Sunday, February 23, 2014

Earning Your Players' Time

Developers often talk about this issue. How do I convince someone that my game is a game they should play? What makes it different or unique from all of the rest? Is it cheap enough to get more players but expensive enough that they take its contents seriously?

Those are good questions, but I have no answers for them yet. Very general "marketing" style sells feel very tacked on (though it is a necessary part). What I propose is that the concept of "earning your players' time" comes from asking these questions MUCH earlier on in the process: the making of the game itself.

I get nervous when I rely too much on my "gut feel" style of development because it may not encourage you to improve the game's Time-to-Sublime ratio. One of the best strategies to accomplishing this is putting your game in front of living, breathing people. Thinking about that ticking clock that is the player's engagement should be a high priority, especially after they've committed to your ideas by downloading and/or purchasing your game!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

About Me

"I'm a weird lady making weird games in Wisconsin; creator
of @suteF, working on The #Bulletromancer."

You could say this is the profile that I've always wanted; I've made at least one game that an insane amount of people have greatly enjoyed, I'm still working on my dream projects, and I am ... oh yeah.

I'm born male, but I've always felt I've truly been female. Beneath years of denial, fear, and incredible self-loathing, I've come to terms with the fact that I have to be who I need to be.

After starting my transition about 10 months ago, I've not only started becoming myself, but I've also been doing the best work of I've ever done as a game developer. I'm happy to wake up every day and see my coworkers who continue to respect me both as a person and a colleague. I go home at night and work on Bulletromancer, my friends and family still supporting me when I'm feeling vulnerable or ecstatic.

As someone who usually expects the worst things to happen, I was incredibly scared to even suggest that I am Transgender. I never thought people could be so supportive, kind, and understanding. Even if people don't quite understand the reasoning or even what I mean, I usually tell them this: "I'll look a little different, but I'm still going to be the same person you know, if not just a lot happier."

Your mileage may vary; if you feel this way, you may not be as fortunate as I have been and it may seem to be the most daunting thing in the world to overcome. At risk of sounding cliché (or maybe even just plain naïve), no matter how much you can or cannot contribute to your transition or even just growing personally, if you can accept yourself and be who you really are, everyone around you might not be able to help but feel the same.

Thank you to everyone for all of the kind words; the future is looking really bright, and I can't wait to continue making new, interesting games!


P.S: If you're curious, I'm still going to go by "Ted" as I don't see my name being too tied to my previously male identity. I'm starting to use feminine pronouns, though, but if you forget, I won't get angry. :)