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This isn’t a dev diary, this is just me talking to me. Cause I’m not sure who else to tell this to.

The first quarter in my Game Design masters is wrapping up. The big thing on everyone’s mind is the Greenlight pitch. Every student needs to pitch their idea for an awesome game to a team of industry professionals, and five of those ideas will be selected and turned into next quarter’s projects. Everyone’s pretty excited with their ideas, and I’m…not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every part of this program. I’ve learned all sorts of things, and while the workload has been steep, it’s reinforced that game design is my true passion and my calling at this stage of my life. But I’m drawing a complete blank on anything to pitch for the Greenlight, and there’s no real point lying to myself…I’m hoping I don’t get picked. I don’t want to be selected. I want to work on someone else’s project as a writer, do my job and keep my nose out of other people’s business.

I’m well aware that’s not the right attitude going into the most important pitch of the quarter, and I’m not sure how to break it. I’ve confessed this to my parents and the program director, and both reminded me of what I already know: this is an opportunity that won’t come around once I’m part of the greater games industry. I’ve got a whole career ahead of me where I’ll be making other people’s games, I need to seize this opportunity to make something I’ve always wanted to.

But I already make whatever I want. The internet is littered with hundreds of my games, articles, GIFs, scripts, and videos. There’s no secret dream project I’ve always been fantasizing about, because I just go ahead and make anything I’m thinking of. And the ones I haven’t made yet are all solo projects because that’s how I work best. Medical Necessity isn’t actually something I’m hoping wins; it’s my latest solo project framed as a ‘prototype’ because I can’t very well march up in front of the judges and go “Yeah, I got nothing.” I know it’s not stage fright; I love talking in front of a crowd. If only I could pitch for somebody else…

I guess in a way this is something of a comforting position. I can’t really lose if I’m hoping not to win. Part of me worries that I’m sabotaging myself, or lying to myself because I don’t want to face the prospect of losing, and I’ll regret this attitude after the Greenlight comes and goes, but we’ll just have to see. At the moment, I’m far more excited about the Ford pitch. The Just Us League is going to blow them out of the water.

Dev diary #8

I had a tough time coming up with my idea for this Greenlight. As I’ve mentioned in other dev diaries, none of my ideas felt right the correct scope. They were either too easy, designed for a single developer to create at his own pace, or they were ambitious multiplayer games that required teams far larger than the purview of this team.

I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure how great my idea even is. It was something I found in my Google Drive, where I’ve written design documents for various ideas over the years. I pitched a few of them to Eddie and Kelsey, and this was the only one they thought sounded interesting. My original plan was completely different; I was going to pitch Streaker Simulator, a humorous third-person parkour platformer where the player character ran around with no clothes on at public events like soccer matches or Macy’s Day Parades, and you scored points based on both how long you evaded the ever-increasing security measures and accomplished objectives (like tagging every player on the pitch). Program director said it wasn’t breaking any new ground, and the judges would be looking specifically for clever idealistic games hoping to make something new, not just another simulator. These are fair criticisms, so instead the game I’m pitching is Medical Necessity, a top-down 2D puzzle game framed as a healer in a CSGO-style shooter. You’re the healer on a 5-man team of bots, facing an identical team of 5 bots, and the two teams will try to kill each other. Your job is to figure out how you need to position yourself and heal the right people to keep your team in the fight long enough to win the match and move onto the next level.

medical necessity

This week’s reading was on Digital prototyping. I plan to prototype my game in Clickteam Fusion, since I know how to crank out quick playable prototypes. I can’t play a prototype during the Greenlight pitch, so I’m going to record my prototype as a long GIF and include that in my powerpoint presentation. I plan on having that prototype done quickly so I can playtest and refine it ASAP.