Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why Develop?

So Moe recently made a fantastic post on his Creatures 2 to Docking Station development blog (which is awesome in and of itself, you should check it out if you haven't), aptly titled, "Motivational Speech."

Reading it really got me thinking about why I develop the stuff that I do for Creatures. I can't honestly say it's just for the community; though the community certainly inspires me, I don't think it's the sole reason I do what I do. The large number of personal projects kind of rules that out.

But after sorting through my head a bit, I think I've narrowed it down to two main reasons that I spend so much of my rare free time developing for this game.

The first is honestly just to see what is see what I can do. Pushing the previously-known boundaries of Docking Station is one of my greatest joys. I like to try completely new and strange things, in particular, things that radically change the way people play Creatures, or create another playstyle completely. Battlestance, though I never completed it, was probably my biggest attempt at this. SERU was another. Most of my little tweaks, the Hit Script and Breeding Script modifications stem from this too. Sometimes I like to just scroll through the CAOS documentation and come up with interesting or creative ways to use certain commands. I get endless joy from just taking the tools that I have and trying to explore every realm of possibility.

Though it has nothing to do with CAOS, LNA stems from this as well-- another attempt at doing something interesting that hadn't been done before. Heck, even blogging barely had a presence in the community; that's part of why I started this, and now look how it has taken off, with new wonderful creatures blogs springing up left and right! Maybe I'm a tad conceited but I like to think I had some hand in inspiring that.

So maybe my motivation does wrap back around to the community. I love to try new things at least in part because I love to inspire the community to push the boundaries as well, whether in creating new playstyles or new ways of networking. Huh. I always end up finding out new things just as I am blogging about them, hah.

But the second reason I develop is the one less-seen, and this is something I'm fairly certain is completely personal-- to find ways to make C3/DS creatures as emotionally attachable as possible.

This is a somewhat embarrassing story, but I was really into Creatures at a young age because I wanted to find a way to essentially program my own friends (I had quite a bit of social anxiety back then). I even went and learned enough about C2 genetics to make an near-immortal norn, and for a period of time I ran a C2 world 24/7 with nothing but this norn in it, growing relatively attached to it (though more as a pet than a friend) as I cared for this same creature for days on end.

Though I've long since found human friends, I still remember how attached I would get to C1/C2 creatures and how much C3 lacked that. Most of my development on this front never gets off the ground enough for me to talk much about it-- the instinct-less norns are one example, but my endless genomes and various script edits really haven't made it to light yet. It may be something I talk a lot more about in the future though.

So I ask you, developers of all sorts, why do you do what you do? Is it completely for the sake of the community, or is do you have a more personal goal you set out to accomplish?

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