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Game Development & Kindergarden

Why do games take years to make? A commentary on Game Development & Kindergarden

Dennis Crow, Blogger

September 27, 2012

2 Min Read

Why do games take years to make?

They really shouldn't. The empire state building was built in under a year. 

Only a few people died too.

Is it because we don't know how to program, design, animate, or test? I know that nobody can use Outlook well. Go ahead, create another rule. I'm sure you'll follow up on that email.

Is it because we don't know what makes a great game? Add in a couple more guns. Maybe a cow level or two. Everyone loves coop until it gets cut.

And it always gets cut.

We could do a root cause analysis. That's what the books say. Of course the authors of business books are too busy writing more business books to actually do root cause analysises (or analysisii?)

Let's blame the publisher. The dark, evil publisher who only wants to put out sequals. We all hate sequals, don't we? Man I hated Final Fantasy 7 and Civilization IV.

Maybe we should blame ourselves. Think back to kindergarden. Did you get a star or only a check plus under "plays well with others"? It doesn't matter if you can go higher on the swingset if you never let anyone else use it.

In the end, does it matter if you use advanced tessellation techniques if the QA team is stuck in the basement? Probably not, but you'll look great at your GDC talk.

Let's take a step back from all the best-practices and agile techniques and go back to something more basic. Working well as a team beats working well separately. 

Artists, when you have nothing to do at the end of the project, go help test bugs. 

Programmers, don't all split up and work on different things. Code ownership is bullshit. 

Testers, if the daily build doesn't work, don't dick around in yesterday's build. Go ask someone what you can do to help.

And finally, producers… For the love of god please don't continue to "work on the schedule". All those estimates are crap. They were crap when the developers gave them to you in the first place, and no amount of planning poker will solve that. Go find a problem and fix it. Find a bottleneck that's slowing the team down and fix it. Go buy the team Jamba Juice. Please, please don't spend all day in Outlook moving emails around.  

If I'm doing a kickstarter tomorrow, I'm showing my report card in kindergarden. 

Plays Well With Others = Gold Fucking Star.

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