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RapidStunna

Purposefully Leaving Room for a Sequal

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Do game development companies purposefully ruin/leave out features of a first game in order to make a sequal seem better? The reason I ask this is because some games just seem soooo much better compared to their original version and its questionable whether it would be a smart business move to do that. Not only that but do companies purposefully ruin their free versions of programs to make their real versions seem better also? An example of this Kazaa. The free versions actually seemed to sleep (waste memory and time) itself when idle. The lite version of it does not do this at all. What are your thoughts? ---
Brent Gunning | My Site

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Actually, we tend to leave out features because we don''t have the time to properly implement and test them.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by RapidStunna
Yep...Every Company has a department that specialises in how to make a game not a game. They try to remove all the excess features and content prior to release and ensure that several bugs are passed through to production. In general the performance of this department is measured by the number of patches distributed.

I believe in general it''s situated in the back office next to the "There all out to get me" therapy room.



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RapidStunna,
No companies don''t do what your suggesting as it would be commercially very stupid to produce a game that was not as good as possible. It is a tough job developing games and you seldom have the time to include all the features you want. Also the team have lots of problems to solve along the way and they don''t always pick the best solution. This means that when they finish a game they always look at it and say "If I was doing that again I could do it so much better". They have learned from the first project and so the next one can be done more efficiently.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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I''ve generally done this a little bit... But it''s not making it buggy, it''s simply not adding a whole lot of extra stuff so that I can add it next time. I do no suggest making your games buggy, however, you could potentially build up a lot of fans to your games if they somehow seemed alot better each time.

The other thing *is* time. Like in my sequel to LX1, i''m adding pattern based movement, to the enemies, rather than pure random movement as in LX1, because I spent so long that I needed to move on. And then the next one after that i''ll be adding more stuff that I didn''t here because of the time.

I could always be working on engine code but never making games with it, so instead implement 1 or 2 things, then build it into a game and then add stuff to it later and do it again.

Uhf

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I will agree with the others here and say that it is lack of time rather than conspiracy and plotting that gets features left out of games. I can personally attest to this. With Miko & Molly, I had a list of additional features I wanted to add but left out. It all came down to a matter of "do I want to spend the next year selling it, or do I want to spend that time adding more features". I decided that the game was not really lacking with its current feature set and was quite playable and still very fun without all the extras on my list, so I turned my attention to cleaning up, busting bugs, and releasing it.

Ron Frazier
Kronos Software
www.kronos-software.com
Miko & Molly - Taking Puzzle Games to A Whole New Dimension

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Game companies most certainly DO leave out content and occasionally features in order to have a head start on the addon/sequel. its part of the change in the industry to a fully commercial approach rather than the ''geek driven'' industry of old. you make a product. you plan its scope and content. if something cool comes up during development maybe you old it over for the sequel.

Shaun

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
if something cool comes up during development maybe you old it over for the sequel.

And just as often they will be included but that isn''t what the original poster is talking about. Your are describing having a design that is in development and then adding to it or deciding not to add to it but keeping the addition for the next version. The original poster is talking about having a design and then removing features from it to make a game worse. That is a completely different thing and doesn''t happen.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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The pressure to develop a game and the financial investment in one precludes any conspiritorial patterns you might see. Its usually a matter of time, money or both. Time is never in an abundant supply and game developers typically have grandiose designs that they would like to implement. We classify all of our design elements, as "must have", "would be nice to have", and "could do without if necessary". For us initial beta is when we have all of the "must have"s completed, though our design includes all of the categories above.

I suspect you see the results of time constrained development that is the reality in the game industry. Money constraints go hand in hand because (time == money). As time wears on, two things happen, money runs out and development efforts become obsolete. The remedy for either of those is more money which most projects do not have. In the most extreme case, this can cause a team to reduce the size of the "must have"s to an even smaller set of "must must have"s, which precipitates the kind of games you are talking about.

In a perfect world, games would have all the time needed, all the money needed and the development of them would never result in old looking games. The reality is quite different and that applies different pressures on different developers depending upon their situation. To say there is a conspiracy going on or to suggest the posibility of embarking on one, is to not understand the industry and the pressures faced by those working in it.

Hope this helps clear things up.
Kressilac

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