Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Interested in a FREE copy of HTML5 game maker Construct 2?

We'll be giving away three Personal Edition licences in next Tuesday's GDNet Direct email newsletter!

Sign up from the right-hand sidebar on our homepage and read Tuesday's newsletter for details!


We're also offering banner ads on our site from just $5! 1. Details HERE. 2. GDNet+ Subscriptions HERE. 3. Ad upload HERE.


A Horrible Industry


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
34 replies to this topic

#1 -Crimsix-   Members   -  Reputation: 158

Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:09 PM

Or maybe its just me. I've been doing research on the video game industry for a while now and I'm trying to force myself out of the thought that the industry is a horrible place to work unless you're a talented indie developer making big hits for multiple platforms. I say this because of many things. I get discouraged when I see the majority of games on the shelf of a retailer like gamestop being outshined by games like Modern Warfare, Assasin's Creed, Halo and so on. Many games made on long tired hours by talented individuals stay out of the public eye and dont make much of a profit. Also the cost of making games today, is very discouraging because everything comes down to a decision and a huge budget. Its seems as though creativity potential is limited by funds because of the expensive tech needed. You have to water down great ideas into something feasible and cost flexible because there might not be enough to pay for good artists or more programmers or motion capture equiptment, something like that. Think of all the visions for games that could've become great but didn't get a chance because they were turned down by a manufacturer for not following an ideal consept, or setbacks because of dumbing down specs.

The way I see it, if a creative individual has a dream to release a game he or she thinks will be great based on their vision, they either have to do it on their own with whatever slim chance they have of doing so building a team, funding the project by themselves, and doing what it takes to get it out there, or work their ass off for years from the bottom to the top to have a say in what becomes of or what goes to accomplish that vision. The point I wanna make is that the industry needs some changes. I hate that everything comes down to money and the majority of gamers out there are so closed minded.
Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form; producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

...If games aren't that, then I don't know what is ¬_¬

Sponsor:

#2 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:40 PM

fight it. Make your own games. Also many big companies started a small no name companies or even indies themselves back then. Indies do not make games for profit only, they also do it because they simply love doing it(well we don't refuse revenue if possible). Then again all small developers should have a good marketing plan in order to sustain a healthy revenue if they consider to make a living from their hobby. It is the reality of the real world. Find a way to deal with it and hope for the best or do something else(something else than making games...).

Even I hate that everything comes down to money but I have to pay my bills like most people and therefore I accept the condition that everything DO comes down to money whether I like it or not. Deal with it by finding smart ways to get your name known, spend a lot of time doing marketing SHOULD be a big part of a small indie studios schedule in order to get revenue from a game. There is a war going on and it is the war between the big game publisher and the small indie studios. In fact we all fight for the audiences attention and money. What can we do? Grab a cold coke, dry your eyes clean and back to work Posted Image

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#3 j-locke   Members   -  Reputation: 820

Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:46 PM

We're talking about a multi-billion dollar, international industry; it does and will continue to come down to money for the vast majority of the industry. Trying to change that as a whole is a pretty futile adventure.

The "problem" is that people need money. You need a place to live and some food and you WANT a lot more than that. I would guess that the closest to taking the money out of the decision making process you can do is make yourself the person that's financially responsible. So that way if you're losing money on a game, it's only hurting you (as long as you're still taking care of the people who worked with/for you to make the game as you agreed to). But that's not a hit that people are often open to taking.

I would say that it's not all the industry, either. It's partially the consumers. If people didn't go buy Modern Warfare 6, the odds of Modern Warfare 7 releasing and looking and playing like it would be very low. We consumers frequently say one thing (we want more innovation in the industry) but speak with what matters most (dollars/yen/rupees/euros/etc) in a very different fashion (we buy the series we know that gets cranked out annually instead of the innovative game that tried something totally different).

So, in my mind, there are multiple problems in play; some within your control and some not. But even the ones that are in your control require you to be the person to take the risk. And ultimately, I think the majority of people are not that kind of risk taker.

#4 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1883

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:00 PM

The "problem" is that people need money.


