|A board game idea I played around with|
My eyes can't help but light when I generally read articles like the one in the above link because I have been one of these people who have asked this question. How do I become a game creator? Most of the points made by Vogel here are pretty legitimate. First off, yes, you have to start trying to make games. It doesn't matter what kind of game you make, you just have to make it. You have to be able to show off your idea in a way that people can visualize it and ponder. Otherwise you're already in trouble.
Secondly, playing games with an open mind is always the right thing to do. You can't just sit back and play a video game and not think about how you would change some things about said game. Being an aspiring game creator myself, I have to be able to visualize what changes I would make to my favorite video games, step back and then ask myself if those changes would make the gameplay experience better for the average gamer.
What I can say about thoughtfully playing video games is this; pick apart the video games you play, and pick them apart often. Don't pick them apart in poor taste, but just keep it in perspective. The only way you learn how to make your own video game is if you detect what made some games great or not so great.
Pick and choose what kind of media you want to absorb. I personally don't absorb all media. I'm just not a fan of all kinds of media. It's impossible to love every different kind of media out there. For instance I have never been a horror fan, so don't expect me to hop on the horror movie style video game bandwagon anytime soon... or ever for that matter.
Media isn't limited to video games. Watch some of your favorite movies, TV shows and cartoons. Read some of your favorite novels and comic books. Listen to podcasts on the internet and see if you can get inspiration from the voices that run those podcasts. Get your mind working however you need to. In fact maybe a newspaper article that sticks out in your mind be the thing that motivates you. Who knows?
Lastly I think Vogel hit the nail on the head with his #5 point of advice. Find your own voice. In other words, find your way onto the game development stage. There is no clear cut one way for you to start making games. All of us take on different paths to get to where we want to go in life. Your path will obviously be different compared to my path, and that's cool. Some of the video game pioneers I read about have taken much different paths to long-lasting success in game development compared to my path.
Making a video game is an art form of sorts. I envision my own custom video games one way while you will envision something completely different with your games. Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh painted different kinds of artwork, but they are both still considered to be great artists.
In my opinion, you gotta be creative. You gotta have the heart to be a game developer. You gotta have the mind to discern what makes sense in a game and what doesn't, no matter how much you like certain gameplay features. You have to make the tough decisions and live with them. You can't overlook the easy decisions you make. You have to be bold sometimes in order to make your game stand out, but with every move you make there has to be a valid reason behind those moves.
In closing, if you want to be a game dev, love the development process. It will reward you in the end if you stick with it.