Published on August 24th, 2014 | by Muse Shake3
Why every gamer should play Game Dev Tycoon
A few weeks ago I found myself deep in a desperate cycle of clicking and waiting. Sometimes these efforts were rewarded, and other times they only increased my desperation to click and wait and not fall into the red once again. The cycle lasted a total of three days, I didn’t sleep for the cycle, I didn’t eat for the cycle, I even missed a day of work, clinging to the next round of click and wait. It sounds like some sort of facebook game horror story the media loves to shove in everyone’s faces. The kind where a mother ignores her children until they starve because her crops were almost ready, and everyone blames video games rather than mental illness or addiction. I guess in a way it was similar, but I like to think if I had kids they would have survived my flitter with sim obsession, my dog lived and was fed, so there is some hope. The funny thing is, I’m not writing this to warn everyone away from these games. In fact I’m here to do the opposite, to encourage everyone – especially anyone who thinks about video games even a little bit critically – to play Game Dev Tycoon.
Game Dev Tycoon is a little $10 pick up on steam, and I first found myself interested in it when I heard about the clever trick they pulled on everyone who decided to pirate it. So eventually I found myself actually playing the game, to see what the fuss was about, and as I mentioned earlier, I got it bad. This is pretty typical of me for this type of game, I have shorter bursts than most as I get bored quickly, but a candle burns twice as brightly and all that – and so I was consumed. Not to say that the game itself is bad in any way, it’s just always that point with these games where you realise how little you actually achieved in your addiction. On my yearly trip in ‘The Sims’ I always hit that point where my sims are brilliantly successful in their careers, families, friends and even their love lives, and the real me is sitting on my computer chair dusting crumbs out of my cleavage in the hopes I might find something large enough so I won’t have to wrench myself out of the me shaped dent in my chair and go to the cupboard. With other video games there are usually goals, stories, not just more of this click wait repeat, and it lets you feel accomplished rather than lost in a world that isn’t your own. I think this is why, when I found some meaning, some ideas I could take in to the real world from Game Dev Tycoon I clung to them, and think everyone else should experience them as well.
Have you ever gotten annoyed at game companies for pumping out yearly sequels, or for making something stupid and childish for a console like the Wii where you know it’ll sell to the unassuming? I can bet you that you’ll do all that and more just to get by in Game Dev Tycoon. How about pumping out some dumb movie tie in because a publisher tells you to? Yep! You’ll do that too. You do it all just so you can survive and maybe if you’re lucky have enough resources left over from the sales to tide yourself over while making your dream game and not going bankrupt. Then upon releasing that game the critics will slam it and sales will fall because you couldn’t afford the tech for a new engine and Rhythm games were popular instead. Next second you’re in debt to the bank and making Superman 64 as cheaply as you can because some publisher says you can have a percentage of the profits and it’s bound to sell well even if it sucks. The parallels between what you’ll do and what you’ve criticized will fall so close that the two will become muddled in your memory until if you’re lucky enough you find yourself making Mass Effect 3 and end up out of cash and having to rush the ending.
By no means do I say this implying we should stop expecting great games, and criticizing those that fall behind. Instead I think it’d be fairer if we did exactly that but cut those that make the games some slack in their choices. We’re a passionate bunch, and we tend to turn pitchforks too quickly against those who we feel have wronged us in some way, which in this case was probably just an effort to put food on the table. Selling out is exactly that, but no one is the devil for doing so, they’re just hungry, and dreaming of making the game that would win everyone back to their side. What I’m saying is that even though Game Dev Tycoon took a lot from me in terms of time, and more importantly pride, is that it gave something back in perspective. From now on I’ll be keeping in mind to ‘don’t hate the dev, hate the game’.