Indeed. that is the "problem". So everything simply just has to come down to money. No money no shelter, food, social security etc. The OP should not see this as a bad thing but more as a great driving force(just a suggestion). I mean why be angry about something that cannot be undone? By accepting the terms given by reality one will be so much more realistic and careful in setting goals for the future.

Edited by Dwarf King, 24 June 2012 - 06:01 PM.

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#5 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2435

Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:11 PM

I thought Extra Credits had an interesting take on this
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#6 Dream Cutter   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 214

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:21 PM

Think of game development like a musician does to music. Some are in it for the money, some are in it for the glory, and some of them are in it because its in their blood. They need to create. Game creation is a art medium that can be a business, not the reverse. As they say not everybody is going to be a rock star so its best to put your focus where your heart is and you will be happy, success or not. You don't have to work for the industry, let it work for you. Whether you leverage the power of a new development environment or decide to use prefab content, there is plenty of tools the industry now provides the resourceful developer can take advantage of to jump start his game. Don't necessarily quit the day job, you can develop your game on the side and release it independently. It doesn't cost much if anything to get it off the ground and in public distribution. Rather quickly too. If it is good enough there are plenty of ways to monetize it later.

Edited by Dream Cutter, 24 June 2012 - 09:39 PM.

3DSkyDome.com animated sky boxes and instant 3d Android & WebGL publishing.

#7 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1723

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:38 PM

Just one counter example:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-27/why-there-are-no-bosses-at-valve

But for the most part, I'm sure it does suck. Heck, most companies suck regardless of industry. Just keep your eyes open for the exceptions, or try to roll your own.

#8 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:07 AM

The way I see it, if a creative individual has a dream to release a game he or she thinks will be great based on their vision

I think this is your problem. Games are much more collaborative than I think you make them out to be. A creative individual trying to preserve their vision will probably struggle because of the collaboration required, not because of money.

That said, I think people underrate the creativity in sequels and get angsty about it. There's often a lot of creativity in them that gets overshadowed by the fact that they have to preserve core gameplay.

Halo for example, the original was a solid game. Halo 2 added one of the most fluid online experiences to that point. Halo 3 added Forge and equipment. ODST added non-linear storytelling and a view of the story from a new perspective. Reach expanded on forge and added loadouts. Halo 4 is adding weekly episodic content through spartan ops, which I'm excited for.

it's easy to ignore innovation when it's not being applied to the core gameplay even though it's still there I guess is my point.

#9 -Crimsix-   Members   -  Reputation: 158

Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:59 AM

I think this is your problem. Games are much more collaborative than I think you make them out to be. A creative individual trying to preserve their vision will probably struggle because of the collaboration required, not because of money.


I know it requires collaboration, AAA games cant be done on one person and you're not the only designer working there. I would be open to other creative minds to contribute because my vision alone won't cut it.

Edited by SaNcT17, 25 June 2012 - 08:00 AM.

Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form; producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

...If games aren't that, then I don't know what is ¬_¬

#10 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3388

Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:00 AM

Or maybe its just me. I've been doing research on the video game industry for a while now and I'm trying to force myself out of the thought that the industry is a horrible place to work unless you're a talented indie developer making big hits for multiple platforms. I say this because of many things. I get discouraged when I see the majority of games on the shelf of a retailer like gamestop being outshined by games like Modern Warfare, Assasin's Creed, Halo and so on. Many games made on long tired hours by talented individuals stay out of the public eye and dont make much of a profit. Also the cost of making games today, is very discouraging because everything comes down to a decision and a huge budget. Its seems as though creativity potential is limited by funds because of the expensive tech needed. You have to water down great ideas into something feasible and cost flexible because there might not be enough to pay for good artists or more programmers or motion capture equiptment, something like that. Think of all the visions for games that could've become great but didn't get a chance because they were turned down by a manufacturer for not following an ideal consept, or setbacks because of dumbing down specs.

The way I see it, if a creative individual has a dream to release a game he or she thinks will be great based on their vision, they either have to do it on their own with whatever slim chance they have of doing so building a team, funding the project by themselves, and doing what it takes to get it out there, or work their ass off for years from the bottom to the top to have a say in what becomes of or what goes to accomplish that vision. The point I wanna make is that the industry needs some changes. I hate that everything comes down to money and the majority of gamers out there are so closed minded.


