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Games: A Second Renaissance

Why are so many independent developers and artists continuing on this path while the industry is reflecting a financial collapse? I can't help but consider game development for mobile as an irrational pursuit that will lead to a second wave renaissance..

We run a small game dev studio with 3 years of mobile research under our belt. Over the past year we've positioned ourselves to focus on one expandable title which has been released to multiple platforms while still in it's concept and development stage.

Even though games for mobile is a proven and monetizable venture, and while I do my best to apply well thought out business and marketing strategy- I realize that we are engaging in an irrational pursuit. It has become clear that my mind is pulled into this beyond anything I have ever experienced for the exception of falling in love or wanting to have a baby. 

As with any love, you don't know why you do it- you only know you have to do it and the rewards of the final outcome are unclear. Like most game studios, barely breaking even- it has become very clear that I have an addiction to our work. I'm cool with it because I can't think of anything else I rather be doing. We laugh because we're not hungry.

From the increasing number of applications we receive from talent and the wide spread fascination with mobile development for games- what we're witnessing is a collective push toward a interdimensional frontier we have yet to conquer. I have no interest in going to places or planets where I can't breathe like Mars or the Moon for that matter. There are worlds and places we have yet to co-create and experience.

Most of us know we're making games, it's fun and everyone loves their smartphone or tablet but no one can really explain why? Maybe it would be smarter if we were all farming locally, growing hemp crops for our linens, toiling the earth and freeing our environment of pollution? While that's probably a very good idea, it seems that games may surprisingly be part of that renaissance. As Jane McGonigal suggests in her TED talk, 'Gaming Can Make A Better World?' can't we write games to solve problems? Or expanding from that, can't we write games with an entertaining overlay that are programmed to execute tasks that we need done, yet rather not do or think about? While we're playing it, the robots are working it, the more we play, the more work is done.

With tools like Unity 3D (our favorite) and UDK, it's an unknown as to where game innovation will lead exactly? My gut feel is that because game design is driven by an irrational and overwhelming desire in so many of us, it truly will lead to great things that will be looked back upon as a second renaissance with the discovery of new worlds and beautiful solutions.


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