Above is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorites 80’s/90’s bands, Drivin N Cryin is named "A Toy Never Played With Is Not a Toy At All". I found myself humming this song to myself a couple days ago, and I had no idea why I was doing it. Even though Drivin N Cryin were once of my favorite bands, I probably have not listened to them in 5 years. However, old songs and their appropriate lyrics have a way of popping up from my subconscious just when I need them, and think that is just what happened.
You see, I had my new game …palindromes… up on FlashGameLicense for 2 weeks, and while it got nice comments, it got no bids. Over the 13 days it was up on the site, I retooled the game with several new features suggested by the good people over at FlashGameLicense, but still, no takers. I was not sure what the reaction would be to the game, since it is essentially an "unscramble the word" contest made in the style of "word mini game" on the Nintendo DS. It has no flashy title screen, and very minimal graphics. I think it plays very well, but you actually have to PLAY it to find that out.
Anyway, after the game toiled for those two weeks, my subconscious got the best of me. Sure, it would be nice to make loads of money from a license, but that is not the only reason I make games. I make games to be PLAYED. If they sit on a virtual shelf gathering dust, they do me no good at all. The monetary rewards (what little they are right now) are nice, but the psychological rewards can be just as…well, rewarding. I’ve always felt that bringing a little joy to someone’s day, however small, was worth the effort of making a game.
And I believe that is why that flowed to my brain this week.
"A Toy Never Played Is Not A Toy At All!"
If my game simply sat waiting for some fantasy "big money" guy to come along with a huge check, it would never get played. And if it never got played, was it really worth the time I spent making it? It *is* a game after all. It’s also not my best game, or something that I was pinning my all hopes and dreams upon, it was just a fun little diversion I wanted to try to see if I could make work as game. And there is was again. A game. A Toy. A Toy Never Played With Is Not A Toy At All.
"A Game Never Played Is Not A Game At All"
So I took ..palindromes… off of FlashGameLicense.com, and released it into the wild (Kongregate, Mochi, FlashGameDistribution, MindJolt). You know what? I felt good.
I felt a great sense of relief and satisfaction yesterday as I watched the game filter through the viral Flash Game Portals (i.e. FreeWorldGroup.com), saw that Mochi made it a "featured game" for publishers, and watched the game-plays wrack-up close to 5000 for one day (a record for me). No, …palindromes… will not conquer the world, but people are playing it, and that is almost as good.
Now I can move on to the next one…