Steven Enns and "Craftsmanship"

“Craftsmanship is really taking pride in your work. In terms of craftasmanship for me that means looking at the past and looking at where leatherworking came from and trying to take that and include smart design from now to create some really great leather products.” - Steven Enns

Steven Enns runs Hand and Sew - a leatherworking company where every product is made by Steven himself, entirely by hand. “Everything is hand cut, hand sewn, and hand finished.”

This video made me think about all the projects I’ve made so far for One Game a Month - are they as lovingly “crafted” as Steven’s hand-made wallets? Did I put as much care and dedication into each game as he or any other person who treats his/her hobby, work, whatever with the respect it deserves does? The answer is undoubtedly a resounding “No.”

One Game a Month isn’t the kind of challenge that caters to the above model of making something you love and pouring everything you can into it. No Ludum Dare or Boob Jam or whatever other short term challenge/event/competition comes up next can be conductive to producing a high quality game that I can honestly say I’ve done my best on. I’ve done my best in the time I’ve had, sure, but that’s not the same. And I know some people have gone on to expand/polish their Ludum Dare games, which is great. But for me, the mindset when going into one of those challenges with a time limit is that of creating something “complete” within that time. It may not be very good, but it has to be playable. The kinds of projects I even start for something like One Game a Month are by nature very different from something I’d consider making if I wanted to focus on creating something I will be really passionate about with no time limit.

Some people don’t have all the time in the world to work on whatever game they really care about, but I’m lucky enough to not have to worry about getting something out and monetizing it as fast as I can or going broke and living off of cheese sandwiches (not any more than any other person with full time employment does, anyway). I can take virtually all the time in the world to make something I really want and put in a proper effort like Enns does with his leather products.

I don’t want to quit One Game a Month. There are only a few months left and I want to be able to say I’ve done it. However, starting in January 2014 I will begin something that won’t be rushed or constrained by time limits or strict file size restrictions.  I will take as long as it needs to make it as close to “perfect” as I can. I’d like to not just half-ass a cool idea at breakneck speed, but make sure that real care is placed into the implementation and structure of the project, that I take the time to learn how to do it properly instead of slapping together something that works for a deadline, and that whatever I make adds value in some way to the already massive pool of small games that get released each day instead of just being another number to add to my Games page. And I think I may already know what it will be.

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