7 Mistakes developers do when creating games

We all love computer games and especially online ones. They are the reason we turn on our PCs after an exhausting day looking for a way to relax, the things we spent sometimes all our savings on, and of course… why we are here. But even if we all have the same passion, everyone is different. I bet that each and every one of you has a different version of the perfect game.

Unfortunately, we are not the ones that create them. That task is assigned to the developers who somehow have to create something that matches the tastes of as many of us as possible. Most of the time, however, it happens that the idea the developers have in mind is radically different from what players have in want, mostly because they are not their main concern. So, there are a number of mistakes that developers do most often when they create their games. Let’s talk about some of those.

Money above all

This is probably the main reason games are not made the way we want them and the basics for all the other ones. Of course, creating them is not free and the people in the business have to make a living, after all. But making money being the main reason driving the business is actually… bad for business. Usually gamers feel whether a company launches a product with fans or money in mind and tend to be against the latter. From my point of view, creating games is as much an art as it is an industry, and art cannot be rushed or created on command, due to someone’s wish to make money. The lust for money creates all sorts of problems: lack of originality, bad quality, overpricing, things that ultimately have the opposite effect to what it was meant to be: a milking cow.

Trying to appeal to everyone

As I said in the beginning, everyone is different. You can’t expect Business Tycoon Online – business sim free mmoto create something that is perfect for anyone who tries it. Just like it’s very difficult to make a person who likes classical music listen to metal, you can’t expect the fans of FPSs or racing games to consider an RPG as the best game ever. Apparently, however, game developers seem to be a very stubborn kind which didn’t understand that. So, they tried to make their games appeal to everyone. This was done mainly by simplifying things and in doing so, much of the flavor and challenge of the game was lost. The ones that suffer the most are core gamers who mainly play one kind of games (simulations, RTS, etc.), but on the other hand, they are not the ones that bring game companies the most money, but the mainstream public, who wants casual, relaxed gaming and also have low expectations from a game.

Promising too much

Usually, when we hear a new game is going to be launched we mainly think about two things: system requirements and what’s new about it. As the first is not our concern at the moment, let’s talk about the second. Usually, gamers become more and more excited as the launch date approaches and more and more info and videos are shown to the public about the new production. But game developers are people, just as we are, and they too are getting excited. And because of this and the need for hype (we’ll talk about that later) they start promising things, promises that sometimes cannot be kept. This makes the gamers have high expectations that when faced with reality, cause a disappointment that ultimately translates into bad reviews and low sales.

Too much hype

This is strongly related to the one above. It is obvious that advertising is the way to make your game known to the world. But when you make sure that wherever people look, they see an ad of your product, it’s already too much. You see, advertising can go both ways. It may make your game known to the world but it may also may the world get bored of it before it even hits the shelves. There are cases when gamers find out almost all that is to know about a certain games, that when it is launched there’s nothing new to be found. With advertising also come promises and everything is connected to the previous paragraph.

What’s with the graphics?

Honestly now… graphics in games have reached a level when it is hard to have any visible advancement at the moment. And still, many games’ advertising relies heavily on “innovations” in graphics. So what? Almost any game launched nowadays looks spectacular, there’s nothing special about it. For example, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a game launched in 2004 but the graphics are good looking even by today’s standards. Even new games like Fallout: New Vegas use the same engine. Instead, producers should focus on what makes a game actually last: gameplay, story and atmosphere. Even at time of its launch, World of Warcraft wasn’t a particularly good looking game, and still, due to its accessible gameplay and great atmosphere it managed to be the most popular MMO out there. On the other hand, Crysis, a game highly praised for its stunning graphics at its time, would be mostly forgotten if it weren’t used as benchmark test for PC components. Why? Because it didn’t have what it takes to be a game to remember.

The Delay/The rush

Although it may seem as these are two different things, they are too strongly related to be able to treat them separately. They both refer to the actual launch of a game. The first and most common especially in single-player games is the delayed launch. Usually producers declare a rough estimation of the time when the game will be ready, but most of the time, this is delayed from a few months to… forever (we all know the story of Duke Nukem… Forever, that is actually launching in 2011). This causes frustration among fans but may also be a good thing, creating the much desired hype. The other type of launch is the rushed one. Either because they want to meet a deadline like Christmas or Easter when sales boom or to avoid further delays, producers launch their game quickly and most of the times full of bugs. For online games, this isn’t a problem as updates are done almost every day even for the finished game. But when we speak about single-player, the gamer expects to have a finished game for his money. This is why many heavily bugged games launch patches even in the first day.

Lack of originality

It’s in human nature to copy. This is the way Mother Nature ensured we learn from our ancestors and pass away to our children. Imitation is the simplest example of intelligence, present not only in man but also in primates and some other animals like elephants. Luckily, we got past that level and creativity is now the most important aspect of our civilization. Unfortunately, not everyone understood this. Especially in gaming industry, creativity and originality are crucial. It is what differentiates your game and makes it stand out of the crowd. On the other hand, some prefer the easy way: find a game that is successful, copy almost every aspect of it, re-brand it and make money. This phenomenon is one of the most irritating and damaging for the gaming industry as it strongly limits its potential. Fortunately, gamers started to realize what’s going on and the copy-cat fashion slowly loses its momentum.

These are but a few things that prevent games from being closer to what we really want. As you may have noticed, I didn’t refer to online games only, as these are common aspects for both online and single-player games. I am sure there are many more aspects that I must have missed, but hopefully, the main ones were listed. If you have any other common mistakes done when creating games that you think are worth mentioning, please post them in the comment section. After all, the critic is what makes things change for the better.

by Sicaru Adrian

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