With Find the Gnome 2 released, a lot of that pressure has had a relieve. So here is a new article on my view on game dev: why are games like they are today?
Why are games like they are today?
First, this video from Josh Strife Hayes:
First, let me be clear: this guy is one of the best critics out there. Has a hearth of gold, points out the real issues, and even provides solutions.
He addresses the following things in this video
- Increase in popularity of gaming
- New options (of updating your games) becoming available
- Birth of various addictive and misleading gameplay features
- More emphasis on content that makes money (than on good fun gameplay)
- More power to ‘marketeers’ in game dev companies, thus pushing previous mentioned gameplay
- Game dev companies being ultimately about generating the most money possible
I have also written a ton on the advances in the game dev industry. And contemplated at why things are like they are today.
Josh makes a couple of very good points. From a player perspective, from the game design perspective and from the marketeer / ‘big money’ perspective.
But there is more to this. People are people in that they try to make ‘things work’ in life and use the path of the least resistance. However there are also people (like me) that have less nefarious intentions. I insist in that I have ‘a backbone’ or ‘a vision’ and don’t want to make as much money as possible. And are just looking to do cool things and/or advance the industry forward. You can see this yourself in how I make my games and how I treat the people I do business with.
Yes I need my business to generate money to sustain myself. Let that be clear. And I want to get a bit more so I can invite other fun people to be around me and let them share. But there is a limit to where I want to go. One of those limits is when you don’t respect a persons most precious resource on earth: his time.
Josh does hint on ‘some games making less money because they don’t monetize that heavy’. I think that a lot of these game dev companies didn’t do this because they don’t want to do that. Its not that they ‘forgot’ about that heavy monetization is a possibility, or that they lack the technical know-how. Its about having the right priorities. Yes there are a lot of people that are in here for the money only… but hey, isn’t that a problem of life itself?
In the past years, I produced a few articles myself on this issue. Here are these articles on that (ordered in time). It tries to shed a perspective from a developer point of view:
- 2019 Early access in gaming: Agile business development in AAA gone wrong
- 2019 The game industry seems to ignore Agile development, but can they?
- 2019 I keep thinking about Agile
- 2019 Continues updates (or: after-launch support)
- 2020 The Decade in Games
- 2021 Iterative game dev
So… and… what now?
I really like thinking about this subject. Its a combination of a few cool topics that i like: game dev, self improvement, having meaningful and interesting work (as a game dev), enabling more fun games by having enough income to sustain building games, giving gamers fun and good games to play.
I am going to think a bit more about this. Maybe write another article on this subject? I have seen a lot more of the game dev and indie game dev scene in the last year (now corona isn’t that big of an issue anymore). And I have seen a lot of cool stuff happening. That would be an interesting starting point…
I would invite other devs to join in on the discussion. Through your own blogs, video blogs, platforms and whatever. And together look at what is happening here.
Edit: I posted this on reddit… and it got removed. Im sorry for that, folks at reddit. Still all devs are invited to join in on the discussion.