One of my favorite #oldgold resources is Shmuplations; they scour old video game magazines and translate them to English. I love it so much I support the work on Patreon. Cruising through the archives, I found a translation of a 1989 issue of BEEP magazine which features one of my favorite sources of inspiration: Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Mario.
When asked “What’s the secret to success in the game industry?” he had this to say:
Well, what’s worked for me so far is finding something I want to make that matches up with what the market currently needs.
If you believe in your idea, and that it’s something people will want, then all that remains is for you to polish and raise it to a sufficient level of quality. So no matter how talented of a staff you’ve been blessed with, if you don’t have a clear direction for your idea, I don’t think a good game will come out of it. The goal is for each staff member, individually, to contribute to the overall “finish” of the work, so it’s just a matter of having each person fulfill their role. And as the lead creator, even if the rest of the staff sometimes loses sight of the whole picture, it’s your job to hold the course and make sure you keep to that initial vision.
Unfortunately I’ve seen it happen many times where the developers get carried away with themselves, and they’re having a really good time, but it ends up harming the playability of the finished game.
Any time Miyamoto-san talks about “games” I map this to “websites” in my head. I’m endlessly inspired. These three short paragraphs contain multitudes.
- Find something you want to make that matches up with something the market currently needs.
- Polish and raise your idea to a sufficient level of quality.
- You need clear direction for your idea, even with a talented staff.
- The goal is for each staff member to contribute.
- It’s your job to hold the course and keep to the initial vision.
- Developers getting carried away ends up harming the end product
All of these. Tattoo them on my soul. Especially the last one.