Hey there, Gamers and Game Makers!
So, a lot of the time when I hear about why people want to become game developers or designers, their main comment tends to be along the lines of "All I do is play games and make games". The "All" being the main problem. It's great that games are your passion and obviously you'll need that to be a good game developer. However, I think if you limit it yourself and your creative consumption purely to games, all you'll end up doing rehashing the games you've played in your own development.
I think some of the best games come from people who expose themselves to a much wider range of creative and even technical mediums. What we make is the result of our experiences and inspirations. So, it stands to reason, a limited range of experiences and inspirations leads to a limited game. Whereas if you expose yourself to other mediums such as books, movies, music, art and so on, you widen the scope of your creative experiences and inspirations. Sure playing other games is important for getting ideas mechanically for a game but, if you want to make something different rather than making slightly different types of games than what you are already playing, you need to expose yourself to everything creative.
I think it's very rare that something is ever truly original. Creatives borrow and what I mean by this is, when we create something we're going to pull from our own experiences and inspirations in order to create something that has our own mark on it. Again this comes down to how much you expose yourself to other mediums. If all you know is games, you have far less to be inspired by or "borrow" from. The wider the range of inspirations, the more you will borrow. Now, I know that saying creatives borrow can be a term most don't like as it implies a lack of originality. But, take a look at your favorite game, movie, book or whatever and think about it carefully for a moment. What do you think the creators inspirations were? Did they pluck it all purely from their mind with no inspiration? Possibly in some rare cases but unlikely. We're all inspired by works that have come before us and the only way to make anything worthwhile is to expose ourselves to as much inspiration as possible.
So if you say to me that you have a passion for games and want to be a game developer, I say great! But,be more than games.
Until next time!