“Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon.”
– Terry Pratchett
At the beginning of the month I set out to learn about designing video games and to go clubbing more often. With my challenge winding down, here are a handful of things that I learned from it:
Game design can be as complex or as simplistic as you want
I grew up playing 90’s and early 2000’s video games. A lot of what I played had been influenced by existing tabletop games. Stuff inspired by Dungeons & Dragons typically followed the same rules and system that the physical game did. Fallout was turn based and didn’t feel like Call of Duty yet. Even games like Total Annihilation had a very board game feel to them.
Barring graphical advances, a lot of games still have a lot more in common with their tabletop counterparts than many people probably realize. I play something called Faster Than Light which could honestly be recreated with dice and some cardboard cut outs. Other popular stuff, like mobile games, aren’t terribly sophisticated either. Words With Friends is Scrabble, and a lot of other popular distractions take their influence from classic card games or carnival competitions.
Once I learned how game design actually worked, it was pretty easy to break down different genres and to better understand various mechanics. While I won’t claim to be an expert, my knowledge greatly improved. Like with most things, once you learn the basic structure it’s pretty easy to break down the majority items that fit each archetypes.
I still hate nightclubs
Last year was the year I officially got old. New music sounded horrible to me, I started valuing things like sleep and proper nutrition over partying all night, and I got more joy from investing in myself than I did external validation. Unsurprisingly, I got really sick of nightclubs. Listening to some bass boosted Juicy J and Miley Cyrus song while a drunk girl accidentally spills her Crantini on your leg isn’t worth the cover charge and parking.
Additionally, not drinking or dancing kind of makes clubs a bit incongruent to my personality. I prefer, and am better suited for, talking to girls at coffee shops and book stores. As an added bonus, these types of venues aren’t filled with thirsty dudes, or the infamous “mother hen.”
I had some fun this month, and learned some interesting stuff. While I don’t think that this was my most interesting challenge, I did enjoy it.