Make Bad Games

March 3, 2017 at 6:29 pm / by

My rant at the 2011 GDC Social Game Developers Rant Session received the 2012 Duct Tape Award for best rant. The acceptance rant I gave when receiving that award then itself won the Duct Tape Award the following year. This is my acceptance rant for my acceptance rant for my rant, originally presented in March of 2013.


So, this was me 2 years ago on this panel. I gave a rant about social games. It went well!


And, this was me last year, accepting the coveted duct tape award (I was feeling a little… full of myself).


I gave this very short talk about how I spend too much time talking about making games at conferences, and not enough time actually making games. I was gonna do it different in 2012. That was my PROMISE. So now it’s 2013 and I’m back up on stage, thanks to Chris and Eric and Jason. Did I keep my promise?


NOPE.


See, 2012 kind of sucked. For a lot of reasons that weighed on me heavily.

But what seemed to weigh on me the most was that I wasn’t making games. The stakes felt too high. I felt like I owedit to myself to make something GOOD or MEANINGFUL.And I had this promise I had made — to myself, to an entire audience at GDC — that I was going to MAKE THINGS.And I WASN’T. And I was failing everyone.

Maybe this is familiar to other people. That voice in your head that doesn’t tolerate anything less than amazing. But itcrushes my passion. It paralyzes me in fear, and it stops me from creating, for fear of making anything NOT GOOD.When it got bad enough, I decided that I need to stop trying to make something good, and just MAKE SOMETHING.


So I started making BAD GAMES.


Bad games are the games that I don’t need to qualify. I don’t care what you think of them, but I love them all because *I* made them. I’m not worried about whether or not they’re GOOD (whatever “good” means anymore). They’re allowed to just be games.


Making Bad Games let me keep my promise to make things in 2012.


And 2013 has been a better year for me because of bad games.


As game makers, I think we need to remember the value of making things, regardless of quality. We make games for OURSELVES as much as we make them for others. And the games we make don’t have to be good to have value. They don’t have to be Fun. Or beautiful. Or clever. Games don’t have to BE anything. Games just have to BE. We need to remember to make games for the sake of MAKING GAMES, regardless of qualifiers.

I hope we can all make bad games together. Thank you!

 
 

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