Saturday, 14 September 2013

Game Dev Tycoon - A Non-Labour of Love and Work

Hello there.

Right, my last post was something of a late night rush job. It was written because it had to be done, and it was posted because I had to share it. Now that I've put in a good lot more hours into the game, I can give you a much more realistic and thought through analysis of how good this game is.

It is definitely, 100% one of the few 10/10 games that I've ever played.

Other examples include Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption and Doom II. The game is extremely addictive and manages to make you really feel passionately about what is happening.

Right, firstly the main aim is to develop games and for them to be good. Ideally, for them to hit scores of 10. The higher rated the game, the more dosh you'll earn, the more things you can research and the further your company can expand.

I've yet to complete the game yet, but I know I cannot be far and it's been nothing short of superb.

The game isn't just about making games and money, there are opportunities to pursue; research to develop; people to hire, train and fire; new office's to expand into and game conventions to attend.

Not just that, but if you want a bit of extra cash or the chance to get some more research points, you can take on contract work - being mindful not to take on something your team can't handle though otherwise that chance for extra cash turns into you getting a financial penalty. 

From the things you research, you can then develop bigger and better game engines, giving your games an edge over competitors - at a cost though, engines can start off costing a few thousand quid, but as you research new technologies and better graphics, they can end up costing millions.

Developing a game comes in 4 stages:

  • Pre Development
    • Game Name
    • Game Size (Small, Medium and Large - Only small games at first)
    • Target Audience (Young, Everyone, Mature)
    • Topic (Fantasy, Sports, City, Movies etc)
    • Genre (Action, Adventure, Simulation etc)
    • Platform (PC, PlaySystem, mBox etc)
    • Game Engine (Your own custom made engines)
  • Stage 1 Focuses On:
    • Engine
    • Gameplay
    • Story / Quests
  • Stage 2 Focuses On:
    • Dialogues
    • Level Design
    • AI
  • Stage 2 Focuses On:
    • World Design
    • Graphics
    • Sound
Putting time and focus onto each area of each stage is controlled with simple sliders, and eventually when you can make medium or large games you can assign staff members to each area - being careful not to overuse individuals. There are certain genres of games that require more technical or design focus, so an RPG would have to have heavy focus of Story, Dialogue and World Design, whereas a Music game would have to have high focus on Sound for example.

In short though, there's not a lot I can tell you about the game that doesn't come from playing it, it's a clear 10/10 game that will suck you in massively, that will frustrate you (in the best way), that will get you tweaking, hiring and firing and finally fist pumping when you release a game that gets scores of 10 itself (that straight 10/10 all round game is still eluding me DAMMIT!!!) and the shock when you see your game that's done well has sold millions of copies. Also the strange pride you feel when your company goes to a games-con and it's the top-rated booth with millions of people visiting you.

The game is magnificent, it's simple yet complex and it will pull you in. Most of all, a sign that it's a great game is this: when it finishes, you'll be disappointed and a little upset that you didn't manage to do more. Of course you can carry on playing, however what you do after the end point wont go towards any score.

I must finish this with 1 piece of advice. Are you ready? Right...go now, and buy this game. Buy it now. I'll even help you (not financially of course you buffoon!) by giving you this:

Now leave this place. And enjoy yourself.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Game Dev Tycoon Review

Game Dev Tycoon - Greenheart Games (
PC (Steam) - Casual, Indie, Simulation, Strategy

It's been a while since I posted a review of a game using the written word. So here it goes.

This is a very impromptu post because I only invested in Game Dev Tycoon (GDT) tonight. I got it on a whim after seeing it advertised on Steam's front page ( and for just over a fiver I thought "Sod it. It looks good fun, why not?!" and that gut feeling that it would be a good punt served me well!

Don't let the 68/100 Metascore put you off, it's intriguing, in-depth, extremely fun and so easy to pick up and play, it definitely fits the bill of being a "casual" game.

Previously I put PopCap games like Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies in the category of "Casual". You know the type: games that you could play sat on the toilet as well as laying in bed or sat at the computer...although don't mix those up, my wife doesn't appreciate it when I go to the toilet while laying in bed playing PvZ...

I digress though. This review will follow in GDT's footsteps - being easy, quick and simple.

The premise of the game is that you are a lone games developer in the 80's in your garage just as the gaming market is about to get massive. You have to work out (to start with) 4 things about your game - Title, Topic, Genre and Platform. The title is free text, so call it what you want; the topic is things like Government, Airplane, Zombies etc; the genre is things like Action, RPG, Simulation etc and platform is what the game will be developed for. Now you then need to strike the right balance of how the game will be developed such as it's graphics, sound, engine, dialogue, world design etc and how much emphasis will go towards each area. Some games are more suited to different areas and it can take a little while to work out what areas each type of game needs more love in. The easiest way though, think about what you like in games of certain genres and go with that.

After a while, if you get enough moolah, then you can move out of your dingy garage and move into a fully fledged cool office and even hire extra staff to help make your games the awesome things you want them to be.

You can research new game topics, create your own engines and conduct staff training for yourself as well as any staff you might employ - this might cost a bit sometimes, but it'll be worth it in the end. You also have interesting moral choices to make from time to time, such as what action to take on fans of your games creating unofficial content - you can leave them alone, or sue them for example. I personally left them alone, because a lot of great spin-off games from fans in the past - look at Counter-Strike as possibly the most successful one!

The game itself is ridiculously easy to learn to play, which bodes well for me, being a father of 4 with a small window of "me time" to commit to new games!! I've yet to delve incredibly deep into the game, but felt real excitement when my Movies/Simulation game for the PC "Movie Director" took off with 10/10 reviews earning me close to 2 million smackaroos while working in the garage! It meant I could expand!!!

Anyway, I'm going to leave this review there, because time spent writing this could be time spent playing the game itself for gawdsake! Go check it out and visit their website (linked at the top of the post) for more information!

Trust me on this though, it's a game that gets more interesting the further you delve into it!

Until next time...