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Fun thought I had about video game development

#1noimnoturdaddyPosted 8/8/2014 12:42:09 PM
You have to be really knowledgeable in order to create a video game... but then the other part is making the gameplay dumb enough to appeal to the everyman.

Basically, a highly successful video game needs people that are really intelligent and really stupid in its development process in order to have success once released.

The dumb people are probably pretty satisfied, the intelligent ones are rich but probably pretty resentful.
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#2alsroboshackPosted 8/8/2014 12:48:50 PM(edited)
I'd say screw the stupid people, make games as good as possible.
I'd rather make a great game that sells only poor, than an poor game that sells great.
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#3SinisterSlayPosted 8/8/2014 12:53:09 PM
Not really, it takes very smart people to explain to dumb people.

The real issue is the Dilbert Principal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilbert_principle
The Dilbert principle refers to a 1990s theory by Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management (generally middle management), in order to limit the amount of damage they are capable of doing.

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#4noimnoturdaddy(Topic Creator)Posted 8/8/2014 1:05:46 PM(edited)
alsroboshack posted...
I'd say screw the stupid people, make games as good as possible.
I'd rather make a great game that sells only poor, than an poor game that sells great.

Unfortunately that's not how investors feel. And most people start caring about money more than passion/quality of their product when they get older, since money becomes more important for ongoing survival... pretty sure this is why companies like Blizzard and Bioware start crapping the bed. Make great stuff when they're young and invincible, start having health issues or wanting more authority so they have less trouble with other people/government, so they turn their products into pure profit machines instead of a balance of quality gameplay:profit.

SinisterSlay posted...
Not really, it takes very smart people to explain to dumb people.

Yes...? But you need those dumb people involved in the development process to see how effective your translation is going. Then by the end of it, the dumb people feel satisfaction at having helped shape something that's going out to the world for other people to consume, the intelligent people get a hefty paycheck if their translation is accurate, but are probably unfulfilled because the product they create isn't enough to keep themselves entertained.

And yeah, that Dilbert principle. Part of the job of being an effective underling is being smart enough to clean up after the mistakes your boss makes while having the political sense to do it without him being made aware that he made a mistake... all while making less money than him, being pooped on by him when you make mistakes, and having him think he's smarter/better than you because he was granted a position because he's too dumb to figure things out. The working world is a lot of fun.
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"Are you Ron Swanson?" - CatToy to me, upon realizing what a manly man I am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAYS8QTjnfg
#5Ikari GendoPosted 8/8/2014 1:34:11 PM
noimnoturdaddy posted...
alsroboshack posted...
I'd say screw the stupid people, make games as good as possible.
I'd rather make a great game that sells only poor, than an poor game that sells great.

Unfortunately that's not how investors feel. And most people start caring about money more than passion/quality of their product when they get older, since money becomes more important for ongoing survival... pretty sure this is why companies like Blizzard and Bioware start crapping the bed. Make great stuff when they're young and invincible, start having health issues or wanting more authority so they have less trouble with other people/government, so they turn their products into pure profit machines instead of a balance of quality gameplay:profit.

SinisterSlay posted...
Not really, it takes very smart people to explain to dumb people.

Yes...? But you need those dumb people involved in the development process to see how effective your translation is going. Then by the end of it, the dumb people feel satisfaction at having helped shape something that's going out to the world for other people to consume, the intelligent people get a hefty paycheck if their translation is accurate, but are probably unfulfilled because the product they create isn't enough to keep themselves entertained.

And yeah, that Dilbert principle. Part of the job of being an effective underling is being smart enough to clean up after the mistakes your boss makes while having the political sense to do it without him being made aware that he made a mistake... all while making less money than him, being pooped on by him when you make mistakes, and having him think he's smarter/better than you because he was granted a position because he's too dumb to figure things out. The working world is a lot of fun.


There are plenty of great games that didn't go through publicly traded publishers. What you're describing is one business tactic that has less implementation on PC than on consoles.
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#6noimnoturdaddy(Topic Creator)Posted 8/8/2014 1:52:08 PM
Ikari Gendo posted...
There are plenty of great games that didn't go through publicly traded publishers. What you're describing is one business tactic that has less implementation on PC than on consoles.

Oh god.
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"Are you Ron Swanson?" - CatToy to me, upon realizing what a manly man I am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAYS8QTjnfg
#7ShadowShirePosted 8/8/2014 5:23:20 PM(edited)
All this information is pretty interesting.

Out of curiosity though, what are certain games out there that are great but had poor sales?

The reason why I am asking is because I am looking for worthwhile games to play. After knowing for a long time that popularity and/or quantity does not equal quality, I want to find certain games that were overlooked but neglected due to lack of marketing or appeal. Like how there are movies out there that had less advertisements/marketing and are thus harder to find but are actually pretty good.

edit: I am not just looking for pc games. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
#8MahoganyTooth92Posted 8/8/2014 5:24:08 PM
Shadow of Rome is a great game that nobody seems to have played. It's a PS2 game, though. So eh...nudge nudge emulation coughcough.

I THINK the issue was due to marketing, but I got the game as a gift, so I don't know.

God hand too, except I don't think it's quite so niche anymore since totalbiscuit did a video on it.
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#9The cranky hermitPosted 8/8/2014 5:30:13 PM
Out of curiosity though, what are certain games out there that are great but had poor sales?

System Shock 2 is the poster child for such games. It's an easy contender for the best FPS/RPG hybrid of all time, and even a contender for the best FPS of any type of all time. But its sales were not so good. Freespace 2 is another game that's among the best in its genre that failed hard, and in fact it failed so hard that it pretty much killed Interplay.

I'd be tempted to mention Deus Ex. It didn't have poor sales by any definition of the word, but it underperformed compared to expectations, and was outsold by plenty of contemporary shooters that weren't in the same league quality-wise.
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#101337toothbrushPosted 8/8/2014 6:47:41 PM
Game development has never been easier, actually.
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