Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Things Are Tough All Over

Creative products do not magically appear via wishing and pixie dust and good old fashioned hope. Yeah that's part of it for sure. But the rest takes good, old fashioned hard work and hustle.

I know, I know: no shit, Jaffe.

And I should know this.

Given how challenging it is to get a video game made, I should be as aware of this fact as anyone working in the creative industries. Every day all of us on a game deal with the pressures of budgets and schedules and expectations and creative differences and egos and technical snafus and our personal lives that affect how we do our day to day, and the pressures to be great that come from us, from our fans, from the press, from the haters,etc,etc,etc. It never, ever ends. Cause when one game is done, you're off to the next one. Hell BEFORE a game is done, you're already thinking about the next one. 

It's a tough ass job to pull something worthy from the ether. 

And I should know this.

I should know that ANY product- and certainly any creative product- is a multi year long battle just to push that motherfucking bolder to the top of the hill.

Speaking of, here's a little pic I keep taped to my monitor to remind me- when the days are hard as hell and you just want to give up- how great it feels to get that boulder to the top.

Yeah I know. I can't draw for shit. Fuck off. :)

And yet, when I read something like this (detailing the recent challenges and mad rush of the Disneyland corporation to turn around the California Adventure theme park using a 1 billion dollar influx of cash), I am still amazed. Because as a fan- with no stake or involvement in any theme park- I nurse this fantasy that theme parks magically appear and magically run and that there are no egos or budget issues or late nites or time away from family in order to make those truly magical places come to life. To me places like Disneyland simply ARE. They are wished into being and that's all there is to that.

And as a fan, this is how it should be. Unless you want to get into the business of making this stuff (and I highly recommend it cause it's a fucking blast!) then you really never should peek behind the curtain.

Cause if you peek behind the curtain you realize that this stuff- no matter the format- is HARD WORK.

But in many ways I am glad to see how tough the Disneyland people are having it right now. Because it makes me realize that EVERYONE who does creative work is always up against the shit, day in and day out. That it's ALWAYS a struggle. And that it's NOT just me, not just my design partner Scott Campbell out in Utah, not just the amazing team at Eat Sleep Play, not JUST the super talented folks at Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo. And not just people in games. But people in movies and music and comics and television and theme parks and plays and on and on and on.

So I dunno, in some ways, it makes me feel like part of a big ass, hard working club, you know? Like we're all busting ass just to make people happy. I like that :)

And speaking of busting ass- back to work! Later ya'll!

David

Just a shot of the tots of behind the scenes work being done at Disney's California Adventure to create the new CARS LAND area of the park. As a fan, I can't wait. But I'm sure the Disney peeps are shitting a brick to get it done in time :) Thanks Disney! That's why you get my money!

13 comments:

Shobo said...

Nice post David, I agree that it sometimes seems as though these things just magically appear, and folks tend to take them for granted, which is probably why gamers on a message board will dismiss a game out of hand so often, disregarding the hard work that's been put into it, regardless of the final quality.

* alright, I gotta get back to work*

Renan Barreto said...

You know what? Reading this made me realize how tough life is. It doesn't matter if you're a novel writer, journalist, game maker, movie maker... "It's tough all over". The point is to know what is the right thing to do, and when to do it. Sometimes work is stressful and we want just a week in a distant island. But we have to work. And when the product is done, a part of us goes with it. There is a personal thing on it. Twisted Metal and God of war are good examples, aren't they? We know how it costs to make a game (I'm not talking about money). There is a lot of thinking and it's tough.

So... wether it's tough or not. The point is to keep going.

Best Regards!

Faux_Smoke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faux_Smoke said...

started to post something way too long for a comment... so I deleted and trimmed it.

I think about it like this, when we eat our food, unless we made it ourselves, we don't tend to think about all the time and effort that went into it getting to us. The countless hours spent in agriculture to processing plants and markets to restraunts and then through the final culinary processes... not only this, we don't think twice about passing judgement and speaking up about what's on our plate. We'll say that something was terrible or praise the chef... we never thank the farmer or the people in packaging plants, hell, we tip the waiter rather than the cook & what's that say about us?

As consumers, we only judge the final product... more over, we tend to associate that final product with whomever gets it into our hands.

TrevDogg said...

@shobo exactly what i was thinking. The forums/message boards peeps that don't understand the work that goes into the final product. For me, every time i play a game i try to envision the hard work that goes into this magical product. same with movies and other creative "arts" i enjoy.

I love to ponder about how they get the stuff done under such restraints. Thats why i love this blog, its like a lil backstage pass :D

Alex said...

@Shobo

You have to admit a lot of studios are pumping out garbage. There hasn't been another Shadow of Collosus and I dont think there will be another soon.

As long as Modern Warfare games sell like they do, the market will get saturated with those types and gaming will never move forward. I dont remember the last time I actually had FUN playing a video game.

Eddy said...

Seriously. Take ur shitty Ads somewhere else.

The Beaner said...

Thanks for this post David, I kind of needed to see this today. Your shitty little drawing is now my desktop picture.

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