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.