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Why do you do this?


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I'm feeling a little nostalgic and reflective tonight, and wanted to share my thoughts. The longer I work in this industry, the more the stars fade from my eyes, the more times I start to ask myself what it is exactly I enjoy about this line of work and why it has obsessed me since I was a teenager and why I continue to do it today.


after a bit of thought I have concluded that the reason I love doing this is because I love engineering all the little pieces that fit together and are driven by other mechanisms to create a grand machine. A machine that started as nothing and ends up it's own little whirring, purring, spinning, creative and interactive display.

It all starts with an idea (or to be more realistic, a delegated task) Make something that when anybody climbs into it, provides them with an experience where x does y while z happens and everything meshes together. It goes from some hairbrained producer's idea to a designed series of systems, each part of which is engineered, whittled, shaped, chamfered, embossed, and drop shadowed to be a spinning cog in this grand machine.

It's up to me to figure out what the piece should look like, how it needs to be shaped to perfectly into the whole contraption. You try out one part, dosent fit. Try a different approach, install it in the machine - tweak it untill it works perfectly. Eventually you see that little piece working along with all the other hand crafted pieces all working together to become one whole seamless experience that is totally transparent to people that come along and play with it.

it's a swiss fucking watch

From out of nothing, this complex thing comes out of an idea and just sits there finished, fully working (sometimes) for people to jam on. And it took a team of people all having thier own little specialization each crafting thier little parts, working together for it to come to be.

well thats about it in a nutshell, I think thats what gets me the most. It's more of a pep talk for myself, but I would invite everyone to post thier own motivation for doing this every day, wether professionally or as an independant passion.

*edit* well what an appropriate 800th post.

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Here are a few of my personal reasons...

As a Level Designer, you basically start with an empty void and make it into a cohesive fun place for people to escape to. You're an architect, a movie director, and a civil engineer all at once. You have to create an area that looks realistic enough to make people feel immersed but vague enough to make it fun. That's not an easy thing to do by any stretch of the imagination. You have to solve problems in a way that none of those 3 professions can. Game problem solving can't always be solved mathematically or directly -- sometimes the solution is really a duct tape job that just barely holds together but no one will ever know.

Another thought I've been toying with lately is the idea that I've almost been snake charmed; led Pied-Piper style into the industry by the people whose names I used to see on the boxes of games I played when I was a kid. There's just so much appeal in being able to say that you were the person behind the curtain, you were the one working on this thing that 99.9999% of the world doesn't understand how to create.

Video games always represented a more colorful, more enriching world to live in compared to my real life. Now they are a more colorful and more enriching world to work in compared to most "real life" jobs :)

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I always find it funny when I start to think about why I enjoy working in this industry, reason being is that I always told myself prior to getting hired that I did not want to be a part of it. Computers were to be a small part of my life; yet for some reason I kept coming back. My declared major while in college was Political Science with a minor in Economics and yet some how I ended up working for a video game company doing programming of the sorts. I think the reason I enjoy it is more of the feeling of being a part of what zaphod calls the machine. Knowing that even thought my work may play a small part in the grand scheme of things; I am still a part of it and I can go out and say hey I helped make that. I would also say that I enjoy the people in the industry, you meet some of the brightest minds and the most creative of people. I mean looking back on something such as mapcore and I can say that during my time here I have gotten to know some of the smartest/creative people out there. That may never have been if it was not for this drive to be a part of it all.

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I just do it because I love games, and I love to make what I do as fun as possible (Hell, even to the point where I'm playtesting my levels too much :)).

But yeah, it is the idea of creating a situation or a playground where you have to make something that thrill and pull people in.

Guess I'm not asking for too much :)

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I have a big passion for creating things and for computer games, a combination of these two is just perfect for me.

I have always liked to design and construct things, which is also why two of my prefered genres is/was RTS and city-builders. I have spent way too much time creating cities in Sim City or bases in C&C. Constructing something for a purpose and making it work out by doing it right, that's just joy.

It has always been like this for me, ever since I discovered the level editor in Stunts 4d(yes lame name, but nice game) that just felt just as cool as playing the game itself, or better.

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I can't speak from the professional standpoint, but I'm obsessed with it because I guess I love watching the evolution of a project. Starting with nothing and creating something many can enjoy. Its the learning experience that happens during the process, and so I can look back and say "Wow, I helped make that, and I'm proud of it." And if I can get one other person to honestly say to me "Played/used it and had fun", there is no other feeling in the world.

Starting to focus on graphics programming because its the very core of the project. Its the most challenging and the most fun for me (and I'm a better programmer than I am a designer).

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I think someone has said this before, but what more do you need than the power to create?

I like creating something that is bigger than players and control groups with sadistic punishments. You have much more control over players than most mappers can fantasize. When i play my maps with others i feel like an eagle spectating ants that react in panic to my map.

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The pride I feel when completing and shipping a game is one reason I love this job. Another is the fact that the place I work in has some of smartest and coolest people and the work environment can't really be beat. The money is also good, relatively speaking.

I also love the work I do. I like being on the cutting edge of computer technology.

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