I made a game for Flash/Air/HTML5, which I planed to get sponsored. It has been a very long time since I made a game for sponsorship. I did it in an effort to get some money to live and eventually make my RPG. It was supposed to be one week game. It took almost a month.
From business point of view, that’s utter failure. If I was forced to keep the original requirements, my company would fail with unfinished, worthless prototype on its hands. From game dev point of view, I made a great game and I’m quite proud of it. Everyone I let it test it for me enjoyed it, they even asked me where they can get it for themselves. That’s what matters right?
Seems like the answer is no. Getting the game in front of the players is the tought part. Once they are there, well, quality seems to have diminishing returns. Unless you are indie developer who can afford to not make money. In sponsorship game, it seems my game is being ignored as being another physics game from 2010. In mobile game, if I were to self release, I probably wouldn’t be able to get that game in front of the players and I couldn’t count with any marketing help from anyone, cause well, it’s another physics game from 2010.
But the game is good.
And it still does not matter. This is a wicked problem though. For developers who don’t consider themselves indies, but a business, they solve this issue by making the best game they can make in short time frame. It’s usually not a great game though. The potential left unrealized is huge. Sure once the game gets some attention they can make a proper sequel. It all sounds good, except that it’s a huge waste and in my opinion:
It’s a huge insult to players.
I understand my view might be unpopular among developers, but it’s how I feel. It might also very well be the only option left. Market seems to be biased towards flashy games being somehow interesting. The actual gameplay quality, fun, polish: no one talks about that.
What am I do to? Get a job and work on my RPG during nights? I thought about that, but I really want to be able to have 100% focus. Excuses, excuses, I know. Let’s put this aside for a moment anyway. Continue (hah, well, as long as I can live off it – which doesn’t seem to be long) making games with a soul, proper effort, meeting the quality line that I think the game deserves? As much as I like this path, it seems to be a path to homelessness.
Insert funny “Will make games for food” picture
Another option might be contract work, which is what I’m leaning towards. With precise requirements and known figure I will get. It’s no more creative work. It’s just work. This is pretty much the same option I mentioned first: getting a job. Except this would stay in the game dev industry, which is nice.
And the last option is to stop caring about quality. To care just about the packaging. And to make as many games as I possibly can, hoping there’s enough players not caring about what they waste their time on, similar to not caring about what they eat, breath, say and generally do. Like a new-world zombies. I think I’m not the first to draw that simile. I guess that’s the world we live in.
That is sad.
For the sake of completeness, here’s a GIF I’m using to promote my game to sponsors: