AuthorTopic: Goblins Of The Game Industry  (Read 43889 times)

Offline hawken

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #20 on: February 13, 2006, 02:34:09 pm
thanks for the interesting post. I read all of it and see sense in every word.

I used to work in a game design team as the AD, and the problems you mention used to arise with my artists, but if you nip it in the bud early then things end up better all around. Also you can have over zelous game designers but this is a good thing.

After I went freelance I worked on some Sky TV games with an ex-collegue of mine. We didn't make any contracts because we were friends. In the end, I never got paid, even though I did all the work and the game went live. He did this to a few of my other friends and they are taking him to court. I lost about 700 from the project but I charged out at a fairly good rate so not too much time was wasted.

Sometimes it's essential to learn this for yourself, even with this great advice.
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Offline EyeCraft

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #21 on: April 15, 2006, 12:00:54 pm
Very good read. I'll keep these warnings close to me.

Offline MrNormS

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #22 on: July 24, 2006, 05:35:06 am
I too.  I have little experience in team efforts but see the value of these rules.

Offline jagged software

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #23 on: July 30, 2006, 10:28:44 am
This is a great thread, Shivers. Some excellent points are made.
The bottom line, everyone, is cover yourself. Either as the employer or employee.
A little protection goes a long way.

Be open with your peers. If you've got a problem or opinion, voice it. It's healthier than the alternative.

And for god's sake, if you're a developer, get a gameplan going instead of shooting from the hip. Plan the ENTIRE project out to get a good flow pattern going, streamline the whole process. You'll get better gas mileage.

And learn from history or it will repeat itself. Find out why all the other millions of games before yours failed. And get a plan on how to overcome the problem.

Developing the game is one thing, running it is another - it's a delicate balance, like an eco system or economy. It doesn't take much to crash. Murphy's law says if anything can go wrong, IT WILL - be ready for it!

Offline jagged software

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #24 on: July 30, 2006, 10:31:17 am
ounce of prevention  >  pound of cure

Offline TheAbyss

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #25 on: October 20, 2006, 07:45:05 pm
Well that makes sense.
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Offline Juniper

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #26 on: October 22, 2006, 09:02:06 pm

One additional point: Learn to sever emotional ties with the game you're working on.

Hear hear!  This is one of the most valuable things I've learned.  Even if you know what's best for the game, in the end it's about what the higher-ups want.  You should absolutely try to make them understand why things should be done "your way," but if they decide against it, don't push the point anymore.  Move on, do exactly what you are asked to do without sulking  :-X

This is also good to think about when you -are- one of the higher-ups.  The people working on your project may know what's best, even if it doesn't mesh with your original vision.  When I designed my own game, I was a little too attached to the work I'd already done in pre-production.  I bitched and moaned when the guy who was actually going to do most of the art wanted to do the sprites in his own style, but in the end he was right!  The game looked better his way, and he was probably more productive because he was a happy camper.

This is basic professionalism I guess, but it's hard to keep in mind when you are far too emotionally attached to the game!

Offline Juniper

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #27 on: October 22, 2006, 09:10:29 pm
One thing that really gets me is games that are made from movies and/or TV shows, they are usually not top quality games
and it seems to me that this is because people are going to buy it anyway because of the name on it. But as sto says, thats the way the business work. People jump on the chance to work on a game made after a movie or show without realizing what type of projects these are. Just once I'd like to see a game that was given even more time than the movie or show to get it right.

In the big license titles I've worked on, the problem with quality has been precisely because not enough time was spent on the game.  However, the reason wasn't because we were counting on the license to sell units and hence didn't care about quality...it was because the stupid license holder didn't look for developers and/or sign a contract in time!  Usually it's like, "ok we have this big movie coming out, oh yeah we should have a mobile game released simultaneously...hey can your team make a game in 6 weeks?"

The fact that it's a big license suckers you into saying "sure we can do that!" because that kind of work is great for the ol' portfolio.  If it was not a cool license, you'd be saying "no way are you crazy, that's not enough time!"  You can't ask for more time because if the game comes out a week after the movie, sales slip alot.

As a result, another crappy movie license game hits the airwaves. 

I guess that's what you were saying, FaeryShivers!  It -would- be great to see the games given more time.  Darn those license-holders.  Drat those publishers.

Nevertheless, it -is- good for the resume, so I'd say it's worthwhile to work on such games now and then.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2006, 09:13:42 pm by Juniper »

Offline AdamTierney

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #28 on: November 05, 2006, 06:43:47 am
Juniper speaks the truth. :) And it's a damned shame. A console tie-in may get anywhere up to 3 or 4 years of being worked on, but the handheld versions rarely start production more than about 6 months before they're due. There's no real reason for it, other than an industry-wide shrug to handheld gaming, which is a shame since last time I checked, DS and GBA were dominating consoles in system sales and increasing user base.

My advice is whenever possible, go small and fight for that decision. On X-Men GBA we worked far larger than what our time allowed comfortably, and scrambled to put together something that was ultimately sub-par. With Justice League GBA, we cut the levels and bosses in half and came out with a much more polished title. Time is the worst enemy to handheld developers (much more often than budget), but size if often the best weapon to fight back with.

This is also good to think about when you -are- one of the higher-ups.  The people working on your project may know what's best, even if it doesn't mesh with your original vision.  When I designed my own game, I was a little too attached to the work I'd already done in pre-production.  I bitched and moaned when the guy who was actually going to do most of the art wanted to do the sprites in his own style, but in the end he was right!  The game looked better his way, and he was probably more productive because he was a happy camper.

Testify! I designed X-Men myself, and we held to my design for better or worse. With Justice League, the first thing I did was design the game by comittee with my two lead programmers over the first 2 weeks of production. We were able to better exploit the strengths of the system and of the programmers, and they felt more investment in the project which drove them to make an even better product.

- Adam
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 06:45:33 am by AdamTierney »

Offline Soup

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Re: Goblins Of The Game Industry

Reply #29 on: November 15, 2006, 12:49:16 am
In a way the leader has to be multitalented. If someone who has horrible taste in everything will the game sell? This would lead into the whole money issue where the leader may become addictited to the money made thus forcing everybody to do everything thus destroying the whole get rid of everybody thing because you yourself are the problem.
Sorry if this is random and sounds stupid.