Lift while you climb

Better late than never! Here's what the site is about, who I am, and where its heading.

Lift while you climb

πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Heya, I'm Arman. I make games with the help of a small crew at the studio I founded, Good Trouble. While this post probably should've been the first post published, as it's a more detailed dive into the inspiration and intentions of this site, the next-best time for an introduction is right now!

In this career and my last, I've had the great fortune of finding some incredible mentors to help me along the way. Β This site is a step towards paying that good fortune forward, while I'm still learning and discovering new things every day. As my friend Cat Noone puts it, "you lift while you climb."

Making games has been a lifelong dream for me, ever since I was a kid. Growing up, the cost of buying luxuries and games was entirely out of the question for my family, so I developed a deep curiosity in figuring out what I could make for myself. I'd make my own games out of cardboard, desktop folders with custom icons, even absolutely cursed combinations of LEGO and superglue. When I came down with cancer in my teens, I used my time in the hospital to tinker and learn the basics of coding; mostly by making mods for the games I was playing at the time. It would be well over a decade later before I jumped into making games with both feet.

Games are, to put it lightly, really fucking difficult to make. I'm absolutely still learning, like everyone else is. Instead of reading anything on this site and thinking it's some expert professing trade secrets, think of it as a really dedicated student sharing their homework with you.

In a previous career in UX design, I worked at YouTube; and in my nights and weekends, I made a practice tool called Sharpen with my good friend Anthony. There's something about growing up with very little that has always compelled me to help teach others what I've been able to learn, and what mentors have shared with me. The experience at YouTube, for example, taught me a ton about accessibility – after all, if you're building for a billion people, you have to take into account the full, incredible tapestry that is humanity. In the years since then, I've become an advocate and mentor for others in design and accessibility; and as I grow in games, it's my hope to continue the tradition of mentorship. It's my hope that by intertwining player-advocacy with guides, observations, and tutorials, I'll help add a small amount of momentum to changing the games landscape in a more open, more equitable, and more equal direction.

I write about game development and share advice, tools, and more. Support my work by subscribing for free!

In addition to sharing some of the most reusable, most useful practical things I've discovered making games – like building a localization system or ways to assess game mechanics for accessibility – I want to explore building my games and studio in the open.

Part of that happens here, with posts that'll pull back the curtain and share what me and my team are building, how we're building it, why we're building those things. Some of that'll inevitably happen on the studio's Discord, which you can find here:

Coming soon

Here's what you can expect in the coming weeks:

  • A guide on building a localization system. Super important for games, and sort of a pain to build & manage! I'll share a localization system I built that makes this super easy.
  • Cross-platform input template. It's my go-to template when starting a new project, because it has all the input systems already set up, and some sample scripts to quickly hook into. It seems like a helpful thing to share, so I'll make that available with a guide on how to use it.
  • Games accessibility!! Probably the topic I'm most passionate about. From game design to fine-grain interactions, there's a whole spectrum of ways to make your game more approachable to more people. I want to help more folks play more games, so I'll be happy to share my tips & tools for doing that.

That's all for now! Thanks for reading & making it to the end. I'm legit thrilled to share more, to build in the open, and most importantly, to keep learning.

Cheers ✌🏼

Other things to read

Paper Prototyping 101 - How To Prototype A Game
An in-depth guide to understanding, building, testing, and iterating a game in paper prototype form.
You made it to the end! Thanks for reading. You can support my work by subscribing for free!