Over the years I’ve had the luck to speak to developers across the spectrum in terms of success. From those who just released their very first commercial game, to experts with decades of experience working in the industry. Their success in the industry is just as varied, and I had to talk to people about how the last two to three years of their life produced a game that no one wanted to play.
Everyone wants to talk about the big successes, underdog wins, and game changers, but rarely do we hear about the failures. For today’s post, it’s time for another sobering talk about the quickest way new developers fail in the Game Industry.
Recently, I found myself frustrated with Path of Exile and a poor design decision the developers made. A common mistake I see a lot of indie developers make is not understanding how to gate their game design. Gating refers to the order in which content and mechanics are shown, and is a crucial philosophy to understand.
On a recent cast, I spoke with Mike Lee of Fakedice about their upcoming game Dicetiny. On the cast, we got on the discussion of the difficulty of breaking into new markets for up and coming developers. One of the points that came up was a good lesson that game developers need to learn, and it has to do with trying to copy the success of other games.
CD Projekt came under fire recently following the release of the much anticipated The Witcher 3 for what may sound like an unusual complaint. The developers were called out for “downgrading” the game’s appearance compared to previous teasers and promo videos put out and fans saying that the game was misrepresented. This is one of those issues that can either be horrible or a small blip based on how well game developers are paying attention.