So, Clash over on I Fly By Night had a commenter talk about the good ole days when games were “very punk rock” and I had to smile. I am not so sure I am nostalgic like that and I was a hard core punk rocker until I was a hard core new waver…yeah, it was like that. Anyway, it brings up an interesting point of commercialism and whether monetization of a market enhances or devlaues the artistic merit held within. Yes, I am channeling my inner thesaurus.
We have to ask then, do better illustrations, higher price points and product lines designed to separate us from our money really a bad and inherently non-artful endeavor. The answer seems to be “Not inherently so”. You can still do all these things, hire artists, editors and professionals to work on a game and still have it be an art worthy game. A fun game.
Here is the news, fresh from satellite V, you can make a crap game whether it has a $50K budget or a $5 budget. Likewise high art or great fun can come out of either. Worse yet, it is a subjective valuation. Just like a piece of art, a game can be a thing of beauty for one person and a total wreck and wast of time to another.
So, what do you loose? In my opinion, when you focus on the business, you loose passion. This, again, can either be good or bad. Passion can lead to incredible flights of inspiration and long hours spent doing something you love. It can also lead to a blindness to critical flaws and a denial of the realities of publishing a book. That is not as serious a lesson as it was even 10 years ago, but can be quite sobering when you are passionate about your work.
Despite what it sounds like above, passion is where my heart is. I have nothing agaist the people out there making fine products but I would rather burn out then fade away.