Game Maker

Putting myself in a creative environment provides a fantastic feedback loop. The environment will present you with challenges, you solve them by creating solutions, and when you can’t, you spend time away from that environment noodling over how to fix it. It’s wonderful. You can’t wait to get back and take a crack at it.

Making games, at an individual level, naturally creates that environment to perfection. The end-goal is simple: publish your game. Along the way you’ve got a mountain of code to write, artwork to create, or possibly even some business management. The beauty of the indie dev situation is that you’re in control of the complete process. There is nobody to hold you accountable. Nobody is there to make sure you punch in. Nobody is asking you to come to meetings to report your status. You, and you alone, determine how far you go. It’s either dauting, or inspiring, depending on your perspective.

I find it rather inspiring.

The game I’m working on is currently titled: SUPER Z-Ball. I know, a ridiculously self-serving title. The gameplay is simple, and draws from several other games for its core mechanics. Use your paddle to keep balls in play (ala Breakout) and destroy all of the highlighted bricks (ala Peggle) while trying to get the highest score possible (ala pinball).

The reason for the game choice was simple: I like playing them. By iterating on ideas that I already find fun it frees me up to focus on execution. SUPER Z-Ball provides a playground to gain experience with Game Maker Studio 2. In addition, I’m learning how to make pixel art with Aesprite. Lastly, there are SO MANY talented indie devs out there! Building a network on Twitter to learn, share, and connect (@603zim) will be inspiring.

This is phase one of a bigger plan. There is a design doc brewing for a multiplayer title after this. As someone who’s done lots of network development, I’m fully aware of how much bigger of a challenge that is. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a game to be made!