Sunday, October 26, 2014

Creativity With Gaming

John Marine | 6:53 PM | |
Gaming is much different today compared to times past. It used to be that you had to work for a major company and have all kinds of programming knowledge to make games. That clearly isn't the case today. It is almost like anyone can make a game these days. Some have the resources and skills to make games; some others don't. Even I had my own gaming concepts. I have no work to share here. Instead, I just want to discuss creativity in regards to gaming. Feel free to offer your thoughts if you want to.

About the Label: "Gaming"

One such creative category is in the realm of gaming. Video games, computer games, and mobile games are what this label entails. This involves various insights and perspectives in regards to expressing creativity in gaming.

--- Creativity With Gaming ---

While I don't have any knowledge or experience in creating games, I certainly am attentive to and mindful of gaming. Any game should be as engaging as a good book or a good movie. What makes gaming fun and engaging is the ability to have the audience engaged in a story or an environment where one's actions dictate the pace. In other words... gaming creativity lies entirely in having the individual engaged and active in trying to engage in a story. You are letting others experience a story rather than being told a story. This lends itself to the joy and fun of gaming.

--- Programs for Gaming ---

There are many different programs these days that allow for inexperienced people to create their own games. In the past, you had only so limited resources to make your own content. Most of that created content was never really as good as what even material by lesser game developers would create. Some games even allowed players to customize content in helping make their own games. Certain game engines help make this possible.

Unity 3D.

Unless you have the money to fully pay for this program in its entirety (some $1.5K US Dollars worth!), you're likely better off getting a subscription or paying for some lesser version of this program. Unity 3D is one of the best game development software going today. You can make 2D games with Unity 3D, so don't let the "3D" in Unity 3D mislead you. Unity involves a lot of different elements to build games with. Even an amateur can create a simple game using Unity and its many different resources. More proper companies and more professional types can make games that could even rival Triple-A game companies and franchises.


More casual gaming types can enjoy what GameMaker provides. YoYo Games is the creator of the GameMaker program. You can make both 2D and 3D games with GameMaker.

Those are only two of the more popular game-building software you can download or purchase.

--- Creativity With Gaming: Why Bother? ---

If you think about it, there is a reason why games have their appeal. Games tell stories in which the game player is directly involved. Games operate differently from literature in the sense that a game offers a level of immersion and influence that reading literature doesn't really provide. When you play a game (or even reading some kind of literature), you become part of the realm provided by the creator. You become part of a realm outside of our own and must try to exist within this alternate realm. Most games, unlike most forms of literature, give you the control to adversely affect the outcome of whatever story is being told. Many games have an ultimate goal (or sometimes multiple goals) for which the participating player will eventually reach. Some of these goals can come in the form of alternate endings or even bad endings. A gamer obviously wants to be involved in good endings because that is where all the hard work goes towards.

Why did I say "most games" in my description of gaming? The reason why is because not all games have specific goals or elaborate storylines, and not every game has an overall goal to accomplish. Not every game has that definitive final level or that final battle. Some games seem to have an end level or some sort of difficult level, but then loops back to the very first level as you already have a super high score. So not every game has a true "final level" or "final boss."

Creativity With Gaming: Design.

A lot of the games from some of the top gaming companies and developers offer the insight and the passion that fuels our creativity and gets us to play them. After seeing a lot of what a lot of independent (or "indie," because I tend to think of India for some reason when I hear "indie" sometimes) game makers are designing, indie game companies and developers offer more unique experiences with the sort of character and personality most big budget companies are devoid of. A lot of indie developers are progressive thinkers and take on different gaming avenues against the usual standards set by the more mainstream companies. There are cases even where indie games are just as popular- if not more so- than most mainstream titles! Part of the reason is because a lot of indie games are designed with a sort of unique style which seems fairly casual in nature while still making sure to focus on great gameplay. In fact, some may argue indie games are designed with more personality and focus a lot more on gameplay than a lot of other mainstream titles.

--- Creativity With Gaming: Final Thoughts ---

No matter what kind of gamer you are or what you find paramount to gaming, everyone has a certain level of creativity based on many design elements. There is no right way or any proper guidelines on how games should be designed. Everyone designs games based on what they want to offer to players. Only the better developers are able to capture an experience that will be revered and loved by many for a long while.

--- Creativity With Gaming: Indie Game Examples (BONUS SECTION!) ---

I am devoting this entire section to a variety of indie games. You can click on the links below to check out some of various games in case you're interested. I am providing this section to further extend the point about creativity with making games. So take a look and get involved with these titles if they interest you. Each featured game is met with a description. Read the description below each link to get a general idea of what each game is about.

NOTE: Be warned that some of these featured titles may or may no longer be in development. Some games may still just be in Alpha or Beta stages. Some games still in development may NEVER be released. So in other words... I am only providing these links for educational purposes.

Stonehearth is a city-building game. Gather resources with your crew and also battle monsters that dare threaten your city and your people.

Build and Shoot
After "Ace of Spades" was sold off to Jagex, dedicated fans made their own re-imagining of "Ace of Spades." "Build and Shoot" is a voxel first-person shooter built in just about the same vein as the former Ace of Spades.

Voxatron is third-person shooting game. It is styled somewhat by games like Smash TV. Players can take part in any number of the different levels and challenges offered. Also, players can make their own levels and characters.

King Voxel
Mostly in the likeness of the very first The Legend of Zelda, King Voxel is an action RPG that will seriously appeal to Zelda fans.

Blocky Roads
This is a driving game where you must rebuild your farm after a hurricane destroyed everything. You'll have to venture out into the world and rebuild your farm piece-by-piece. The goal is to traverse around the terrain while collecting coins to purchase material. Later with progress in the game, you will be able to make your own machines. You can change skins as well as upgrade vehicles and buy new ones.

An action RPG with a Minecraft style to it in survival and in crafting items. Collect resources and build and maintain a city. Loads of monsters roam the colorful world of Trove. So make sure you're equipped to take on these challenges... or die trying!

Fist Puncher
A beat-em-up in the vein of games like "River City Ransom" and "Double Dragon," with RPG-style customization and upgrading elements.

Drift Stage
An independent racing game with a style that screams '90s arcade racer. It is purely arcade.

Space Qube
This is a shoot-em-up styled like the After Burner series but in space.

Spark Rising
Build and customize ships and take part in battle with this futuristic action game.

Here is a game where you go through a dungeon and try to survive against the many monsters that inhabit the dungeon.

As a failed game character, you are part of a world trying to learn about life before you eventually die. It is a 3D voxel game.

This game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. You are trying to survive against a handful of evil people, creatures, and machinery.

The Kindred
This game is allows you to explore and build cities. There are also elements of exploration and survival as you go about creating your cities and living within this realm. (SPECIAL NOTE: I included this title in respect to one of the people behind this project- Nellie.)

I just wanted to make a notion to these games to help push the point across about creativity through gaming. I'm sure if you are reading this blog and this blog post, and if you represent any of the games I mentioned; then I'm sure you wouldn't mind giving you a shout-out here, right?

A Quick Note...

One thing to note... a lot of the 3D games I made mention to were constructed using Qubicle Constructor. If you want to read my blog post on Qubicle Constructor, visit this post: "Qubicle Constructor" (John's Creative Space).

I hope to expand upon creativity with gaming involved. This post is just a start. Thank you for reading!

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