Amateur Development
Miscellaneous and Minor Efforts


I worked briefly on generating content or improving game balance on numerous other games.
I made maps for Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Unfortunately, these never quite lived up to my visions, when actually played. That game proved to be a tough one to balance. My results were not unlike those I had earlier with Warcraft II. I thought I had good ideas, but the gameplay proved more elusive than I expected.
I designed variants for Galactic Civilizations. One cannot edit the maps there as is possible with Civ3, but lots of gameplay tweaks were still available to the creative-minded.
Morrowind enticed me to look into creating scenarios (campaigns) for it. The problem there was the tools. As advanced as they were, they lacked some of the simple functionality of even a primitive editing tool like Devil. Everything in Morrowind was handled visually, and I was not used to working like that. I knew the math of where I wanted to put things, and so on, but the tools did not want to give me ways to work precisely. They insisted on the awkward visual interface. I felt that too much of my time was being wasted and I gave up. If anybody wanted me to work THAT hard on game development, they were going to have to pay me and pay me well.
There were other games where I dabbled in some kind of content generation, none where I stuck with it. Like Morrowind, I found the returns for the time invested to be too small for my tastes.
As time marches on, I grew more and more jealous with my own time. I stopped giving it away, for the most part, and I definitely stopped wasting it on useless efforts. Those were the biggest lessons that I learned: how to identify when my time was being wasted, and how to come to peace with walking away when I stopped believing in any particular game or game maker.
If you seek to break in to game development, that would be my first piece of advice: value your time. If you don't, companies certainly won't either.

- Sirian

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