At what point do game developers realize that their game will suck?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Alexander, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    Since I know nothing about game development, please excuse my ignorance of this subject, but why do developers put out games that painfully underachieve? No doubt they started out w/ good intentions and a well concieved idea, but when the creativity hits a brick wall, why do they continue w/ the project when they know the game will suck and people will be disappointed? Take as a personal example, the game Wreckless. You would think that one of the team of developers working on that game would just stop and say, "Dude...this sucks. Let's start over." I mean, what ever happened to the old addage that says 'something not done right is not worth doing at all' (or something like that). Do developers reach a point of no return when developing games? Why can't they just abandon a project when the creative juices stop flowing instead of putting out a game w/ terrible storylines, gameplay, camera issues, and all of the other things that leave us wondering "What was I thinking in buying that game?!?!"
     
  2. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Kevin;

    Electronic Gaming Monthly published an article about this very subject a few months ago. It was written by an anonymous programmer, who recalled his experiences working on an undisclosed N64 game he simply referred to as "Game X."

    Yes, developers don't want to make shitty games, but some things are beyond their control. With the game in question, the problem started when the developer paid for licensing rights to a game based on a movie (or at least I think it was a movie). As he says, every dollar spent on acquiring the license is one less dollar that can be spent to make the game itself.

    During the early stages in development, several key people left the company to do other things, leaving everyone else to pick up the pieces. Shifts in management can also cause problems as well as mis-communications and misunderstandings between those who design the game and those who program it. Finally, the need to meet impossible deadlines can ruin a developer's chance to polish a game to perfection.

    The author of the article admits that everyone knew the game wasn't any fun to play, but it was released anyway. Why, you ask? Because at least then they can earn back some of the money they spent making this shitty game. They may still lose money on it, but they will cut their losses, making it a sound movie business-wise. If they scrapped everything they had done at that point and started over, they would certainly lose millions of dollars--something that no company likes to do.
     
  3. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    So literally, we pay for their mistakes.
     
  4. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  5. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    I wonder this about all sorts of collaborative productions, like plays, movies, etc... I think a play would be awful. Every night you'd have to come face to face with your co-workers and enthusiastically embrace your suckitude in front of an audience.

    -Dave
     
  6. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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  7. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    In defense of Wreckless, I think it is a pretty good game, just too short. The graphics and gameplay are quite well done. They just should have spent more time making more levels and features like free roam and multiplayer.
    Now Burnout, that sucks. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Jason, I think you got your games reversed.
    [​IMG]
    -Dave
     
  9. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    Dave, That may be but to each their own. [​IMG]
     
  10. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    It's the same thing with movies. You can watch a trailer and just know that the movie sucks. It may be due to a lull in the current movie market (or gaming market) but people will see it just because there is nothing else to do at the moment.
    Plus, people are sheep. Gaming magazines and commercials hype games to the point where they almost cannot fail. Take Stuntman for instance. I almost purchased that POS simply based on all the hype. Thankfully I opted out and bought Eternal Darkness (which I also thought sucked, but got it because of the hype).
     
  11. George See

    George See Second Unit

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    Good question....there was A recent article in one of the recent issues of EGM that asked this very question it was A really great read I can't remember what exact issue it was but it was pretty recent. The article was actually written by A game developer that worked on what turned out to be A lousy game. To answer one of your questions specifically they can't just abandon A game due to $$$ they'd make more money releasing the terrible product then they would save by abandoning half way thru. A lot of game purchases are done by mothers in walmart who don't know any better.
     
  12. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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  13. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The EGM article said the game was for N64, based on a movie license, and had nothing to do with the movie(s), so Blues Brothers 2000 seems EXTREMELY likely to be the game in question.

    I think that even if the developer knows a game sucks, they'll try to fix it up, but that causes problems because of last minute changes, people doing whatever they want, and overall incomplete games.
     
  14. Trevor Harveaux

    Trevor Harveaux Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to say... I liked Wreakless. No really. I think it is a FUN game. Great for when you just want to play for a hour or so. In fact i was just thinking today about how I wanted to play it tonight when I get home.
     
  15. Ricky Hustle

    Ricky Hustle Supporting Actor

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  16. Steve Bjorg

    Steve Bjorg Stunt Coordinator

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    The worst part is that most developers don't have a choice but to finish a bad title. But once the hopes for fame and glory have faded, it's really hard to keep a good morale. And when the morale in the gutter, forget about quality work. It basically becomes let's finish this title and move on. Hence, what might have been a mediocre game becomes a bad game.
    From experience, there is nothing worse then to work on a dead product. But then again, something has to pay the bills. Sad, sad, ... [​IMG]
     

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