Full review can be found on - http://gamerspective.net/re...
Game Dev Tycoon lets you run your own video game company, starting in the 80’s you will replay the history of the gaming industry beginning with the humble PC to the rise of the consoles. Do you have what it takes to become a leading developer in the gaming world or will you just fall by the wayside like many others?
To start off, Game Dev Tycoon had an interesting introduction into the gaming world, one which can be read in full here http://www.greenheartgames....
The developers actually did something unusual. They released a cracked version of the game onto download torrents which contained a little surprise to anyone who downloaded it, after a few hours the game would start showing error messages in game stating that too many people had cracked the version of your game and then your virtual company went bankrupt. This was an interesting way to drum up some publicity for the game and put a strong message across to the gaming community that it did not endorse piracy.
Back to the game itself, as in every business, to reach the top you must build your company from scratch and make yourself noticed, in this case, through some memorable game titles. The action begins in the 80s, a period of time when the first PCs came out and the gaming industry was flourishing. If you have ever played Kairosofts Game Dev Story then you will feel right at home with this game but it won’t offer anything new, it’s almost like a port to the PC, there is very little to choose between them.
You start the game alone and in your parent’s basement with 70k and a few simple options. The first step in the development process is to pick the supported platform, a topic, a genre and of course, a catchy name that will attract the attention of the game critics. The naming thing I could never be bothered with, I would have maybe liked a random name generator at this point as during the course of the game you will release 50-60 games then you will need a good imagination.
When you’re happy with all of that, you have to choose the graphics engine for your future title. Graphic engines can be simple (text-based) or complex (2D and 3D) depending on the research points. Once you actually begin development, it gets broken down into three stages. During these three stages you adjust how much different areas of the game are prioritised on such as the graphics, sound or the game world. You can prioritise certain areas over others and it makes sense contextually. An RPG would be reliant on dialogue whereas a racing game would not need as much emphasis on that but would on sound. Once you complete a game you can complete a report which tells you the areas that your game is flourishing on or lacking.
Whilst developing your game, you will see design and technology game points starting to be generated. These points will determine how good the game is and will allow you to improve your skills to create better games. During development, you will also generate research points which you can use to unlock new game topics, research new technology and improve your staff’s abilities.
The key to a successful game is a good review and also the relationship between your topic and genre. If you try something new you may fail miserably however trying something new can unlock that big game that will propel you to fame. You may create a mature zombie game for the PC but it may not work on the consoles whereas a casual racing game for everyone may be a better choice.
Once you have finished developing your game you have the choice to trash it or release it, as soon as you click the release the dreaded review scores come in, however this is one of the small issues with the game and for me lets it down a little. The review system for me is a little broken and doesn’t seem to work as well as it should for such a major part of the game. The scores seem to be a little random and don’t offer the feedback that it should, for example it would be nice to see why they thought they should score me a 4 rather than a 7. Why did my very expensive sports simulation fail? Who knows, I am only told it’s not very good and therefore I lost a lot of money. I think there should be a little more depth here maybe some beta testing, focus groups etc to offer a little more feedback before my game fails for no apparent reason.
If you don’t have the fanbase required to release a large or AAA game, you can always use the help of publishers who will grant you a small percentage of the total sales if you meet their requirements. If you fail to deliver a good game, you will suffer various penalties that will drain your budget. The targets they set are normally very difficult and the few I tried have failed.
Even if your game is bad, you can create some hype around it using marketing campaigns. The more money you invest in your marketing campaign, the greater the impact on your sales will be. You can also attend the annual G3 (similar to the E3) convention to promote your games, boost sales and generate even more hype around your company; however this can be quite expensive too.
Graphically the game plays like a browser game or an app offering very little animation and does look a little gimmicky like it was developed for the Facebook generation. It lacks that certain charm I was hoping for and compared to Game Dev Story’s SNES type art work and sounds, the game was lacking. However the menus are crisp and easy to follow and there are no annoying pop ups to get in the way of the game play and the music was pleasant I often found myself humming the song in my head.
I really liked the game’s reinterpretation of popular game consoles and posters in the office reflecting the blockbuster games of the time. I think they missed a trick here, some customisation of the office would have really added to the game, maybe choosing which console you had or a reflection area adding to productivity or an energy drinks machine to add boosts of speed just something to do between developing that next big blockbuster.
I appreciated what the developers were trying to achieve which was to give me a good insight into game development, from humble indie studios in debt to huge studios juggling multiple projects. It offers a pleasant walk down memory lane with some funny company names and even been bought out by EA at one point and shut down (Damn you). Overall for the small outlay of money it’s a good game and will offer 5-6 of game play time however it’s just a bit lacking in most areas and won’t offer much in the way of replay value or overall satisfaction.