One of the problems in becoming a famous game developer is the weight of expectation from fans, eager to get their hands on new games. Few people know more about this than Marcus "Notch" Persson, creator of Minecraft.
In the wake of his decision to entirely abandon sci-fi game 0x10c — which has now been taken over by a group of community fans — Notch took to his blog to talk about the difficulty of balancing his love for experimentation with his desire to please fans.
"0x10c was quite ambitious, but I was fairly sure I could pull it off," he wrote. "And besides, if I failed, so what? A lot of my prototypes fail way before they get anywhere at all. What I hadn't considered was that a lot more people care about my games now [than before Minecraft]. People got incredibly excited, and the pressure of suddenly having people care if the game got made or not started zapping the fun out of the project."
I want to do smaller games that can fail
Notch said that his whole career has been about embarking on huge, ambitious projects, seeing how far they go, and either completing or abandoning them. But life in the public eye has added a new dimension to his creative model.
When he mentioned that 0x10c had been put on ice, "that became news," he blogged. "I understand why, and it really shouldn't surprise me, but I really don't want to turn into another under-delivering visionary game designer. The gaming world has enough of those.
"I want to do smaller games that can fail," he added. "I want to experiment and develop and think and tinker and tweak. I'll also keep talking to the players ... for whoever wants to listen, but for now I don't want to work on anything big."