2. game appeal and heart

19 January 2018

what would "somebody like you" do? A letter to myself


Hello > Appeal > Dream > Focus

Something to listen to



How are you going. Things here are fine. I’ve gotten lots of interview practice now! Although one piercing thought is that performing on an interview question can backfire since I wasn’t focused on any single industry. I needed to already know the answers to interview questions, not just figure them out on the spot.

How about games?

I’ve played less games. I still love games. I can still easily make time to play. But games are repeating themselves. When we describe a game as a “Good/Interesting take on the genre” I remain unconvinced until I see the game mechanics.

Some people are okay with this. Those who like a specific genre, and want to see different variations on it need additional content. I might envy this viewpoint.

Mechanics are the core of the game. The levels breathe life into the mechanics. Everything else holds together your imagination. A lack of visuals or audio can create a gap for your imagination to fill.

But I confess, there is one thing that concerns me about design.



I keep feeling there is a limit to appeal.

The types of players are too various, and many feelings players prefer to experience are mutually exclusive. You might want games that are punishing, like Dark Souls, or calmly lets you try the current area again like Mario Odyssey. You could prefer puzzles like Professor Layton or button mashing.

Button mashing itself, you might prefer isolated in a party minigame, or part of a quick time event. Sequences in rhythm games are standard, but the choice of instrument or dance pad appeals differently also.

Some players will learn how to play the game, improve, and then conquer a challenge. Some players prefer to be guided. When we build Lego sets, it is fun to follow the instructions. When we enter sandbox mode in Minecraft, we want choose what we make.

How much luck is involved with designing a game with widespread appeal? What makes the game spread? Something truly special is going to propagate itself. Does it really have to be luck? If you ever made a game, don’t you want it to reach everybody?

Around high school, this slowly made me scared of making games, even if seeing others play your games is fun.



Hope you’re doing well, working on something meaningful. How much will you still play games? How much of it is a part of your life.

In your heart, what are you? Anything or nothing, gamer or programmer, a father or a son? Where are you going? How far ahead into the future have you planned?

Instead of overwhelming you lets ask the simplest question. Are you yourself?

“Somebody like you” probably did have a specific goal.

“Somebody like you” might have done things different.

Anyway, instead of getting caught up thinking instead of doing anything, if you really are yourself, you can be that somebody.

I think every time I say “Somebody like me”, I really meant to say “If I follow a dream”.



You are easily distracted. Everyone is easily distracted, to be fair.

But it’ll stop you from putting everything towards a single goal.

When you check out a news article, try out new music, see if anything can tide your boredom, perhaps consider approaching life like you can with design.

Is what you’re doing necessary? You can stop anything at any time.

So, did you want to live life with a distinct goal to fight towards, or to make enough money to try out whatever tickles your fancy?

Why are you doing this blog? Did you actually want to playing games or make games?

“Somebody like you” is probably going to pick… well? You can’t change your answer later. You won’t always have both, since time is not on your side.

“Somebody like you”, deep in their heart has already chosen.

Thankfully you have too.

[2. game appeal and heart]

Hello > Appeal > Dream > Focus