Looking back, 2013 continued my trend of diving deeper in board games, both playing and designing them. It’s no coincidence that Subterfuge, the game I’m working on with Ron Carmel, has very strong board game influences. I’ll talk more in a future post about the design part, what kind of games I tried making and which ones I’m still working on. This post will focus on the best games I played that came out on 2013.
It feels like I’ve been making and playing video games all my life. It turns out I’ve been playing board games even longer.
A couple of weeks ago I posted my GDC micro-talk titled Why are you making games?. From the feedback I got, it seems that it resonated with a lot of people, and it also made some people stop and ask themselves that question (along with a few sleepless nights).
However, the question I was asked over and over was why am I making games? What are my answers to that question? As I said before, there are no right or wrong answers. Everybody needs to find their own answers, so in that respect, my answers don’t really matter.
On the other hand, since what I write here is purely personal, and a lot of people are curious about it, I figured I would give it a shot and answers those questions publicly.
This is a written version of my 5-minute talk from the Indie Soapbox session at this year’s GDC.
Why are you making games? No, I don’t mean “why are you making games?”. Also, I don’t mean “why are you making games?”. And I certainly don’t mean “why (on earth) are you making games?”. I mean the question in the purest, most abstract sense. Just “why are you making games?”.
This was a key question for me last year, I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I thought other people might benefit from asking themselves the same question. To see where I’m coming from, let’s do a quick flash back.
It’s late 2011. Miguel and I finished working on Casey’s Contraptions and my daughter was born. I took a couple months completely off from work (new dads will understand why), and then, right at the turn of the new year, I decided to start working again. The plan was to prototype a few of the juiciest ideas, pick one that really stood out, and make a new game in a few months. How hard could it be, right?
Those who put up with my incessant chatter (or rants, depending how long I’ve gone without a run) on Twitter, know that I recently moved out of my home office and leased an office in town. This change was mostly due to my wife and I having a baby daughter a few months ago. I’ve taken most of this time as an extended paternity leave, but when it was time to do some work again, it was clear that working from home wasn’t the ideal environment anymore. Continue reading