A Look at What It Takes to Create a Successful Video Game
Patrick Hickey Jr. views video game developers as artists and believes many of them haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. In his new book, The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers, Hickey — lecturer and assistant director of the journalism program at Kingsborough Community College — delves into their stories.
Hickey interviewed more than 50 developers on the record and a handful off the record, including the people behind such classic games as Mortal Kombat, Deus Ex, Night Trap, Wasteland and NBA Jam.
“Every person featured in this book was told at several points that their game wasn’t good enough, that they needed to work harder, that their dream wasn’t going to come true. But they fought. They adapted. They grew,” said Hickey. “As an educator, I want to instill that same type of drive in my students.”
The book also details the passion and persistence it took to bring each creator’s game to market. “People don’t necessarily equate that type of struggle to video games and they think it’s all fun and games,” Hickey told New York’s Daily News. “But there’s so much humanity and so much passion and so much perseverance behind the creation of a videogame and it’s almost more so than any piece of art that you could think of.”
Hickey is no gaming neophyte. “I can tie every moment in my life to a game I was playing at the time or wanted to play,” he told Forbes. He owns more than 2,500 games, has covered the industry and reviews games on his own site, ReviewFix.com. He also does voice-overs for a few games.
Hickey equates them to music, art, or film, in their ability to entertain, inform, and educate. He explained, “Video games are so much more than kid stuff for me and millions of other people and it’s sad that they are dismissed by many academics.”