Excepting the obvious industry-related jargon. Nothing you have said here convinces me that it is unique to the game industry. Issues such as you have mentioned tend to be fairly common to not just the artistic sectors but also scientific, technical,...basically the industry of business in general.

#11 FableFox   Members   -  Reputation: 511

Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:09 AM

I agree with some of the post here that associates gamedev with the music industry. It's a non-tangible, mass distribute able product. One company can serve many. Remember that one of the reason Valve was here in the first place is that when they do a market research, Doom was the number one software installed, Windows was second.

And just like music, the winner hit the jackpot, the lowest one have to pay to actually do gig. And just like in films, stars get 20 mill per movie, most waited tables. While some people compare this to other job, that is NOT the case.

No matter how good a person is at flying, a commercial plane require two pilot - per plane. There is a limit of number of students per teacher. So on and so forth. But in game industry, a good company can serves many.
Fable Fox is Stronger <--- Fable Fox is Stronger Project

#12 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 604

Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:15 AM

I get discouraged when I see the majority of games on the shelf of a retailer like gamestop being outshined by games like Modern Warfare, Assasin's Creed, Halo and so on

Speaking for the earlier versions of Modern Warfare and Halo, these games are actually really fun well built FPS in my humble opinion, just cause somethign is popular doesnt mean its "bad".

The way I see it, if a creative individual has a dream to release a game he or she thinks will be great based on their vision, they either have to do it on their own with whatever slim chance they have of doing so building a team, funding the project by themselves, and doing what it takes to get it out there, or work their ass off for years from the bottom to the top to have a say in what becomes of or what goes to accomplish that vision. The point I wanna make is that the industry needs some changes. I hate that everything comes down to money and the majority of gamers out there are so closed minded.


Alot of these dreams and ideas are worth as much as the paper they are written on, you have no idea how many times as a developer people approach me, friends and family with their multi million dollar idea that is sure to make us rich, and of course they ask me to build it myself ( free of charge mind you :-| ). Someones idea or dream isn't going to be any better just because they work as an individual rather than a company.

Honeslty hard work and determination and drive are sooooo much important then being "creative" individual, and like you said " they either have to do it on their own with whatever slim chance they have of doing so building a team, funding the project by themselves, and doing what it takes to get it out there, or work their ass off for years from the bottom to the top....." If you are just a creative person and your not willing to put the work in then I probably wouldn't want to play your game anyhow. Its not suppose to be easy and people aren't just going to line up to work on your project for free to carry at you'r vision, what about their vision? Thats why business works because you are compensating them for their time and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Dont get me wrong though im a HUGE fan of the indie market, and I literally just buy a game because its indie to support the indie market. But I wouldnt go to the extreme of saying indie trumps companies, alot of the big name games are actually fun and great, its terrible to shoot them down just because they have more money or are more popular.

#13 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22218

Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:33 AM

I tend to agree with StormyNature on this one:

Welcome to real life.

EVERY industry requires money. About the only industry I can think of where someone can do well by themselves is medicine, but even that requires a staff of workers to support them. Maybe sub-fields like psychology where you could make your own appointments and really only need a professional-looking suite at your home.

But even then, money plays an important factor. Everyone still has bills to pay.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#14 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2123

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

I tend to agree with StormyNature on this one:


+1.

I recently saw Moonrise Kingdom. It's way hidden underneath the summer blockbusters Brave, Madagascar, or even the horrible That's My Boy. The artistic quality of that movie is excellent. It makes me understand why people love creating movies. The camera angles, the panning, the framing, the timing, the conversations -- all of those are highly notable, is probably what movie-making is all about (I don't make movies, so I'm only making assumptions here that these are probably what those movie people love). The fact that Bruce Willis and Bill Murray are in there is a huge bonus.

Did it ever get publicized as much as the summer blockbusters? The fact that a low-quality movie like That's My Boy snatches the #7 spot in the box office tells you that hit movies, or games, do not necessarily equal to quality. Hollywood has its recipes for making big popular movies, just like EA/Activision have recipes for making million-dollar hit games. When money started to flow in, that's probably when games (or anything else really) starts to lose its "intrinsic" value. The goal is no longer about making a good game, but more money.

