At the start of a project many folks can imagine a key moment or an interesting setting, but they often don’t have a middle or an end to the “story” of their game. Many of the best games are fundamentally simple and don’t have a plot, per se, yet every game has a start and a finish.
Creating a game is in some ways similar to other kinds of writing in that you need your product to meet (and hopefully exceed) the expectations of your audience. And part of this is understanding that expectations are set by the conventions of previous products, which in the case of games typically means the genre. Genres often get a bad rap, as if they are cages that kill innovation. In my opinion, it’s a matter of perception. The genre sets the expectations of the consumer – and then you can play on those expectations.
I’ve made card, puzzle, rhythm, bowling, driving, racing, riding, adventure, fighting, fishing, feeding, shooting, hunting, and decorating games for the PC, PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii, iPhone, iPad, and the Windows Phone.
Now I’m learning new ways of constructing and marketing games as I venture into the world of board games.
(I am #3 because if I enter any room with more than twenty people in it, I will probably not be the first or even the second Steve in the room. If you say “Hey, Steve” the “Steve’s” will ignore you and assume that you are talking to one of the other Steve’s. By contrast, I am the only Steve #3 I know.)