First of all, I’m not a native English speaker, so pardon me for the vocabulary and grammar. If you have any criticism of my writing, please let me know.
who I am
I am currently a master student at NTUST, Taiwan. But, when I started to create my first ever board game (Balap Kuliner), I’m still sitting in bachelor degree in UDINUS, Indonesia. At both universities, I choose computer science as my major. I played games since I was 6 years old. The game is like a part of my blood for now.
Shortly, I am one of the game designers in Balap Kuliner board game. I contributed to the mechanics, story, and characters development. Unfortunately, before the game is finished, I must go to Taipei to catch the higher degree of education. It’s kind of trade-off for me since I knew I would not only learn many things but also sacrifice many more. Moreover, I’m the one who responsible to manage the things to publish my game.
Oh man. Studying is hard, isn’t it? plus managing your project from far away? holy cow! The first common problem that I get is not enough meeting time. Back then when I and my team are still living nearby, it was easy to make an appointment. But now, the condition is different. There is no way we can meet each other at the same location. Thanks to Skype and Google Hangout. Using such technology we were able to solve our discussion time problem. Me and one of my team member are able to use design software. Oh, dude! it helps us like a lot to create early prototype everytime we refine our game.
The second common problem is the extended deadline which I hate the most. Being apart from your team will slow down your progress like pretty much everytime! Either personally, or for the team, the progress will be stuck in many manners and times. For an instance, I can’t do quality control directly to what my teammate did to measure the printed prototype. Unfortunately, I’m a little bit perfectionist. So, in many times, I must re-do exactly what my teammate did just to make sure everything is on the expected quality. Thus, not only affecting the progress of the game but also my academic progress in university. The only way to solve this second problem is by finishing my homework faster and use the resulting free time (no more relax) to develop the board game.
The last common problem is, having no money. I personally think that in the board game, you need to spend little more money to create the paper prototypes. I get the money by doing a project from my professor which is not related to my game at all. Another time I work as a dishwasher and cooker in a Muslim restaurant on my campus. I need to lift up to 30kg of a big pan to cook macaroni and rice. At that moment I’m so grateful that so many people out there are much unlucky than to me. It was at that moment too I love my family, my god, and the people out there more than ever. It was such a lesson of life back then.
How is the result?
So now, some of you may ask me if there is any good in taking a degree abroad while my game is not finished. Well, to be honest, the answer is same with the chicken-or-egg-first question. The first benefit I can take from these things is that it makes me do my job better and faster over the time. I realize that I was too lazy and clumsy back then, and I regret it. I will argue that these things also reshape my mentality and my way of thinking in the good term. Finally, all those things make me prepare to create my next games better than ever. Truly, the best knowledge is the experience.
Finally, my game is published. It such a motivation boost to be more creative in the future. I know life can be shitty sometimes, but strong people are not built by the weak competition, do they?