Ok so yesterday I found myself wondering why it is I am able to finish less creative projects and not the creative ones. For example if I were tasked with making a system that generates a video with automated animation, I could do that and finish it. If it were some kind of tool to read in a spreadsheet and use the data to generate some charts or something, I could do that. If it were even a matter of creating an application like maybe some image processing app or something, I could do that. But when it comes to games... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee open-ended, vague, why-am-I-doing-this, lost and confused, unclear and unfocused. As I thought about this I noticed that making apps is easier because I pretty much know what the end result needs to be, it's a very logical process of getting there, it's structured, it has finite limits, the goal is completely clear and I know what the audience wants. It's kind of like, the end result is so completely well defined that this automatically acts as a barometer to measure whether certain 'development stuff' is going to achieve that result or not. I would not be adding code to paint colorful rainbows if my goal is to output a video containing scrolling text only. The intended, known, concrete, clearly-defined goal acts as a focal point and keeps things on track. Achieving that clear goal is then a simple process of putting the appropriate parts in place in the appropriate arrangement. Similarly, an app typically addresses a need through some kind of process and produces an output. The output is usually the production of some kind of result within the computer. But when it comes to a game, it's different, because the final stage of the process is not inside the computer, it's inside a human being. The goal of the game also isn't to simply generate some kind of result, it's to ignite some kind of result within a human being. There is a sort of bridge between where the computer result leaves off and the human being takes that and digests it, translating it into their experience. That `communication` link is vitally important to accurately transferring the computer result to the human user. If it does not 'speak their language', they will just be confused and upset. So the last stage of development is out of my hands, as least in that I can only hope to present information as clearly and relevantly as possible for a particular user, and indeed, not knowing what that last stage exactly should look like up-front makes the whole process vague right from the start. Making a game for 54-year old Hilda from the Netherlands who likes cats and ponies is a totally different set of aims than a game for 24-year old rocker who likes intense action and fighting. So obviously this implies we need to have a really good understanding of who the audience is, what they want, why they want it, and how this 'game' is going to provide that. Is it a matter of problem solving? Well, is entertaining someone a problem-solving task? What is their problem, not enough happiness? Do we need to be a kind of 'life coach' in order to be effective at creating a game that improves someone's experience? And why do we always resort to this really vague goal of 'entertaining' or 'making it fun'? That's so incredibly wide and open-ended and has absolutely no discernment about who this is for or what makes them tick or how they react or what their interests are or why we're even doing this in the first place. So I think this is where I fall down. I am unclear on the `purpose`, the GOAL, and what the final result is for. What am I trying to achieve. How am I going to achieve it. And because a human being is involved in the overall process, as the final step, I don't get to control and manipulate them the way I can do with program logic... and that is precisely where people keep saying `oh game success is just luck` or `who knows what people will like`. Why are we so incredibly dumb and blind to what people want? Why do we not understand people? Why aren't people part of the equation of game development? Why aren't the people's goals the entire purpose of making the game at all? In a similar way to how making an app can solve a concrete problems, maybe the way to succeed with game developing (the process itself), is to narrow down and clearly define as precisely as possible who this game is for, what they want, why they want it, and what exactly is the intended result. Instead of being so open as to allow 'just about everything' to become a possibility, with all these possible paths that lead to ... somewhere, as a kind of goal-less mishmash of potential creation. If some specific person were to come to me and say "I want you to make me this particular game which looks like this and behaves like that and does this and then I will be happy". ... that's concrete, and it's achievable. But if it's just "Hey, I'm a huge audience, make a great game that's fun and we'll all celebrate"... that's bullshit. So how to move forward with this.... gotta get really clear about who the game is for and be sensitive to knowing what they want and giving them what they want, for a known reason that can actually be achieved. Goal-setting? That'll work if you know what the heck the goal is. I think this entails two things, 1) understanding who this is for and what they want, and 2) narrowing down to a niche with known needs and desires and interests so that you have guidelines about what is appropriate to create and what should be left out. Maybe then development is more of a justified and reasoned process rather than a shot in the dark.