Five Nights at Freddy’s is a wonderful example of how negative criticism can be turned into something incredible.
The story is often told among FNAF fans of how the original game’s creator, Scott Cawthon, decided to create a horror game after hearing, to his dismay, that his child-friendly characters looked like creepy animatronics.
There’s a lesson here for all of us about how to take criticism, but more than that, Scott’s story is an example of how sometimes it takes years of work, and constant failure, before we’ll see any success from our efforts. The question is not how many times we fail, but how we keep ourselves going until we eventually achieve our dreams.
Scott Cawthon receives some flak from the gaming community for the speed at which he releases games, but as someone with a short creative attention span myself, I can appreciate the need to work quickly and finish small games in order to feel a sense of achievement more regularly. Indie game making, much like comic art (my own area of expertise) can be a lonely passion, and Scott shouldn’t be blamed for choosing projects that fit his own ideal work patterns.
While Scott has spoken publicly about his faith in many interviews, I almost left this part of his story out of the video, for fear that too much focus on Christian beliefs, might alienate viewers, or make people feel uncomfortable. If this is the case, I apologize, but I ultimately felt that it was necessary to include this, as a big part of Scott Cawthon’s journey as a developer came from drawing strength from his own convictions. Hopefully, even if you don’t share Scott’s world view, you can appreciate a need to feel happy with the direction your life before you can be at peace with your creative choices.
I will admit to reading between the lines a little in this story – based on the comments from you guys, I get the feeling that, like me, you’ll take strength from Scott’s story, and as such, while he may not have always made a big deal in interviews of the difficulties of juggling work and family with game design, I feel the inclusion of this within the video accurately reflects what he experience must have been, as it likely does for many of us who are still working to make our dreams a reality.
I also admit that neither of us have ever actually played a Five Nights at Freddy’s game – I’m (Kotor) not really into horror games, and BretonStripes if anything loves horror titles a bit too much, so she’s avoided these kinds of games since Slender in order to avoid losing sleep.
We were really taken by Scott Cawthon’s story, though, and his experience as an indie developer seemed perfect for us to share with you all, based on your comments. Plus, it was fun to tell the story of a game that was solely made by one person. We’ll probably do a few more indie titles in future.
Finally, if you’ve made it this far down the wall of text, congratulations! We have a question for you – we’re considering introducing some other kinds of content to the channel, in order to fill in the gaps between videos. These might be documentaries, interviews, reviews, or gaming news analysis. Is this something you’d like to see, or would you rather we stick to the current format for content?
Just to be clear, this wouldn’t be replacing the main videos, it’s just that these take a lot of time to produce, and we might like to try giving you something every week instead of shooting for every other week if we’re lucky. Let us know your thoughts, and what kinds of content you might like to see, in the comments.
If you’d like to learn more about Scott Cawthon, research for this video came from this interview: http://indiegamemag.com/igm-interviews-scott-cawthon-five-nights-at-freddys/
Music: Mesmerize by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0