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Medaverse Developer Diary: A Simple Challenge

Introduction: Jesse Lowther

by Jesse Lowther - October 16, 2009, 8:37 am PDT

A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a WiiWare title with Medaverse Studios.


Introduction


By: Jesse Lowther, Medaverse Studios CEO and Lead Designer

"Making games is hard." The words of Jeff Kreis, the only member of the Medaverse team who had any prior experience working in the industry and who had joined the team midway through the development of Gravitronix. I had heard him say this on a number of occasions, and I believed him. That's the funny part: I never doubted him, not even for a second. Yet, believing that making games is difficult and understanding that you will face these challenges doesn't keep them away or even come close to preventing them from happening. It's like how wearing a necklace of garlic should protect you from vampires but in all likelihood won't. No matter how prepared you may think you are, you aren't.

Blood, sweat and tears go into every game. The blood is your health, as you lose sleep chasing down a critical problem, not wanting to leave the office until you've solved it. The sweat is making and remaking a piece of art or a sound effect until you have consensus on it, possibly revising it ten times or more until it's deemed acceptable. The tears come from watching something you've poured your heart and soul into for years overlooked completely or sardonically dismissed in a single sentence.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what making games is like. It's a long, drawn out effort that may prove to have no reward at all. It's a timed race with an illusory finish line that keeps moving further away when you've almost reached it. It's blindfolded archery: you may simply let the arrow fly where ever and happen to hit your target or you may aim as hard as you can at where you believe it to be and miss completely.

And yet, despite the masochistic nature of it, there's nothing else I could see myself doing with my life. The allure of game development is too powerful for me. I loved making Gravitronix. Even when it was at its most painful, I was still enjoying myself. Looking back now at the process and how everything unfolded, we made a lot of necessary mistakes: it was all part of the learning process, the first hurdle before moving onto something greater.

Throughout this feature, I'll be discussing the entire process from beginning to end, including my background as a gamer and why I wanted to develop games of my own. You might come away shaking your head, or you may very well find that this sounds like something you yourself may want to do for a living. Either way, I hope you enjoy "A Simple Challenge".

Stay tuned for the next part of this feature, especially if you're thinking about making games for a living. The answers as to how to become a certified game developer may surprise you...

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