all, I’m still fondly working on a new version of “Mercenary Maiden” in my own way.
I’m drawing the characters, figuring out their new designs. I still think of it as a game, even if never finishes. Barring that, I may try it out as a webcomic just to hone my artistic skills.
I do know I want to be as productive as possible, so hopefully my willpower will eventually win out!
Thanks for reading!