Annual Update?
[February 11, 2018]  4:57 PM

Boy howdy, it’s been too long.

I only really intended to update my Top 10 Favorite Games list on the About page, which is now a sprawling Top 25 list instead, but then I noticed the FAQ needed updating, as well, and that my last post here was about eleven months ago.

So, for starters, here is a list of introspective YouTube videos I’ve posted to my main channel in the past year:

Mar 27 | Originality is Overrated [10:16]
Sep 21 | Results [10:08]
Sep 25 | My Center [7:05]
Nov 23 | The Lesson of Zelda: Untitled Comic [5:06]
Dec 25 | My Time Machine [21:32]

If it isn’t apparent from watching those videos, I’ve been struggling with my creative identity for a long time, and I’ve been making a fierce effort to set my art brain straight lately, or at least straighter.  And, of course, much of my second-guessing is directly related to my age-old work-in-progress game, Project Comet.

Game developers will often tell you not to jump right into developing your magnum opus, and some will tell you to abandon the idea of trying to develop a magnum opus altogether.  I don’t agree with this mentality, because I believe the greatest results come from following your inspiration, and aiming high is an excellent way to learn new techniques and become more discerning about your work.

But it’s true that if you go into a project with a goal like mine, “Make what could be your new favorite game,” it can become a quest in which you spend years doubting yourself and getting little to nothing done.  One question I’ve constantly asked myself is, “What aspect of game design do I value most?” because I want to prioritize whatever that is and design the rest of the game around it.  The problem is, it seems like my answer to this question changes from day to day or from week to week.

I’ve lived in fear of designing a bad game, because in a weird way, some of the games that bore, annoy, or offend me are not all that different from games I love and defend. It’s also hard for me to grasp that I shouldn’t feel ashamed to have some unpopular design philosophy–harder still when the shame clouds my vision.

There’s not much of a “But the good news is…” ending to this story, because I continue to wrestle with my motivations.

But the good news is, I know there’s hope, and I’ve seen it in the form of a game called Iconoclasts, made by Joakim Sandberg over the course of seven years and conceptualized by him even longer.  It’s the most similar a game has ever come to the project bouncing in my head (while still being pretty different), it was made entirely by just one guy, and through countless hours of hard work and dedication, it’s finished.

My resolution this year was to stop worrying so much about making my game look and feel finished until it’s actually close to being finished.  Still haven’t fully adjusted to this mentality, but I believe it’s helped me so far.  Here’s to another year.

- Jonochrome


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