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Game blogger turned game developer: Five things I didn't get about making video games

By Jos ยท 24 replies
Mar 11, 2015
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  1. making video games

    Before I joined Gearbox Software, I worked at Destructoid as a features editor. I worked there from 2006 to 2010 and specialized in highlighting indie games and spewing vitriol at big-budget games I didn't like. It turns out there were a shitload of things I didn't know about games development.

    Back in the day, I wouldn't hesitate to call a game like Assassin's Creed "a piece of ****ing ****," or to paint its developers as "a bunch of *****s who don't understand game design." These are not hypotheticals, I said that ****.

    I said this kinda stuff all the time, and why wouldn't I? I played their games, I found them wanting, and I felt like I had a pretty good idea of where and why things had gone wrong. I may not have ever made a game myself (apart, that is, from a 2D artgame best described as "Passage meets Battletoads" and oh my god was it as bad as it sounds), but I basically knew what game development was about, right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Read the complete article.

  2. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 498   +131

    To summarize, I was a complete *** and I feel like an ***** for most of my past criticisms. I grew up and **** got real.

    Forget gaming journalism. Journalists don't have a firm grasp on their own biases. I only trust my biases. Basically because when I'm forming opinions for myself, my biases are the only ones that matter. Also I feel I'm far more aware of my own biases when I'm forming them then these ******* journalists.
    davislane1 and Arris like this.
  3. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    Journalists are just gamers who get their opinion read by people. You can see these biases every day in gaming forums. I think that his point is valid, and a lot of people should learn it: criticism is good, making it personal is bad and stupid.
  4. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,687   +354

    I mostly agree with Scshadow's summary, although at least the blogger did growup and stuck with it rather than giving up when discovering there was a lot more to it than he had previously thought, so credit to him for that.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,458   +1,737

    Duh, making stuff is harder than just trolling about it online - no way!!! :)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
    Arris likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,802   +1,539

    Sadly, journalism as a whole has suffered considerably over the past two decades. Gone are the days of clear and concise reporting, only to be replaced by opinionated and boorish "talent" that looks good but who's real contribution comes up short. This has been furthered by the internet where anyone and everyone can be and often is part of the everlasting opinion crowd.

    A good editorial can be priceless, causing us to think and consider an opinion that is different from our own. The best editorial will cause us pause, making us seriously consider or reconsider not only our opinion but our outlook on the subject, perhaps even life itself.

    It's tough to sit back and have an honest reflection on one's activities and even tougher to be self critical, particularly in the eye of the public. My hats off to those that can take that first step and hope he will stick to the path.
    Arris and davislane1 like this.
  7. Borderlands 2 sucked.
  8. So if part of a game plays like **** while the rest of it is good we can blame the companies and not so much the devs in some cases.

    The sad part is these bigger gaming companies that do have all their own money to dev their own games and have a far bigger say in their game's deadlines STILL push unnecessary deadlines (especially if its a squeal producing money cow). And if the game catches heat from gamers who gets the blame? The devs. The devs don't get the time they need when the company could still probably give it to them. And the company just lets their devs take the blame usually.
  9. The picture reminds me of Tom goes to the Mayor. :)
  10. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,919   +595

    I'm confused. Is this game blogger saying we should give developers a pass, because what they do is hard?
  11. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,046   +321

    When devs use the word "excited"

    When anyone uses the word excited I go to sleep. So glad that more folk realize that it is just a filler... I don't mean a thing word
  12. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,507   +3,510

    He's saying that being a jackwagon demonstrates ignorance.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,012   +2,890

    I'd much rather play Assassins Creed than Borderlands 2. In fact Borderlands 2 left me cold, it's a good thing I could try before I buy otherwise I wouldn't have been a happy camper.
    The only good games to have ever come out of Gearbox studios has been the Brothers in Arms series as far as I'm concerned.
  14. Misagt

    Misagt TS Addict Posts: 129   +63

    What he is saying is gaming is full of living room coaches. What you see as the end product and what you observe makes it easy for people to say. "change this or should of done that" But without knowing the systems behind a game you don't know the reasons why certain choices were made. The end of the day game makers have to feed the families of their workers and at times if certain choices aren't made they could lose their company and cost their employees their jobs . You commit 10-20 hours average on a game and maybe commit $60 bucks. Some developers spend years and put there homes on the line to make a game.

    Personally it's too much risk for me and although at times a game may not be what I hoped I do my best not to hammer on the guys chained to a desk trying to give you the best experience they can.
    gamoniac likes this.
  15. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,044   +794

    I loved Borderlands 2, I have all the DLC and roamed the lands with many fellow gamers on PC. Once I'd gone through it all on like the 8th time though I'm finally tired of it.

