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Regarding Reinventing The Wheel

I'm a hardcore PC gamer of the, "You can have my mouse and keyboard when you pry them out of my cold, dead hands" variety.

However, I'm sick of clones.  No, that's not accurate, because I was sick of clones when I played perhaps the second or third clone of a particular genre and I've probably exposed myself to dozens of clones.  So it's more like I'm sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick of clones, give or take a few sicks.

That's a lot of sickness.  Thus, my primary motivation when designing my own games is to avoid cloning previous games in order to give myself something different to play.

In short, I decided my design methodology would be to reinvent the wheel.
 Reinventing the wheel is hard.   But this you knew.  What might be surprising is to explain why it's been hard for me:

It's not because I can't come up with something different.  True, when I'm experimenting with game design the, "wait, I've already seen this done before" kind of moment isn't that uncommon: in my BYOND dabblings, I'm almost proud to announce I invented the real time strategy genre... after it had already been invented for quite some time.  But I have come up with some fairly unique game concepts.

No, the main trouble I have with reinventing the wheel is that it never stops.  Given infinite time, there's literally an infinite number of innovations and improvements I can come up with.  It doesn't help that many of these innovations end up double-backing into existing innovation ideas.  The wheel rolls back and forth, in circles, forever.

I do love to over-think things but, eventually, I reach a point where I'm frustrated by lack of progress.  The goal seems impossible to reach because it is impossible: I keep moving back the goal posts.  Before I know it, my very body rejects the idea of doing more development.  I think it's some kind of energy preservation instinct.

So I'm going to try something new with this next design.  I'm going to get a playable game up without reinventing the wheel.  I'm going to clone designs I've already seen and understand.  I'm going to tell my instinct to innovate it needs to wait.

I'm endeavoring to become something I hate, a dirty producer of clone games.  Because, maybe then, my body will cooperate, and I'll be able to see something through to completion, for once.  

To forgive myself, after I get a working game up and running, then will be the time to try to innovate.


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