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[Column] General: Gamers in the Game Industry



  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 14,247Member Rare
    Originally posted by kaiser3282
    Originally posted by Angier2758
    Hmmm plenty of games have been made by "true" gamers... (love how true = what I think a gamer and they died.... even faster than the ones lead by non-gamers. Wonder why that is?  Whole article is a bit too much like gamers patting themselves on the back.  I'll fix the entire article: good games are made by smart people. Look at any game you REALLY think they'd make good gamers?

    I dont think you realize which games were made by gamers and which were made by non-gaming suits calling the shots and who are after nothing but profit. Most of the older games, some of which are still succesful today, were designed and developed by gamers. The trend of games quickly dying started in more recent years because the development of those games is being completely controlled by the suits who saw there is more money to be made than they initially thought a decade or so ago.

    A comparison:

    Diablo 1 & 2, made by gamers - Diablo 3 made by suits

    Vanilla WoW made by gamers - TBC made by a mix of gamers and suits - everything in WoW post TBC made by suits

    In Diablo's case, most would argue that D1 & D2 were superior games in many ways to D3 (not graphically of course), and D3 lost themajority of its playerbase due to its design decisions driven by the suits / profit and now they are in the process of overhauling a lot of things in the game. A huge portion of D2 players played it for years, they didnt leave in droves shortly after launch like with D3.

    WoW has achieved the success it has due to the work done in Vanill and TBC. Since then the direction and focus of the game has changed and with the last couple expansions WOTLK and Cata, MoP has yet to be seen) population started dropping shortly after the release of each.

    In both cases, the original devs have since moved on to other companies & projects while less talented people have replaced them. Similar things have happened with other games and their sequels or expansions over the years.

    Anyway. The whole gamers making games thing doesnt mean every gamer would make a good game. However only a gamer could actually make a truly good game. A gamer tends to create a game with an actual vision and consideration for what their target audience enjoys. They make decisions based on wether or not the game is enjoyable. A non-gamer / suit makes their decisions based on profit, or lack of it. They dont play their games and dont have the slightest clue what is bad about their games or what their playerbase actually desires.

    A rather interesting analysis of it. I'm inclined to agree, as with both WoW and the Diablo series it seems like the original vision either got lost in translation or simply changed drastically in the later incarnations.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • VancePantsVancePants Los Angeles, CAPosts: 43Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pokket
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    I'll offer a differing opinion. I would say that people who don't play games should not be in the position to design games. I would say that people who don't play game could be in positions where being a gamer might not be needed. Look at Curt Schilling. he was clearly a gamer. But not much of a businessman. Does it matter if you are a gamer if you can't keep the budget on track or bring in new investment? If I find an amazing artist then it might not be important that they play games but that they are an amazing artist who can bring concepts to life? What about someone who is an amazing animator? Maybe for movies. But they dont' play games? I think I'd rather take someone who wasn't a gamer but knew their craft well and could be utilized by those who are designing the game. One of the things I've noted from my limited experiene at game conventions is that there are a lot of people working at game companies who are very unprofessional. I sometimes wonder if some of the issues that seem to plague game companies are that they are run/staffed by gamers and not professionals. Of course, if you are designing a game then being a gamer and one that understands the game/demographic you are working for would be incredibly important.  

    The problem with, let's say the artist, is that you end up with things like "space pope" in SWTOR. An outfit that looks hilarious (and kind of bad) on male characters, and even silly for female characters (who it seemed designed for because all healers are female, right? *rolls eyes). There were some cool outfits, I'll admit, but most of the artists seemed like they didn't have a firm grasp of what something (like a healing sage) would want to look like. Anyone familiar with the MMO market KNOWS that people want to look bada$$... even if they are HEALING. They don't want to look like they are in a white ball gown, going into a raid with others, to serve tea and crumpets to those on the battlefield.


    Perhaps a little research would reveal  that people want to look and feel good about their characters, or perhaps just knowing MMOs would have sufficed and saved the trouble. I know a lot of talented artists that play games. Not avidly, but enough to understand. End of story.


    I can agree that not all execs need to be gamers, unless they are the execs that are, ultimately, calling the shots. Either they need to surround themselves with advisors that know and REALLY understand the game industry (and don't just read charts from gaming trends that are 2 years old), or they need to take the time to understand it themselves.


    On that note, I thought of my new topic. Thanks!

    Executives looking at 2yr old gaming trends are just plain being bad execs. I think there is more of a middle ground that we'e not looking at which is that someone can still be a productive, successful, contributing member of a gaming company without having the 1000+ MMO hours required to delve into (in many cases) just one game.


    Understanding the gaming industry and being a Gamer, I would say, are two completely different things. A lot of the gamers who might post on here probably happen to be both, but the vast majority of gamers probably don't know a thing or care what's going on. 


    Will being a Gamer give you advantageous insight? Of course, but that applies to working in any capacity where your profession is also your passion.

    (edit: grammar)


  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member

    The problem really begins when 'suits' begin to run companies and simply look at positions to fill in the company - they lose touch with what made them successful - their games.  How do you make good games? You can't tell a good one from a bad one.

    Good companies (Blizz/Anet) are run by people that game for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and midnight snack).

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.

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