What is your End Game?

in Advice

So, you are going to make a game. You’ve opened up RPG Maker, and done some planning.

But have you though about where you are going to do once the game is finished? Why are you making it? What do you want to get out of it once its done?

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It’s something I’ve found most people just don’t ask themselves. I didn’t even ask myself this until I was much much further into the hobby. What is it, that I wanted to get out of making a game?

I’ve found that personally, I’m not as interested in making a game as I am just figuring out how to make things work. Its more of a puzzle to me and the mental exercise is what I want to get out of it. It changes how I approach the program knowing that that is really what I enjoy. I still have a passion for seeing other people make games, and providing the environment to help them do that.

To me, RPG Maker is a lot like Lego. The fun is in figuring out how to build something.

To me, RPG Maker is a lot like Lego. The fun is in figuring out how to build something.

But I get really curious sometimes. Why? Why do people use RPG Maker? Why do they want to make games?

Knowing your goal, it changes things. It changes what you build, it changes how you respond to criticism. Once I realized that the puzzle aspect of building was what appealed to me, I stopped writing game outlines. Finishing games was not a goal for me anymore. I just started thinking up interesting mechanics, and implementing them in the program. I got my fun out of the program.

So what is your end game? Are you building your game to build up a portfolio? Are you building a game to build your own world? Are you building a game so that it can be popular? Or maybe you are like me and its the puzzle aspect of fitting together your own game.

This blog post is a bit different. Because I’m not trying to tell you something. I’m trying to get you to tell yourself something. And everyone’s answer will probably be a little bit different, and that’s OK! What are you making the game for? What is your dream for the game? What is your END GOAL? And how does thinking about it and identifying that goal change how you are approaching your game design?

Join the Conversation in the comments below!

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  • Tor Damian

    For me it’s this unquenchable thirst for exploring new horizons, and for creating things. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember. As a child, I quickly moved on from duplo blocks to standard lego to technic lego with pneumatics and electronics, usually many years ahead of the age rating on the packages. I could sit and build new combinations of transforming vehicles with my technic lego blocks for hours.

    My mom had to kick me out the door to get me out into the sunlight, but I’m glad she did. Out there I played pretend adventures with friends, acting out new chapters of action movies we weren’t actually allowed to see, or coming up with our own scenarios entirely. We could play until our parents had to come find us and drag us back home.

    This never died in me as I grew older. I’ve never been particularly good at school, usually ending up slightly above the middle of the grading scales. But when a topic did interest me, I’d do exceedingly well, because once I get curious about something, I chase that knowledge all the way down the rabbit hole. English was one such interest, early on, because I wanted to read The Lord of the Rings at age 10, but wasn’t good enough at the language. So I learned on my own time.

    For me, creating isn’t a hobby; it’s honestly my “raison d’etre”. Everything I do in life circles around this well of inspiration and, whenever I have tried to block it off temporarily, it crushes my spirits. Once I let it flow I am alive again.

    Making games, then, is something I arrived at due to many previous events in my life; getting a surprise GameBoy at the age of 8 from my father whom lived in another country, and subsequently getting mesmerized by the fantastic words I would experience on that tiny screen. Learning programming by making levels in Unreal in Unreal Editor, then moving onto Flash and web development. Studying technical drawing and CAD, and later on studying graphic design; I get a use for everything I’ve done in life when I make games. And I feed the creative energies that drive me. It’s pretty much the perfect activity.

    If there is such a thing as destiny, nothing feels more like it to me than making games.

  • Sprintingkiwi

    Interesting question… XD

  • Dakota

    This is a great post that has me going back and thinking why am I making this particular game? What is my goal? I’ve noticed I’ll have a story I want to tell but when I open RPG Maker I don’t usually work on developing the story but the mechanics. Which tends to lead me to focusing on the mechanics so much I loose track of what I needed the game to be to tell the story I wanted to tell. Adding all the features you can doesn’t necessarily make a better game. Sometimes it’s knowing which ones are needed to accomplish your goal and leave out the rest, even if they’re tempting to do.

  • Razelle

    I can’t help it. I have this urge to create, and now RPG Maker happens to be one extra outlet to do that. But what to do after it’s done? Hopefully people will enjoy what I create.