This article orginally appeared on TwoDashStash.com
The video game industry is a huge and expansive industry. The amount of knowledge, and creative ability, required to make an immersive game goes beyond the standard skill set of the traditional roles we categorize the developers into, like programmer, art director, and game designer. This is even truer for Independent Developers who tend to have smaller teams who are responsible for doing the work of all the jobs that are found at Triple-A studios; like marketing, audio, artistic direction, programming, story writing, modeling, and etc. The sheer amount of talent, and effort, required to deliver a successful game makes the games industry the most diverse, and multi-faceted, industry on the planet.
The Assassins Creed series utilizes several historical periods to create robust worlds for us to interact with.
As gamers, we expect game developers to deliver fully immersive experiences that allow us live vicariously through another person’s shoes. We want to explore our character’s culture, listen to their music, talk with the people who live in their world, fight their battles, and really delve deep into a thriving universe that the developers have created for us to enjoy. There is more involved in creating a game than sitting down and writing a few lines of code.
Think of your favorite game. Imagine all the things about it that really stick out in your mind and made it memorable. This could be the sound design, the architecture of the buildings, the personalities of the characters, the story the game told, or anything else you can think of.
Stoic Studio was inspired by Norse mythology to create the world of The Banner Saga
Now, think about this: Not only did the development team need to know how to create all the assets and content you experienced in the game, but they also needed to have extensive knowledge about the subject matter you were witnessing as well as how everything could be applied in a real-life setting. This also applies to fantasy settings that draw inspirations from actual events, mythologies, and technologies in history so that they can accurately depict them in a believable fashion that does not make people question the plausibility of its existence.
Even the most fantastic and whimsical worlds can find their roots in reality. Social sciences like Sociology and Psychology are used to depict cultures in games that would otherwise have very little historical standing. This is to ensure that the developers work is an accurate, and sensible, representation of culture, technology, and behavior of the world your character inhabits. In order to make you believe that their universe could exist, and to make players really connect with the characters in their world, game developers need to be able to understand and accurately depict these concepts.
Gone Home utilizes human psychology to deliver a memorable experience
This is knowledge and experience that can take years to develop and research. You would be hard pressed to find another industry that requires so much from its workforce, in addition to the skills required to make the final product for the consumers to enjoy.
Now, this is not to say that every game made by every developer does this. We all know that is not true. There will always be exceptions to the rules. However, that does not mean we should not fully appreciate the developers that go the extra mile to deliver the most memorable authentic gaming experiences.
The next time you are playing a really good game, take a moment and think about all the work that has gone into creating it. In that moment try to absorb all the nuances of the game, the buildings, the characters, the music, and everything that is contributing to the experience. Just imagine how different the game would be if any of those elements seemed out-of-place. If even the slightest detail was amiss.
Even games, like Jazz Punk, that are satirical in nature need to have a deep understanding of the culture they are poking fun of
It has been our experience at TwoDashStash that developers love when gamers take the time fully appreciate the work that went into their game; the extra work that went into making a captivating game-world, and not just refining the combat or gameplay mechanics. Especially smaller independent developers who are trying to deliver game-worlds that rival those of the Triple-A studios. If you have a game that completely captivated you, contact their Community Manager and let the developer know how much you appreciated their work. In an industry that is dominated with negative press and the constant need to attack developers, a little appreciation for their work can go a long way.