    Agreed about Assassins Creed though, what a load of rubbish! I enjoyed the first game, at the time it was at least something new, Number 2 was ok and since then it's just got the same old like Call of Duty.
    Arris likes this.
  16. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,919   +595

    Unfortunately for publishers and developers, that's not my problem. You can be okay dealing with an unfinished product while they still get paid, but this homie don't play dat!

    When you get a real perspective of what goes on behind the scenes, you'll see things a little differently. This bloggers' story is cute, but that's all it is. Enjoy...

    Exhibit A: http://wccftech.com/exnvidia-driver-developer-game-ships-broken/

    Exhibit B:

    Exhibit C:

    Exhibit D:
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  17. Creative jobs are almost always more difficult than people expect. Combine that with the business demands and you get into a hyper compromise state. Some companies won't sacrifice quality for $, most do.

    You'll get no pity from me, nor should you, with the kind of money the industry is making, there simply is no excuse. It reminds me of the music industry, getting so used to making huge profits for mediocrity. It's typical to abuse the slave workers, but my guess is you're being paid pretty well, and if you're not, it's your own fault, do something else.

    Same goes for "Blue lives matter" etc. If you're not up to the task, go do something else.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  18. Deltree

    Deltree TS Enthusiast Posts: 27

    I really enjoyed this article.

    Also, I loved Borderlands 2 so much, after somone I have never met was nice enough to share his\her copy with me for free via the internet, I had so much fun I bought two copies. One for my PC chum and one for my console pal. (I forgive his gaming platform choices he uses an iMac. Yes the horrible half see-through crazy colored huge CRT shits from '98. It smells strange when its been on for more than 15 mins. He is still a cool guy.)
    Arris likes this.
  19. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Guru Posts: 303   +71

    I enjoyed reading the article and the different perspectives from the author both as a blogger and as a developer. I think most criticisms on this article fall on black and white, much like the author's own harsh words for game developers in his younger years. Things are rarely what they seem in real life.
  20. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +26

    "(*Not because it would result in some sort of payout bonus or anything, but because pride, you know? Maybe it's just me, but I look at a 90 game with a much different sense of that game's quality than when I look at an 89 game.)"

    That's Metacritic for you. I get that it's difficult, but basing your degree of sucess on your metacritic score? You people, of all people will understand the true depth of a game. some percentage isn't going to cut it.
  21. Misagt

    Misagt TS Addict Posts: 129   +63

    Please don't throw some of the worst games ever to try invalidating my point. I've seen all those videos long before you pulled them up. I'm not talking about trash made by some guy trying to cash in. These choice examples you picked don't represent the vast majority of developers. You sir, are who this article is address let me boil it down for you. He isn't saying we should rejoice over **** games. What he is saying is that many games are good, but there will always be things or choices people will think that could make the game better. It's easy to critique for your computer at home but your brillant thoughts from home were probably already considered and were dropped for one reason or another. Should we hold games to a high standard? Yes, absolutely! But we don't have to be calling every game wasn't perfection in your eyes crap. To quote Leonardo da Vinci, "Art is never finished only abandoned".
  22. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,919   +595

    I never said or implied that games that weren't perfect were crap. If that's what you got from my post and the videos, that is unfortunate. Let's just agree to disagree on this one.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  23. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Addict Posts: 231   +72

    Ow so now that this guy realised that game making is actual work and not just funny happy time its apparently ok to have bugs and bad endings because ya know devs have to live and pay bills too... oh my.

    We're way too forgiving with them all.
  24. My viewpoint is a lot of games are ok, but some are beautiful but horrible. That was how I felt about Final Fantasy 13-2. I felt Final Fantasy 13's biggest fault was being a main stream Final Fantasy game, and if it wasn't for that, it wouldn't of gotten as much flack as it did. Now in 13-2, it was many things I didn't like about 13, covered in a pile of vomit and ****. I loathe that game. The dlc practices were the absolute worst part of it for me, as having an empty arena for most of the game, and nothing to do there unless you pony up cash was like the final nail in the coffin. I have no sympathy for Squeenix for that game. They had a knee jerk reaction to the reception of FF 13, and they made it worse for 13-2. I felt like they only wanted to milk the fanbase with that game, and lastly Lightning Returns. Some game developers don't deserve the really harsh criticisms they get, but some of them do deserve it.
  25. DNMock

    DNMock TS Rookie

    Isn't this the guy who wrote about 1.5 good games, then fell asleep at the wheel and drove off a bridge?

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