This post is for the people out there who desperately want to have a breakthrough of some kind, whether it be for games, music, writing, sport, business, whatever.
For many years I spent most of my time focusing on what I wasn’t good at. I started FuturLab in 2003 and spent at least 3 years chasing my tail trying to improve our portfolio so that people would take us seriously.
When I’d finally plucked up the courage to reach for what I wanted in 2007, and we did our notorious pitch to Sony, they weren’t interested in the 30 or so projects in our portfolio – they were interested in what we were showing them – raw.
Of course we didn’t actually get the project, but it did open a door for us. I then spent another two years fretting about having the ‘right’ first game. I was heartbroken when our music game was cancelled, because I was sure it would be our breakthrough.
Never in a million years would I have guessed our poxy little Flash crab would actually be our breakthrough. We were forced to use Coconut Dodge as our first game, and it required me to swallow my pride:
“Okay, so this little crab is going to be our first statement and entrance into the games industry? God help us…” – Me, late 2009
But what happened after that is illuminating. We made it good, because we knew what we were doing.
This is a crucial point for anyone with big ambitions and a lack of confidence or direction. If you have talent, you can make the smallest of moves, and if you do it with care and integrity, it will be good, and people will notice.
Coconut Dodge has thrown doors wide open for us, and I’m still amazed that out of all the grand ideas I’ve plotted since leaving University, this little throwaway Flash game was the one that really made a difference.
So, my advice to anyone wanting to be somewhere better, doing something more exciting, take a look around you, and use what you’ve got already.