Where do bad games come from?

Servant of Two Masters #4: That Game Sucks!!

It’s like these people think that all bad games are the result of the people who make them not knowing or caring about what they are doing. While this is surely the case in some instances, it isn’t always how it goes down. I’ve been involved with or have watched other games that were on a track to possibly be a good game, slowly get churned into a giant steaming piece of crap through no fault of the people directly working on it. Developers, for the most part, all want to make a great game and will work themselves to death to get it done. But sometimes no matter how hard you work, someone more powerful than you is going to come in and stick their d!^* in your peanut butter.

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And fortunately or unfortunately, the customer is always right. That means that no matter how bad I think an idea is. That means no matter how unreasonable the request or how STUPID the last thing they said was, in the end they write the check, so they get to decide. I can voice my opinion. I can tell them what I think because that’s what they are paying me for, but ultimately, if they decide that something must be in the game…then you can bet your sweet ass it’s gonna be in the game.

I think, in general, the publisher gets the game that matches (1) what they were willing to pay for it and (2) what they tell the developer to make.

Obviously there are exceptions - in spite of the best efforts of the publisher to turn a game into "a giant steaming pile of crap" sometimes it comes out okay. It's these rare instances that inspire independent development houses to try, try again.

© 2006 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.