What I've learned from Videogame Development: The Cons - Shotgun65 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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What I've learned from Videogame Development: The Cons

The art behind developing is a fun one, but very tedious. I've been put in the seat where I had to start, write, erase & begin again. And while it sounds good, it is very hard to come back with something as good/better than the first version of the game. 

For those who know, I already began designing 2 games. And I had gone through hell and back writing & re-writing stuff for it, back & forth. And it pains me sometimes to put the whole design on hold, or worse: start from scratch. Project Disease already had gone through that fate twice already. 

But I learned various things from Videogame Development. And it's good to learn from these things too, because they will always happen. 

1- The outcome won't be the same as how it sounded in the beginning

9 times out of 10, the game will change in mid-development. And while the first version of the game sounded like a great idea in paper, the hands-on work may say otherwise. It has happened more than once in Videogame history. Why is this? Sometimes it's the programming, sometimes is the story, and most of the time it's everything about the game. So, what happens? Start from scratch. And it hurts a lot. A lot of effort put into a game just deleted just like that. Not only just that, it costs a lot of money and a lot of time. 


2- Ideas HAVE to be scratched

Now here's one that I've learned: there will be ideas that will need to be scratched. These ideas could be characters, items, quests, etc. And not because they aren't good enough, but that they could be exploited for the wrong reasons. Not only just that, sometimes it just doesn't mix with the game's atmosphere sometimes, so they cut it. Sometimes it's just that the game has enough to work with, and can't afford something else into the game. 

3- It won't be perfect

"But Mike, I have an perfect Idea for the perfect game. It won't fail!"

Sadly, you're wrong. No game is perfect. A perfect game is a game that everyone would like because it's... well, perfect for everyone. No game is perfect for anyone. That's why there are different genres for different people. For a specific people called "Target Audience", it's perfect for THEM. Example: Survival Horror Audience loves games like the classic Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Saw, Condemned, etc. Action people don't like those games. It's perfect for the S.H Audience, but not for the action. I bet anyone reading this HATES Superman64. I know people who like that game(Yes, you read that right).


4- If you’re not aiming for money, maybe you’re not putting enough effort

bag of money

Now, this one is sort of hard. I believe Indie Devs are doing the best they can for a successful game. But I learned something from a Developer for a certain company. He said: "You could design any game you want. You could put your heart into it all you can. But if you're not aiming for money, then you're not trying hard enough". At first, I didn't believe him. A few days later, I began to understand why. No one would like a glitchy game, or a badly written game, and so on. Games like these don't try hard enough to gain money. Yes, it sounds greedy, but to make a game successful, you have to aim for the money. Why? You put a lot of effort for the game to be great, you see if there isn't anything wrong, etc. And if there is, you CAN afford to patch it. This includes licenses and so on. And the only way to make money in the Business is by spending/inverting money. I call it "Penny Talk".

Let's face it, you want to look like this:

Than this:

And end up like this:

 

It may sound greedy, but it is business. Sorry.

 

5- With Great Power, comes great Sacrifices

Developers are people, just like you and me. Maybe they are also gamers, for the most part. But in this line of business, a lot of things must be sacrificed in order to give you quality products, even if you think otherwise. These people sacrifice a lot in their personal lives: hobbies, lifestyles, loved ones, etc. I've seen it happen. And it's not a good thing, but if you are willing to work on that condition, then you have no choice. I am at the verge of sacrificing College for my videogame development, and that's one huge sacrifice in my life. 

 Well, I'm off to get into some Minecraft. Might end up doing some Minecraft Art. You're more than welcome to join me in Xbox Live :3 

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