#1: Take the Leap, Start Working on Your Dream
I believe everyone has ideas, or dreams of things they'd want to create one day,
some day. But the key factor that separates those who make it from those who
a little bit of ignorance. You really have to ignore the voices in your head
that tell you that the task is too big, that you are not prepared, that question who
are you to make a difference in the world. In other words, you have to be more
optimistic, but also more naive. Better regret doing it than not doing it.
Have you ever heard of the saying, Reach for the Sun to land on the Moon?. This
saying defines me. Think bigger to end up big and always go for it. This got me
my first job, my first short film and now it got me my first boardgame. The first two
are some of my greatest accomplishments and if the trend continues, the
boardgame will be too.
#2: Understand What You are Getting Yourself Into
I recommended you to be more naive, not stupid. Naivety is playful, stupidity is
punishing. When I first started to learn my craft (I am a digital 3d artist) I wanted to
make Lord of the Rings Fan Art. That movie inspired me but I didn't know anything
about 3D, or art in general, but I wanted to make the citadel of Minas Tirith. That
was naive. But I worked so hard and learned so much that people at Ubisoft were
impressed by the size of the citadel and the magnitude of the project and that got
me a job. At 18 years old I was the youngest in the company and maybe the most
naive person. People laugh at my enthusiasm even now.
Half a decade later I was dreaming about an action short film idea and I've
decided to buy a DLSR and shoot it. I had no background, just a desire and a
passion. This was my first short ever, and my only one as of 2016.
Not many people know, but Urban was supposed to be only the introduction to a
larger action chase but I soon found myself way over my head and had to cut it.
Who thought that action is not as easy to shoot as it seems? But shoot for the Sun
to land on the Moon, remember? The short movie won some art contests, ended
up in a couple of music videos and made its budget back. Not only that, but now I
have this short that I can look back to with the pride that I've created something.
The point is that you need to be prepared to learn A LOT. I mean, A LOT! And this
can be done only if you are passionate about what you want to do, otherwise you
will have no patience to do it. Do not start something for money as it never ends
well. Do not go somewhere for a reward, go somewhere cause you like it.
#3: Set High Standards from the Get Go
Do not make your benchmark your parents or friends. They will love what you do
no matter what, and there is a good chance that they are not knowledgeable on
the given subject and will give you no real feedback but only free love. Love can hurt.
Choose the best out there and try to do as good as they do, even if you are alone.
For boardgames it's easy to feel overwhelmed by companies with lots of
employees and a known brand and as a lone designer you really have to be
ignorant to the voice that tells you that you cannot compete with a company.
Personally, I wanted to aspire to produce my boardgame at a Fantasy Flight and
Days of Wander quality standard. Nothing less.
If you want to build a brand you cannot build it on cheap foundation so you need
to invest your time and your resources. Fans or clients will sense that you do not
believe in yourself so give 100% in your dream. If you are not all in why would
anyone support you?
#4: Don't Look for Reasons to Fail
There is an abort fail system inside all of us, but it never blames ourselves, but our
circumstances. I don't have the resources, I don't have the contacts, I don't have
the time, I don't have the luck, etc. When I was working on the citadel of Minas
Tirith I had a very weak PC. It was very bad for working in 3D. During my research
to learn 3D I would lurk on forums and would often see people excusing
themselves for not working on their projects anymore with the My PC is too bad
for computer graphics".
One day, I finally decide to post my progress and someone asks me how much
RAM do I have to support such a heavy 3D scene. I say 256 and everyone's minds
were blown. There was a mixture of pity and amazement. The secret was that my
few resources made me think of work-arounds and my passion was my fuel to this
creativity for improvisation.
The same effect happened when I shot Urban, as many filmmakers believe that
shorts can be shot only with REDs or fancy cameras, while the secret is to just
shoot it. People will appreciate your motivation and will be amazed at your skills of
#5: The World Doesn't Care
The sooner you understand this the better. It is your dream, not theirs. Do not wait
for support from others. Sure, you can lure attention but in the end, it is your
interest to do the best you can do, not anyone else's. And don't blame them, they
have their own dreams to take care of.
But dont look for reason to fail just because you cannot get someone to help. Do
it yourself. Learn and create what you are missing. It sounds hard, and it is, but the
alternative is to just stop. If that's an option, then you didn't have it in you.
In conclusion, do everything you can to follow you dreams, and understand what
you are trying to do, and for whom you are doing it. I cannot talk about the
boardgame at the past tense as its history is in the making but what I can tell you
is that even if it doesn't work well I really did my best and I will have no regret. I did
not back down, I did not cheap out. I did everything I could, I learned everything I
thought I needed to learn. We all have our limits and this would prove to be one of
them for me. But if people like what I have created, then this experience will top
down every accomplishment I have ever had.