Possible: is the alignment of physical reality and mental reality.
The best: is an illusion of the imagination which can be destructive or creative.
There is a VERY big difference here that actually separates the losers from winners. I see this clearly now – it is how you use that vision of what is best that distinguishes the genius from the mad man.
I forgot for a while how important positive feedback is. The comments, forums and e-mails serve a purpose for me and I should use it. For example I got reminded how I made Soldat. It’s easy to forget but Soldat was crap a long time ago. It had potential, but it was non-playable buggy and laggy, extremely unbalanced and without any reasonable community. Soldat was released with just potential.
I had no idea what I was doing and how long it would last. I was very insecure about the game back then, constantly thinking that I’m wasting time.
Yet me and the people that first downloaded Soldat saw the potential, believed in it and decided to give it a try (especially all those from the old communities Selfkill, DNAGames and countless individuals that just had a heart to help me out). So we started building it and making it better. Slowly but surely it became the best. This is a ready and proved model for making independent games. Why not use this method again?
The problem with creating a sequel is that you start focusing on the big new improvements and features that the previous game didn’t have. And as I learned during these years focus is everything. FOCUS. Not only in programming but generally in any task you want to accomplish. If I want to write a game that is equal to Soldat or greater I can use exactly the same methodology I used back then and it will work. What method did I use back then?
Absolutely none. I didn’t have enough experience to accomplish such task or even know how to do it. It seems like it is too much. I look back at all the stuff I’ve made for Soldat it’s ridiculous and I don’t believe I found time to do it. But it happened. The only thing I had was dedication and focus. Actually dedication is just intense, exclusive focus.
Skills are not needed (I still don’t like my programming skills).
Confidence is not needed (actually ignorance helps, I had no idea how much trouble there actually is in maintaining a multiplayer game).
The irony is that it is actually easier to do something from a fresh point of view because there is less distractions. In the time when I had no community, no partners, no websites, no people e-mailing me the only thing I focused on was making the game. On top of that there are additions that I add myself. I want this game to be million times better than Soldat. This is wrong focus.
If I focus on scripting, new technology, community features I focus on these things as if the game was already there done. But it isn’t. I’m making a new game and engine from scratch.
I’ve done a lot of thinking lately. I could say that making Link-Dead or Berserker is hard. But that is never the point. Whether something is hard or easy is just a subjective mental abstraction based on some random data. You can change the way you think about something in an instant if you know how, and actually make the hard things in life easy. So making a sequel can be as easy as making Soldat or even easier!
The solution is to focus on creating something/anything that is playable.
To do this, you do the same as with any good meditation exercise. You cut down distractions leaving only one thing in your mind.
Distractions are: community, blog, game features other than what makes the game playable (everything should be as simple as possible). This is why I am becoming more and more alienated. Blogs and dev logs are rare (and I don’t really plan on doing frequent updates like last year, sorry). I’m nearly lost in what’s going on in the Soldat community (I can’t be involved more than focusing on releasing the new version from a logistic point of view).
So what can you expect in the future from me and Transhuman Design?
– New Soldat version.
– Finally releasing something new to play with.
The news from April 4th is still valid. That’s why I haven’t made any official updates. We are still reorganizing everything we have made and figuring out what is the best way to do it. Many things we made and even shown publicly are either not acceptable or not possible to create and won’t make it in the final product. We’ve learned many lessons and we’ve got a lot more motivation. I also see that we don’t have enough resources to finish some things. The tools development is lagging and it would be awesome if we found an amazing programmer that would like to focus on that (hint: contact me).
Focus on what is possible, the best will come by itself. See you soon.