Why I Make Games: we ask 21 of the world’s leading developers about what motivates them

why_i_make_games

Warren Spector

Founder and creative director, Junction Point

My desire, my need, to make videogames goes back to my very first Dungeons & Dragons play sessions. I’ll never forget the emotional high, the joy, I felt. I’d always known I wanted to tell stories for a living, but until D&D, I assumed I’d tell them to people. What D&D taught me was the power of telling stories with other people.

Five or six of us – working within a framework created by a dungeon master – could craft our own experiences. We could see and do and say things no one else in the world had ever seen, done or said… We could do things in our imaginary worlds that would be at best unacceptable in the real world… We could walk in the shoes of people from ancient civilisations, have adventures that put to shame the exploits of real explorers… We could all become storytellers.

That was life changing for me. I was lucky enough to become a professional tabletop game developer, even working for TSR on roleplaying adventures like those that had inspired me. But our reach seemed so limited. Even back in the late ’80s, the potential to reach a larger audience seemed so much greater in the world of electronic games than it did in my world of funny dice and complex rulesets. I made the leap to computer games.