[Game Developer magazine humor columnist and developer Matthew Wasteland rounds up the most dubious pitches in the industry -- from the "ultimate monolithic engine" to the "publisher that really cares about you."]
THE ULTIMATE MONOLITHIC ENGINE
The Extraneous Engine is the most powerful, most technologically advanced and easiest to use video game engine ever conceived of by a sentient mind-human or otherwise. With this, your game will practically make itself!
All you have to do is make art and put it in the "assets" directory. The Extraneous Engine does the rest, automatically arranging these pieces into a gamelike experience. Your artists and designers will fall in love with it, and you can save overhead by strategically eliminating all your engineers! Who wouldn't want to put the overwhelming potency of the Extraneous Engine to work for them?
THE SURE BET STARTUP OPPORTUNITY
This is your chance to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing! You will have the opportunity to work long hours doing what you love, and will be paid competitively (to third world countries) and then just as soon as our World of Warcraft
killer and gamer-centric social network comes out, we'll all be rich!
THE FLAWLESS PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY
From out of the depths of chaos and darkness, the silver bullet appears-the one that will finally kill the werewolf that is modern video game development! This heaven-sent savior, called Scrimmage, is now here to fix everything that was bad about making games in those bygone days of madness and despair. Behold now, the radiant beams of knowledge and illumination that pour forth from this book on Scrimmage-available to you for a special discount if you sign up for our seminar at the same time! Act now while supplies last!
THE PUBLISHER THAT REALLY CARES ABOUT YOU
Hey, we both know that great games are good for business. Mediocre games for cheap are even better for business -- but let's forget that for a moment. The point is that we care about you! You, the creative guys, the makers of all of this stuff we put in a box and sell.
And of course we are all about letting you go do your creative thing, as long as we can make money from it. And as long as you stay inside this here "creative box" we've specially constructed for you. That ought to be enough creative freedom for anybody! Sure, we may occasionally need to make some creative calls for you here and there, but don't worry. We'll only do that if you make the wrong decision. We trust you, really!
THE PERFECT OUTSOURCEE
Our people are more than happy to work twenty times as hard as your people, and for twenty times less money! We have no overhead costs because we make everyone buy their own workstations and hand-crank their own electricity! We have also hired local psychics, who will work tirelessly to read your mind so we can give you exactly what you want every single time! We are a rock-solid stable company with tons of cashflow! Sorry I can't write more, but the Internet cafe is closing! Talk to you soon!
THE PAINLESS SUBSTITUTION
We should just scrap what we have and start over. I'm pretty sure I could re-write the particle system in, oh, say, two weeks.
THE COMPLETELY SEAMLESS MIDDLEWARE
Our middleware will slide in to your existing tools and pipeline so easily, you'll have trouble remembering that you integrated it at all. One day you'll be working on the game and just say, "hey, where did all of this awesome functionality come from?"
And our APIs are so transparent and well-documented that you will never, ever wonder what our code is doing. And you will never, ever need to stay up until two in the morning on a Sunday to debug some weird memory leak that originates from the non-obvious way you implemented our product.
THE SMOOTH OPERATOR PRODUCER
Stop worrying. I've seen this kind of thing before and I know exactly how to handle it. I guarantee it will not be a problem.
THE FRIENDLY MANDATORY CRUNCH
Starting today, we're going to expand our core hour definition to mean 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And since it's not fair to everyone if only certain people stay, we need the entire team to be here during that time. I know that this is probably a disappointment to some of you, but it is an unfortunately necessary measure to make our game the best it can possibly be and hit our shelf date. It's not all doom and gloom, though. To make the next six months a little more tolerable and fun, we will be ordering pizza!
[Matthew Wasteland is a pseudonymous game developer who has a fairly common first name and who blogs at Magical Wasteland. Email him at [email protected]