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Cthulhu Crush

loop101

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A friend of mine works in the video game industry where they spent several decades making other people wealthy. They made decent money and enjoyed the creative lifestyle, but they still have to work. They regret that they don't own anything they spent the bulk of their life building, and are now working on their own Intellectual Properties. Another friend of mine in the film industry recently had the same story. Now I see a video by Sandy Peterson, and he is basically saying the same thing, "I worked as professional game designer for 39 years, and was an employee for the first 33. During that time I got to pick the game idea ONCE".

Who is Sandy Petersen? I knew him from his RPG's, "Call of Cthulhu" and "Runequest". He went on to be the designer or major contributor to: Pirates!, Civilization, Doom, Doom II, Quake, Hexen, Age of Empires (1,2,3), and Halo Wars. He is apparently making a series of videos about how to make your own game. In his first video he stresses how to make a game assignment "your game". I was expecting his message to me more "Fastlane", but it seems to be more aimed at helping creative professionals make the most of "working for the man". Yet he does argue some relevant points.

His main points are:
  • The game idea is important to the artist, and should be their "own"
  • A game idea the artist owns is "fully vested", and should be successful
  • The game idea is 2% of effort, and IMPLEMENTATION is 98%
  • The artist can "own" the game idea through Implementation

I admit I was a bit sad to see him still advocating working for someone else, but if you replace where he says "the Man" with "my market research", then everything he says is a lot more Fastlanesque. If you like Lovecraftian Horror but the world wants another Match 3 puzzle game, then making "Cthulhu Crush" might be right up your alley. He does stress that Implementation is 98% of the effort, and the idea is essentially negligible, "Lock yourself in a closet until you have 50 game ideas".

His video ends with him describing how "Cthulhu Wars" was supposed to be his opus, and he sounds surprised it was such a success, "My swan song turned out to be my Phoenix rebirth". Perhaps he stumbled in to the Fastlane without realizing it.

I think the lessons from this are:
  • The game idea is important to the artist
  • The product idea is important to the market
  • The game idea can be implemented through the product idea
  • The implementation is most important to the success
  • If you don't own the success, it was not your success

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlJKVHbi9KA
 

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loop101

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 3, 2013
640
992
363
Sandy talking about how to cheaply make a prototype of your board-game:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1M0BGVZOT4


I wont post every video, but there is a 3rd one coming for this series. If horror games might be in your FastLane, he is one of the most venerated designers.
 

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