While feeling a bit overwhelmed about what to do next, what problem to tackle next I stumbled over a bunch of games related to my idea the other day. I found screenshots of Starsector (previously called Starfarer) and then had another look at Space Pirates and Zombies. After a small search I also found VoidExpanse & Endless Sky.
So many games doing the same thing that I was out to do and still, very far away from achieving – that realization dawned on me in that moment. For me this is an age-old problem that I struggle with quite often. No matter what, I’ll never be able to come up with ideas that haven’t been thought of before – I’ll never create something that nobody else has thought of and as such – what is the point?
Is it not a waste of time to spend hours upon hours building something that, essentially, somebody else built before you?
There is a certain kind of duality in this.
If nothing means anything, then I may just as well do it for the fun and experience. On one hand, that goes for pretty much everything – while we do have innovation every now and again, we tend to call new products, ideas and inventions innovative if nobody thought of those in that specific combination.
It may not be the best example but I’ll use UBER for that purpose now. Taxis have been around in the western countries for a long long time and UBER isn’t something radically new, however the very specific combination of availability, the amount of information you receive as a rider and the use of modern technology made it innovative. If you don’t want to call it innovative, then it was at least an amazing business idea.
(Not to go into any of the bad rep UBER has for their business practices, just using it as an example)
So by that logic, there is almost never a point to try to do anything since all of those things have been done before, almost any conceivable subject has been talked about, drawn about and so on.
Another nice example would be Blizzard Entertainment. One would hardly call any of their games innovative in their core concepts:
– World of Warcraft: MMO RPG
– Hearthstone: Card game
– Heroes of the Storm: MOBA
– StarCraft: RTS
However, the innovation lies in the details and in the execution. While at some point the name Blizzard itself was enough to give people a reason to purchase one of their games, there is also a fair amount of changes to core concepts that they either took and streamlined, simplified or simply made more available for the more casual crowd.
Now what does all of this have to do with motivation?
The point and the origin of my game was a specific lack of a game like that. I’ve listed a fair number of them in the beginning, so how could there be a lack of those games?
It’s not necessarily a lack of those games but these kinds of games, that I like to play.
Some prefer a more tactical approach to fights, some almost like to achieve a 4X lite experience and others again just do the combat in a way, that I simply don’t like. This was also the case while looking into these games. Some of them are just horribly complicated to use and not arcade enough for my taste. Starsector for instance is heavy on the tactical side of things (with beautiful art) with the option to manually control ships – however that seemed to be highly frustrating due to sluggish controls. The looks of the combat and the way it feels is close to what I hope to achieve. The way it is played, definitely not.
Space Pirates and Zombies on the other hand gets the combat better, more fluid, more control but it doesn’t feel realistic enough, it doesn’t feel meaty. The others weren’t even impressive enough to invest too much time into.
This actually helped me regain a bit of my motivation and my strength to move forward with my project. I suppose one could say that it’s always about achieving a certain vision, reaching that very specific goal. It’s all about the details.
The conclusion would be that my game, should it ever be completed, will undoubtedly be congruent with my vision and my ideals, however it may fall flat when it comes to the requirements and wishes of others. One of the lessons I’ve learned here is that it’s all subjective, be true to your vision and it may just work out.
The featured image at the top is, as you may have figured out by now, not all that well of a match to the topic at hand but the best I could manage. 😛