Reflection #5: State Machine 2017 Part 1

It is that time of year again. IGF judging rolls around, I'm sifting through hundreds of professional and student submissions to play some of the most thought provoking, inspirational and trendy games around. I enjoy this so much. If you get too busy making games instead of playing them you understand where I'm coming from. Too often I feel like I am wasting my time if I don't work, work, work any chance I get. I highly encourage signing up for it when the open call goes out. It is a solid break from dev time and something that will give you a breath of fresh air, some clarity, and some perspective about the industry and the competition and the market right now.

For the sake of ambiguity and professionalism I won't be talking about any game specifically. This is merely a reflection, or the first part of a reflection, on some of the things I've taken note of that could be beneficial to others.

- Getting your game out there is hard. It doesn't matter how hard you write your quip or try to get attention. There will be people who love it, hate it or outright ignore it. This is fine.
- More of the same is okay, I think. Some games just work. Sequels or spiritual successors don't need to transform the original formula but enhance it.
- It can be easy to dismiss things at first glance. By a cover, a thumbnail, or a title menu or tutorial. Give things a chance beyond this initial glance.
- Small scope and a unique look is enough.
- When it comes to telling a story just let me watch and see things play out or just exist. It can be a character or scene lasting 10 seconds over 2. It goes a long, long way.
- The tool you used doesn't define the outcome of the game's success. One of the most engaging games I saw was made in Multimedia Fusion 2.
- It is difficult to get people to properly judge your game if you require multiple players or specific equipment. Make it as easy as possible to get your game if this is the case.

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