Sessler's Soapbox: Creativity is Integral to Game Creation

Posted: June 10, 2009
Sessler's Soapbox: Creativity is Integral to Game Creation
Adam explains why you don't need a degree in computer science or animation to work on video games, and he even suggests ways you could study to help develop your creative story-telling ability.

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  • ransom386

    My favorite game of all time is Conker's Bad Fur Day. The game is fun because it has the central genre of a 3d platformer, but each chapter may as well be a different game. You start off with some really traditional platforming, but soon you're fetching cheese and navigating it through traps for a rat, then playing hide-and-seek with some pacifist bees, then riding a pitchfork fighting a Terminator bail of hay, only to knife-throw your way back to the surface to roll balls of poo around before you're in a 3d water level before throwing rolls of toilet paper into the poop monster's mouth and racing cavemen on a surfboard over lava and so on and so forth and so on and so forth until you're eventually in a war, and the game is a 3rd-person shooter!

    The game stays fun and exciting the entire way through by using the simple platforming mechanics to deliver a new experience every hour or so so cohesively that the player doesn't even notice anything changed until they read through the chapters list after completing the game.

    It also helps that the game is outright hilarious and features full voice acting and amazing visuals on the N64.

    Posted: July 12, 2009 9:26 PM
  • MrRockstar2U

    Adam, this is more or less a favor. Could you please tell whoever is running the G4 Site that soapbox does not load on Google Chrome. This forces me to use my crappy IE and FireFox browser. Before the upgrade/update I was able to watch Soapbox on Chrome.

    Posted: June 18, 2009 9:59 AM
  • devi1pastry

    i think that fallout 3 is fun because its so open ended and expansive. also its fun on how there are different ways to do missions. I think that freedom of choice and adaptive enemy AI are important to a video game.( easy and well laid out controls are impotrant too.)

    Posted: June 16, 2009 8:51 PM
  • jkma7x

    Well I began playing through the Orange Box and i absolutely loved the half life series over the other titles on the disc. The Half Life series had a very creative easy to follow story and bunch of characters that you come to love throughout the duration of the game. Now as for the game play all of the weapons in your arsenal feel very powerful and are all very fun and effective to use.

    Posted: June 16, 2009 8:33 AM
  • KornRulez

    I believe that the most esential part of a video game is it's reward system. You can see this has evolved and everyone has made a form of this, I came to this conclution when they introduced the lvl system to Call of Duty. weather its a lvl up or a new weapon you can use or how you glow when you do lvl up it come down to what is the player doing (playing the video game) for. If you stated WoW at lvl 80 (or whatever the highest lvl you can get now) and with all the sweet arrmor no one would play it (kinda of the extreme of my point but I made it and it's out there).
    Also i think on the same basest for reward, that there has to be a part in the game were the player 'forgets' he/she is actually playing a game. with out this moment the player will always be deatacted from the game and not feel the 'need' to get that one more lvl up. All the graphics in the world won't help you if no one 'has' to play the game.

    Posted: June 13, 2009 10:56 PM
  • Pugovitz

    I always agree with Adam, he seems like he really knows what he's talking about. I have to say though, he kinda dropped the ball with his "advice" today. I'm not saying I disagree with him. On the contrary, I think about what is "fun" in a philosophic sense and analyze why different games are fun.

    That said, I don't think Adam answered the core of the question he initially started talking about. What does it take to become a game maker? Over the past couple of years I've decided to be a game maker and I've been doing research as to what I need to do to make it happen. People need to know that there are some very specific jobs in the industry and your idea of what is fun doesn't always matter. Granted, it is of course always important to keep fun in mind, even when doing menial tasks at a company, but in the end a lot people in the industry don't make these creative decisions, they do their own specialized tasks.

    If someone really is thinking about trying to get into the game industry, they need to think about what their personal strengths and interests are. If you can't write or draw at all, you're not cut out for the creative work, but if you're really good at math you may be a good programmer. There are also ways of using less obvious college degrees; if you got a degree in Psychology, maybe you can be a manager or something.

    I would suggest anyone who wants to join the games industry but isn't sure what they want to do or how to get to where they want to do check out the book Video Game Careers by Hodgson, Stratton, and Rush (ISBN: 9780761557050)

    Posted: June 11, 2009 4:50 PM
  • sukTHEfacc

    Adam's such a chill dude. Between him, Kevin from AOTS, and my best friend, I would be the happiest person.

    you rock ses! you stand for everything that's awesome. Although I disagree with you a bit less than half the time, I still give you credit for stating your point firmly and passionately. Seeing what your stances are on games, theory, and life keeps me coming back here, whether I agree or not. We need more people like you in this industry- with no biased ways of thinking- unlike the popular reps promoting their own games and systems.

    Posted: June 11, 2009 3:42 PM
  • Flynfsh

    I was playing Project Reality (a mod for BF2) and if you have played it, you know what i'm talking about...
    so i was playing, and i had made my own squad. all of a sudden, people started joining it, and i had never really been a squad leader before, but i just took charge. and the squad members listened. and we owned. it felt good to have that cooperation that you never see in other games without being in a clan. it made it so much more fun.

    (is it me or was the game Adam was talking about Dragonball-Z?? dragons, and evil, and stuff scattered all around the world that you need to defeat it and stuff...)

    Posted: June 11, 2009 1:44 PM
  • KayleL

    I am planning to get into the industry through good 3d animation schools (I aiming for Sheridan, world renowned in the field)

    There isn't one core thing that makes a video game very fun. However, I find that some of my favourite games are very character driven. I absolutely like Bioware games, and if you played Kotor, Jade Empire, or Mass Effect, you would know that you can connect to the protagonist because you can affect the story through character interactions.

    The Last Guardian looks very interesting because you can see the connection between the boy and the colossus (or what ever creature it is). You care about that character, and went to see what they are going to do next. This is exactly what books and movies been doing for years, and it worked well so far.

    I know many people are going to say that freedom to do anything you want is what makes a good game. I find that a problem because too often, you are going to be using the same tactic for every attack you do. That doesn't broaden the game for you. It makes people's experience different from others, however, in the end, it's about your experience.

    Posted: June 10, 2009 9:06 PM
  • Stimpak_Addict

    I like the new interface, but clicking the "disable fullscreen" icon when in fullscreen mode doesn't seem to work.

    And as always, I agree with Adam. If I remember, I'll get on that chat about what makes games good.

    Posted: June 10, 2009 3:59 PM
  • butmunch34

    The twitter won't work just sayin

    Posted: June 10, 2009 2:42 PM