About two years ago, in 2020, it was the beginning of the pandemic. I was bored, really bored at home. I just finished my exams, and I had an easy part-time job that did not require much brainpower. Then one night, I had an idea; it was new, different, and familiar. So that was how Hawker Life was born.
I called up my friend who is trained in graphic design. After calling him for 1 hour, he was up to help! I thought of the idea the night before, and now, looking at this notepad, it is definitely possible to launch something like this. I started working on the game design, and I got a few inspirations, mainly the game Monopoly deal but with a collaborative side, just like the hawker culture in Singapore.
In my first game, I did not know the complexity and the loopholes of the game. I did not understand the meaning of fun and the different formal elements of a game. I thought I was the "expert" of games because I produced something unique.
I did not know what was playtesting and how critical it was! But I was testing something, my game. I took in the feedback and changed it accordingly. Iteration is the proper term that I know now. But it was iteration that got me more comfortable with the idea that I was about to launch.
In retrospect, there are a few changes I would love to make.
- First, I would want to playtest the game more. I did not understand what playtesting was, but I appreciate that this launch made me more sensible in creating games.
My feedback during the playtest was: that there were not enough ingredients, too many action cards, and too many things going around. I did not follow them, and I convinced my friends why this worked better.
- I would have adjusted the game mechanics instead of loving it so much. Ideas should not be overly loved but appreciated with care. I should be flexible as a game designer to store these "absurd" ideas and change the mechanics to what the users prefer for this game. "Absurd" ideas will have a place to go somewhere next time!
- I would be more focused on UX. UX in games is underrated and often overlooked. I would sketch more and create different versions of prototypes before producing the game.
I made this game without much knowledge. I was and am still proud of what I have produced without any knowledge. I am going to create more games!
Better ones, I promise