About a year ago I was driving to work as I do every day. I do not like doing it - the driving, not my work - and my mind will wander as much as it can be allowed to as I pay attention to the road.
I saw a color block flash in my mind's eye. The idea of sliding it left, right, up or down, it changing from one end of the rainbow scale of colors to the next as you did so. Matching three tiles would clear the board - common in puzzle games these days - and yet the colors would mix and match, becoming harder to clear.
I pulled to the side of the road, jotted down some notes and then resumed my trip to work.
When I got home that evening, I spent my free time cranking on a little test. I decided on a three by three grid with numbers, colors and sound. Tapping a tile would cut its value in half and give value to the surrounding tiles. It was confusing. I showed it to my wife and she looked at me like I was crazy.
I went back to the drawing board.
subaku came to life within a month or two of playing with various things. I learned a lot about game design, iOS programming, marketing, and finishing goals. Releasing it was one of the most unbelievable moments.
My second game is fairly underway now. I have been doing a lot of translating work which has been distracting me, but I will work on. I have a feeling it may sell even less than subaku. But it has taken me a lot of thinking and time to realize that, while I require money to live, I desire making games to feel fulfilled.
It is true joy.