Play it Safe vs Play it Risky

Thomas Warfield of “Pretty Good Solitaire” fame says that playing it safe is risky ala Seth Godin’s adivce in Purple Cow.

So many newcomers seem to believe that the key to success is to make a game just like some other successful game.

But the reason the original game was successful was probably because it was original. You won’t be nearly as successful with a copy.

Phil Steinmeyer says that Thomas Warfield is wrong and that casual game developers should stick to established genres and styles or risk failure.

However, I think he’s wrong for the games sub-sector, and that far more first-time game developers fail by being too different from the market leaders rather than too similar.

To throw in my humble two cents, I think developers should work on projects that excite them but are also within reach.

Instead of worrying about finding a game that will sell as well as Bejeweled or a game that will define a new genre; a beginning game programmer should worry about finding an idea that will be inspiring enough to keep them motivated to complete the game project.

I think more beginning developers fail because they never complete a project than any other reason.