My Great American Novel

 

I'm going to be a game developer someday. That was the life goal of my younger self and I intend to see it through at some point if for no other reason than to say I did. I might only ever create one full game, and I am full aware it's going to take a lot of time and I will likely make $0 from it... but I'm going to do it anyway.

I guess you could say I'm playing the long game or even call this my white whale but I just think Great American Novel has a nice ring to it. Something that seems so impossible and is such a huge undertaking is going to have to sit on the back-burner for a while, but it's going to happen. 

I considered entering into video game development and even choose my college degree with the intent of graduating and stepping into a local game dev shop until I started doing some research on the field. Apparently it's a lot like the professional gaming scene where it's wildly competitive, incredibly harsh, and you are more likely to get eaten alive by a rabid chihuahua than you are to be successful (unless you manage to score a deal with a AAA company).

So it just makes sense to do something else for a living and have this be my hobby.

INSPIRATION

Ok so I have a few ideas I've been throwing around for years. Most of which are based on games that I loved growing up. I also try to stay current on what's going on in modern gaming. Even though I don't have the time to play games anymore, I live vicariously through articles, reviews and videos.

Because I don't have all the time in the world to flesh out these ideas I've landed on one to run with for the purpose of fulfilling this goal. Way back in 1997, Dragon Force was released for the Sega Saturn. I was in middle school and my friend Jarrett had a Saturn we would play every time we hung out and Dragon Force was one of many games that would suck us in for hours at a time.

Basically the game follows 8 different storylines that revolve around what everyone good RPG revolves around - saving the world from imminent destruction. You pick one of the eight kingdoms and see the whole story from their perspective and make progress using their unique set of skills. Most in game time is spent arranging and equipping generals and troops before you clash against other armies to expand your kingdom's territory. And it's chock full of knights, samurai, magic and dragons. What's not to love?

Don't forget, this is 1997

MY IDEA

So essentially I want to make the 2016+ version of this game. The same concept of multiple regions with interweaving storylines but with a completely revamped progression and combat system. Other games have tried to improve upon this concept but have fallen flat and never achieved the recognition or success that Dragon Force did. Having played two attempted spin-offs I believe this is largely due to a confusing UI and introducing an unnecessary amount of complexity to the game.

I won't go into much more detail because if you're still reading this - wow, congratulations. I've got an Evernote notebook that's bursting at the seams with ideas for this game (Which I've oh-so-cleverly nicknamed Dragon Faux) but I will spare you the details. However! As I make progress on this front I'm going to post to this blog, hopefully with playable demos for you all to enjoy... or harshly judge.

FOR REAL

The real point of this post isn't to pimp my non-existent game to you, but rather to emphasize how important I think it is to not only have a hobby, but also to have long term goals in every area of your life. I've got plans for my family and my career, so why not do the same for your other interests?

Evan Lemmons

Lemmons Creative LLC, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA

Husband, father, musician, gamer.