#15 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15997

Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

I'm gonna go with frob's perspective here: welcome to real life.

This is the nature of existence in a capitalist society. Life is money-driven, and like it or not, the majority of the population is motivated by few things besides acquisition of more money.

This is also hardly a new phenomenon, or in any way related to video games or technology. Philosophers as far back as the roots of the industrial revolution were making similar (albeit far more cogent and well-researched) observations. And philosophers ever since have been arguing about how best to cope with the way of life in such a society.

At the end of the day, there are many ways to deal with this, and which suits you best depends primarily on your own personality, desires, and goals. But all the answers boil down to one thing:


Congratulations, you've observed a key fact of life. Now go do something about it.

#16 laztrezort   Members   -  Reputation: 968

Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:32 PM

I would agree with the "welcome to the real world" sentiment, but also add that the last 5 (10 maybe) years have been great for the indie developer. The wealth of tools, engines, language choices, publishing options, knowledge resources, etc. now available is remarkable compared to when I started out in the hobby.

In fact, there is a great selection of "indie" games out there, exploring novel ideas and gameplay, and making money.

So - welcome to the real world, but it ain't really as bad as it seems.

#17 Platinum314   Members   -  Reputation: 206

Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:34 AM

I have mixed feelings about the videogame industry. Most of my work after I got my bachelors degree was in it. It's pretty neat at times, and I learned a lot in the process of working in it (I had to learn how to code in hard C for a project, and with it how to use void pointers).

You enter thinking that you are going to have immense creative freedom, then discover that you're working 80 hour weeks on a project that doesn't interest you at all. (On top of that the first place I worked for went bankrupt and I wasn't paid for a period of time, it was a big mess)

After being unemployed for over a year I managed to get into EA QA (I also helped out with some of the scripting as well). They were apprehensive because they thought I was overqualified, sure enough I was let go when the project was finished.

Afterwords I enjoyed myself much more as a programmer in a small independant company that mostly focused on mobile games or contracted work with larger studios.

It has a lot of ups and downs and for the most part it's just how the industry works. Lot's of hard work and stress, relatively lower pay, and a tough market to compete in.

Now I'm in graduate school on track for a PhD. Game programming is now a hobby of mine (It goes along with computational mathematics research well too). From time to time I miss being in the industry (I'm having some fun reading reviews for a game that just came out that I worked on for a few months), but for now I'm happy doing soemthing else.
The sentence below is true.The sentence above is false.And by the way, this sentence only exists when you are reading it.

#18 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 889

Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

I disagree that this is just the way the world is, or the way other companies are. Other industries aren't like this - even within technology/software, the long hours/lower pay seem to be a particular problem in the games industry, compared with elsewhere. Or are people disputing those claims?

Whether capitalism is good or bad for working conditions is a debate in itself, but there are plenty of jobs that do a lot better, even though the aim is still to make money.
http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#19 ApochPiQ   Moderators   -  Reputation: 15997

Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:11 AM

The OP wasn't talking about working conditions so much as creative freedom and the drive to produce shlock that consumers will buy en masse. Nobody really disputes that industry working conditions could use some help in a lot of studios, but then, there's also terrible places to work outside of games as well, so... meh.

#20 copperpotq   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

I think money (synonym for popularity), is the key. "Indie", to me, means not popular, and thus not profitable. Why hasn't there been a Jersey Shores game, yet? Give it a few months.
Eventually corporations will always figure out how to enter, and eventually drive a market. Heck, they pay people millions of dollars just to figure out how to. They take over something interesting and different, an outstanding idea, possibly unpolished idea, then drive it back to the middle, back into the grey muck known as "popularity".
And popularity is dictated by the masses. There are more 6 year old than 12, and more 12 years olds than 20. And 6 year olds are easier to impress. But I'm just as guilty - I still fan boy over such beloved horrible childhood atrocities as He-man, Hanna Barbara, and the Never Ending Story (wouldn't that be an awesome mash up, though?)
Sorry for the rant, but I've spent my entire life entering the game development industry, and know it is, in the end, as fundamentally rewarding as being a crack dealer in a playground. However, I can't help it - I love the challenges it brings. I wish I had been a doctor.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS