Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…


I’m currently working on Kudos 2. It’s a sequel to my earlier game, not amazingly called Kudos. Before this, I did Democracy 2, the same applies. One the one hand, I’m a bit worried that people might think I keep churning out the same games (hopefully not, as the sequels add considerably to the originals), and I’m also very slightly worried that maybe these 2 games are my ‘big ideas’ which I won’t beat. (I have a ton of other ideas, but ideas are not completed, working fun games).

On the other hand, Kudos was a great idea that could have been done a LOT better, just as Democracy was. The really scary thing, is that reading several books recently has got me thinking about a potential Democracy 3, and how THIS time, I could really do the concept justice and kick major ass with it.

I don’t know what I will do next, and I’d like to think I would try something new, but it’s far too early to tell. When I finished D2, I started doing a totally new game, two of them in fact, but neither game idea really seemed to ‘gel’ in the way a sequel to kudos did, so they remain very empty basic frameworks for now.

There are worse things to do with your life than constantly work on a series of games that are popular, sell, and people enjoy. Civilization has made it to 4 games. There are 3 age of empires (and 3 expansions), and Sim City has already made it to SC4.

I’d just like to make as many different games as I can.

I’ve been away on holiday, only got back today.

3 thoughts on Sequelitis

  1. Just because others are doing something doesn’t mean that it is a good idea. Especially since Civilization and Sim City are both not Indie Games.

    That being said, I think every game should have the right for one sequel. The first one is the stab in the dark. By the time you get to the sequel you should have a enough feedback and security to be able to nail it. If you need a third one, something might have gone wrong.

    Good luck ;-)

  2. Computers games are computer programs. Should Microsoft have stopped with Windows 3.1 and said “that’s enough sequels now”? Should we all be using Word 98 because a sequel was not worth making? I don’t believe so. If you can create new versions of your games that improve them and people keep buying them (and you enjoy making them) then why not? You have invested hugely in those games and if you can continue to get dividends from them then I would regard it as wise to continue with sequels. But keep working on the new ideas as well – there are more best sellers lurking in there just dying to see the light of day.

  3. I believe Operating Systems are different from Programs, which are different from Games.

    Operating Systems like Windows are there to make the potential of the Hardware avalible for the user. They need “sequels” because hardware changes. If hardware wouldn’t change, there would be far fewer upgrades.

    Programs like Word are there for a specific purpose. Again, as the Hardware changes there might be new possibilities to perform this specific task. There might be also some additional functions which are not really essential for the specific task but which can be added in a later version as an afterthought to aid the user in performing the task – like spell checking in word. However, at this level I find the plethora of versions for certain programs already discomforting and highly controversial. Do you know what features EXACTLY justify the release of the last – oh I don’t know – 4 versions of Word? Clippy? And then removing Clippy again?

    Games are even more different since there is no task. The features are the experience. Adding/Changing features don’t necessarily make any specific task easier or better – it just makes the experience different. Autoaiming doesn’t make Metroid Prime better then other FPSes – it just makes it different. So when you are developing a different game, why making one so similar to what you already did?

    As for milking your franchise – It seems like a wise idea but it isn’t. By spending more time on the same kind of game you make your income very much dependent on that specific kind of game. By the time your audience starts to loose interest, you will have no working alternatives. It is always wiser to have a Plan B ready.

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