Game Development – A circle of interest 興趣使然的遊戲創作

Game development has never been easier than this year. More and more amateur developers have popped up all around the word, but for some reason, they are still as rare as four leaf clovers in Hong Kong.

For the people in Hong Kong, amateur hobbies usually consists of playing music, board games, ball sports, or some times even writing or drawing fan art. Apart from self-entertainment, hobbies can also be a way of socializing. Clubs can host small competitions so people with the same interests can compete against one another, and experience the excitement and worries of competition. You may even run into people similar to yourself and help you understand each other better. In the past, poetry/martial arts/music competitions was a very common way for people to meet new friends.

But why is it that Hong Kong seem to have forgotten about socializing when it comes to game development?

There are currently a few gatherings in the industry here and there. But like I said, it’s only “in the industry”, the participants would generally talk about how to monetize their games or how their company is doing. They rarely ask about why people develop or each others’ ideology. (I can’t possibly have participated in all of these gatherings, so I might have overlooked some of them. If I made an error here, then feel free to correct me).

So that got me thinking, does Hong Kong lack a game development circle that’s built on hobby and interest? Is that why Hong Kong game developers lack a sentimental reason to keep going?

Some of you reading this might be thinking that commercialization and hobbies are separated, but I disagree. I don’t think there needs to be a clear line separating the two. However, commercialization would easily make the developers focus on how to survive rather than the reason they started to develop games. It’s a change that’s definitely not worth it. As the saying goes, “the greatest tragedy is the death of the mind”.

I hope everyone will think on it for a moment, did you put way too much priority on your survival? Should we be trying to regain the nervousness and excitement we felt when we first started to develop games?

Let’s built a society of hobbies together!

Amateur Gaming Studio is going to be hosting an online meeting that you’re all invited to.

Time: November 6th, 2020 22:30 – 00:00 (HKT) (We chose a time after dinner since I know that everyone still needs to work or go to school)

Content: Casual chats; sharing gaming concepts, experiences and techniques. Anybody can choose to introduce their game and tell us about their experiences the last two weeks.

Language: Cantonese only

If you’re not developing anything, you can also share your ideas and problems you ran into. Don’t think that it’s pointless, I just want everyone to hear from more people and create a livelier society.

The meeting will be in Amateur Gaming Studio’s Discord in a voice chat channel. You can join us here if you haven’t yet.

Conclusion

Amateur Gaming Studio logo

Fire not only guides people, it can also bring them warmth. The logo of Amateur Gaming Studio wants to give people the feeling of coming together for warmth and comfort. You don’t have to make games for the general public, they don’t have to sell a lot either. Those aren’t the only meaning behind games.

I’m sure every developer has already influenced a lot of young people/developers/players around them while they worked on their games. I want to become their witness. Your goals and shape your life; and sometimes, it achieving your goal will only take a moment.

I hope that game developers can become more multi-dimensional and not just focus on reaping the profits, nor should they only develop for sentimental values. That’s why I’m not guilting anybody into joining. But if you do share a similar belief to my own, I hope you will join in. A society isn’t built by a single person, everybody who joins in will contribute to it. And finally, I want to end this with a quote from Hiroshi Matsuyama:

I hope some of them (the games he developed) will become a person’s hope or reason to live on.

I hope some of them (the games he developed) will become a cure for a person’s soul.

P.S.

I once wrote an article encouraging developers to monetize their games, so don’t think that I’m just opposing commercialization for the sake of it.

Finally, a huge thanks to these patrons for making this post possible:

  • Robert Chan
  • fuzzyBB
  • inquisitor
  • Joshua Fong
  • JC Leung
  • Michael Cheung
  • Eric Chan
  • Chung Panda Lau
  • cyrus333e
  • William Chong
  • tsz fung hui

Once again, thank you for supporting us!

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2020年,做遊戲是前所未有地容易。縱觀國際,業餘創作者越來越多。但對於香港人來說,業餘遊戲創作者卻如四葉草般稀有。

在香港,業餘的興趣主要是夾Band、玩桌遊、球類運動,以至於寫故事、畫同人圖。興趣除了用於自娛,其實也是社交的手段。同好之間會辦一些小型比賽,志同道合互相切磋,交流當中的快樂和辛酸,有種識英雄重英雄的感覺,好像比家人更能互相理解。其實,甚至在古代,以詩(或武/樂/琴等等)會友是普遍習俗。

只是到了遊戲創作,整個香港都忘記了「社交」這檔事?

到目前為止,遊戲行業有著大大小小的聚會。只是,由於是「業內」,與會者之間的交談內容集中在遊戲如何變現、公司近況等等,甚少問及為何創作,創作理念和精神。(當然我不可能全部聚會都參與過,所以也許會有忽略了的,如有說錯,麻煩大家指正)

我在想,香港是否缺少了一個興趣主導的遊戲創作圈子呢?是否因此香港創作者缺少一個感性的理由去維持下去呢?

讀到這裡,大家可能會萌生了一種想法,以為商業和興趣是分開的。其實我個人不認為商業化跟興趣有絕對的抵觸。只是,商業化容易令創作者的焦點由「創作遊戲的初衷」變成「我如何生存」。這種轉變絕對是得不償失,正如古代有句哲理「哀莫大於心死, 而身死次之。」

希望各位都反思一下,自己有沒有把生存放得太前呢?我們是否需要重拾創作遊戲時的緊張和感動呢?

我們一起構建一個基於興趣的創作社群吧!

業餘遊戲公社將會舉辦一個線上的交流會,誠意邀請各位參與。

時間:2020年11月6日(星期五)晚上10點30分至凌晨12點(考慮到大家白天要上學上班,因此找了個晚飯後的時間)

內容:吹水、分享遊戲構思、交流創作心得和技巧。與會者可簡介自己正在做的遊戲,分享最近兩週的創作經驗

語言:只限廣東話

假如沒在創作,亦可分享自己的想法、起步遇到的困難等等。別覺得自己說出來沒功用,其實大家都想聽到更多其他人的聲音,以及更熱鬧的社群。

交談會將在 業餘遊戲公社 的 Discord 內以語音頻道的形式舉行,未加入的朋友點下面連結加入即可。

總結

業餘遊戲公社標誌

火除了指引前路,還能為人帶來溫暖。業餘遊戲公社 的標誌有圍爐取暖的意思,做遊戲其實並不一定要面向外界,不一定要大賣,這不是遊戲的唯一意義。

例如我會相信每個人在創作過程中,已經感動了不少週遭的年青人/創作者/玩家,我會成為他們的見證。前往目的地的路,可以影響人的一生;達成目的,卻只是一瞬的事。

我希望遊戲創作者可以很多元,不應只有純為理性上的利益而活的一種,亦不應只有純為感性上的意義而活的一種。因此,我並不道德綁架每一位創作者,只是假如你有相似的想法和感動,我亦希望你能積極參與社群。社群不是一個人能建成的,各位的參與都是一份貢獻。

我想引用松山洋的話作結:

但願它們(創作的遊戲)當中,有能成為誰的勇氣或者活下去的希望。
但願它們(創作的遊戲)當中,有能成為治癒誰內心的藥。

戴頭盔

我以前曾經寫過一篇文章鼓勵創作者把遊戲商業化,希望各位不要覺得我刻意跟錢作對。

有賴以下 patron,使這篇文章得以出現:

  • Robert Chan
  • fuzzyBB
  • inquisitor
  • Joshua Fong
  • JC Leung
  • Michael Cheung
  • Eric Chan
  • Chung Panda Lau
  • cyrus333e
  • William Chong
  • tsz fung hui

感謝你們!

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