122 points, 12 votes
if: A couple of years ago a friend gave me a football management game which was written and played entirely within Microsoft Excel. It was, of necessity, somewhat simplified – you changed the team each game based on injuries and tiredness, gradually made money and used it to replace your players with those with better stats (well, “stat” singular; it was just one number) then watched your team climb the divisions through results based on those stats with just a slight added element of randomness. Just plugging through the routine and gradually watching all the numbers go up was necessarily limited but weirdly addictive. While playing Game Dev Story I was acutely aware that in terms of complexity, it was very much closer to that football management game than to, say, Sim City. For at least the first two thirds of the twenty year lifespan of my imaginary game company it was a brilliant experience. Some of that was from the same basic enjoyment of watching the numbers go up, some was from its presentation, but the largest element was probably from its propensity for games industry satire – deliberate satire on the part of the makers, deliberate satire on the part of the player, but also an accidental, light touch satire which it just consistently seemed to generate almost every time something happened, every single success or failure a damning indictment on the tastes and actions of someone out of the industry workers and/or the fans at large.
Jamescobo: Ten hours of fun for $4 doesn’t sound like that great of a deal, especially compared to the value proposition offered by about 468438432038464 other games on the app store. On the other hand, it’s a game that lets you make a game called ANUS LANDLORD. You’ll definitely burn out quickly but those 10 or so hours where the game has its hooks in you are a magical blur of whimsy and profanity.
Sgt Biscuits: This thing functions as like a surrogate girlfriend to me, in that it provides a means for me to make unacceptably shit, offensive jokes without needing to have a “woman” there so I’m all “in a comfort zone” with to the point where I have “no filter”. I paid $800k getting a renowned children’s artist in to devise an art style for my romance simulator. I then titled it “Shrub Rapist”. It shifted 4.9 million units. This game is Japanese, right?
The 14 character limit is kind of a drag though, if there was a bigger limit you could get cracking mileage out of making up lots of pretentious modern game names with colons in them, instead of not even being able to fit the “2” in when you make a cash-in straight-to-DS shovelware sequel.
Polyphonic: Also known as the week I accidentally stayed up until 3am every night and was a complete wreck at work.
govern yourself accordingly: The fact that i’m now taking extended bathroom breaks to play this while at my ACTUAL JOB AS A DEVELOPER is super weird.
That being said, I’m really happy that Dong Collapse was a massive hit.
antexit: Other notable failures: My foray into dating simulators for the 8-bit market, Lonely Too Fat, was far ahead of its time. I also overestimated the demand for the town simulator Fuck Your Face 3 and rushed it prematurely into the marketplace near the end of its console’s lifespan. The golf arcade game Cup My Balls was greeted with confusion in the press and the cool reception City of Pubes received in the same season nearly did me in. Thank god I had a surprise cash infusion with the one-off bookstore simulator Fuck Cunt Book. The rest is history…
In describing GDS, I tell people it’s a game where you run an office, which sounds boring (and it mostly is) but you get to engage in videogame nostalgia and make up funny titles. See? It says Fat Fuck Guy is popular with 12-13 year olds! So if you’re as entertained as I am by giving profane, offensive, obscene or ridiculous titles to mundane objects, it’s a godsend. A little bit of game holds a mechanic together which allows me to make myself laugh with my tourette-y jokes without alienating my loved ones.
ZS: Sure, after the first 20-year cycle, the replay value is pretty much destroyed, and once you’ve managed to release a single million-selling game, you can pretty much coast through the rest of the game without trouble. But the first 6-8 hours of gameplay are totally addicting, great for killing train rides and very much worth 99 cents.
s1ocki: this game plateaus so hard. once you do okay once, it’s easy peasy street and there’s nothing new for you to do or new challenges to face. Kinda lame.
Euler: When my dating life game “The Quims” made the hall of fame, I knew BumweiserWare had finally reached the top.
Craig G: Of course I know it’s just A Rockstar Ate My Hamster with ‘funny’ names for games, but damned if I didn’t sink a lot of bus/waiting room/office lunch break hours into trying to even get a game that scored a 30.
forksclovetofu: Dude, if i paid you 2.4 mil you don’t get to say “I don’t know if I’ll do well this time”. It’s 2010; designers are a dime a dozen. In good news, the Toot Toot harbor motion franchise is in full bloom and I expect an NYT trend piece shortly.
JimD: BOOBS! Game BOOBS story! Game Dev BOOBS! LOL!