One of the most common questions I never get asked is “Hey supersoup, I hear you’ve occasionally been a person who makes a game. How could I be someone who makes a game?”
I imagine I would answer with something like “How do you start jogging?” Do you buy the shoes? Do you run in your flip-flops? Take a lap around the block? Or head down to the nearest high school track? There’s a lot of ways to start. But at the end of the day you know if you jogged or not. Whether it was one meter or one kilometer, you know in your heart if you put feet to pavement and moved forward.
Here’s the thing: I can’t be the only person who occasionally makes games. I can’t possibly make the game you’ve got stored up in your heart. And I can’t make games forever because I will die someday. If I leave you with anything, I hope I leave you with the courage and fire to pick up some digital tools you’ve never held before and put them to work.
Some folks believe they simply can’t make games. This I’ve actually heard in conversations. Words spoken to my face by another face in close proximity. I’m not making up an imaginary example like I did at the beginning. Well guess what? Something you can’t do is just something you haven’t done yet. You wanna write? Paint? Program? Bake a cake? Then do it. Let it be ugly. Amateur. Riddled with mistakes. Let it take forever to do something simple. Be embarrassed if you must. But do it.
Then you’ve done it, and it’s no longer something you can’t do. If you can learn to drive a car, eat with chopsticks, or multiply and divide the old and cool way we used to before Common Core, you can learn about anything else. The real complaint at root is a lack of time or adequate time management—and I can’t help you there. But if you figure all that time stuff out let me know. I’m still working on that myself.
I was doing game design from a very young age without even realizing it. I made a pawns-only chess variant I called “Sullivan’s Stalemate”, I made a Magic The Gathering-like card game based on nuclear war, and when I learned to program, I immediately started making computer games.
Now I’m highly focused on making a city builder. To prove out the modding system, I directed the team to focus on making a mod for NewCity with a vaporwave theme. We’re planning to release it officially next week. The feedback from playtesters has been extremely positive. Once the modding tools were in place, the game designer within me went to work and before I knew it, we had the beginnings of a new game.
Apparently I made another game1 recently without even realizing it: 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel. Yes that’s a real game. My namesake, Conor Petersen, released the game this summer. (My name is also Conor.) I’ve been playing it a bit and it’s a lot of fun, a great mind-bender.
The team has been talking behind the scenes about a second game from Lone Pine Games. There is still a lot to do with NewCity, so personally I’m in no hurry to start a new game. If we do decide to start a new game, we would still work on and update NewCity. We would start development on the second game early next year, and we’re currently reviewing ideas.
Before any work starts on a new game, I want to finish some core things in NewCity. I want to complete the modding system, and there are still some IndieGoGo backer rewards we must fulfill, namely the statues and the skyscraper-tier rewards. I also want to rebuild and expand the transportation system to support many polymorphus types of transportation, including aircraft, freight, seacraft, and more mass transit options. The final version of the transportation system will be fully moddable.
So we’ve got our work cut out for us. Fortunately, making games hardly feels like work.
So, as I suppose quite a few of you know, I’m currently an artist on NewCity’s team. That means I’m a game artist.That’s pretty neat but also not very specific. As an artist your ultimate goal is to make something that is visually pleasing to people. Art, from my understanding, is something that can quite often spark controversy and video game art is no exception to that.
You have probably already seen a game announcement from a popular franchise and on the topic of art, you’ve been promised better visuals than the previous titles and that’s awesome, right? Everyone loves better graphics, myself included. But even as an artist, I myself can’t always quite define what it means to make “good” or “better” art. If you are improving yourself as an artist you can generally feel that, but your audience may not always notice it, or care at all. And on top of all of that, we have realistic art versus more stylized characters and environments. One of those two gotta be better, right?
It’s all subjective, as with most things about art. From a person that likes a more realistic approach, something that doesn’t quite convey that may be “bad art” to them, and as long as they are respectful about it, no harm is done, we all have preferences. But based on reviews from popular game stores, steam included, I can tell that most people don’t seem to quite understand this part. I love stylized art, something a bit more loosely based on reality than NewCity is, altho here I do have quite a bit of freedom and I’m only constrained to a “realistic” approach up to a certain level.
My passion is to make a fantastic and free world with my art and as a game artist, that is a possibility. I started quite a while ago on art, and only recently I had that moment where I sit back, contemplate my surroundings and just say to myself:
“Hey, I’m a game artist!”
Questions? Comments? Feedback on the game? Sound off on our Discord.
As always, we’re incredibly thankful for our great community across the web. We love seeing the hard work and attention to detail you pour into your cities, and it inspires us every day to keep building. Thank you again for your support.
If you want to play the game and haven’t got it yet, head over to our Steam page. We’re also on Reddit and Twitter. Give us a follow if you haven’t, and we’ll keep you up to date on what’s new with NewCity!
Note 1 - To be clear, this is a joke. 5D Chess with Multiverse Time Travel is not my game and I’m not claiming credit for it. ↩