Developing with Glorious Trainwrecks

This essay was originally written for the “Glorious Trainwrecks X Babycastles” zine for the Spring 2018 exhibition of the same name at Babycastles in New York.

The “development” in game development emphasizes process. You write a novel. You compose a song. You develop a game. The term conjures up an extensive and lengthy process of experimentation, revision, rearrangement, expansion, and polish. The project folders–tangible and digital–of any number of game makers would attest to this process, full of in-development projects that failed to come together, exceeded manageable scope, or could not sustain the interest of the game’s author or team, none of which will ever see the light of day.

Jeremey “SpindleyQ” Penner’s original introduction to Glorious Trainwrecks states “this site is about nothing, if it is not about getting off your ass and creating.” The site’s (roughly) two-hour Klik of the Month Klub events aren’t game jams. They’re not don’t-sleep, days-long frenzies of activity with teams. They’re non-competitive. They liberate the game maker from the desert of half-thoughts and projects stuck in developmoent limbo by asking them to just have a thought and complete it.

To complete it and release it to a diverse community of interested individuals, no matter the thought’s genre or its execution. The games that others at Glorious Trainwrecks have made have entertained me, inspired me (both inside and outside of my game-making), made me rethink things, and fostered a strong sense of community. And the community’s always growing and evolving. It develops with new participants, new games, and new thoughts. A creative process with lots to show for it.

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