TUG's Troubles

By David Piner -
0

Hey y’all, feeling better still, although pretty much at that point in the stomach flu where you’re bloated all the time. You’re not you know sick, but uncomfortable. Here’s to hoping Destiny can continue to help me through this.

Game developers are, by and by, not business people. Business people generally aren’t developers. In the perfect world, we’d have a mix of the two, and then we wouldn’t have investors demanding the moon from games and developers promising Mars. There is a huge disconnect between perceived costs and actual costs. This is where Kickstarter, again, is a terrible platform for games.

So we all know that Yogcast’s game went under, but luckily they (the backers) got a free game called TUG and free access to Landmark, both of which should satisfy the backers instead of just saying “sucks guys.” Well now Kickstarted game “TUG” is facing massive layoffs because they can’t secure additional funding through the year.

I’ve ranted about this a lot, but this is a kind of new point I want to make. Devs aren’t business people. This is one of the reasons I lament Star Citizen because developers love promising the moon and giving you just a moon base. For Star Citizen, the gross amount of money made over the necessary amount to make the game without a publisher ($26 million I believe) is nothing but a false sense of future amazing when in reality I’m sure the project will remain within it’s original scope, since you know, it’s still 2014 and we don’t have super cool jetpacks yet.

Back to my point though, we as gamers have to understand ONE CORE FACT: games are being made for money. Money is what incentivize people to make good games. The issue here tho is that it takes a set amount of money, that isn’t known at the start of development, to produce a game. The reasons are numerous, someone on the team could not carry their weight and cause delays, they could find that the game isn’t fun and need to restart, or anything at all could happen to change the number.

Those who are great a business know how to manage projects and time and expectations and those who know how to develop know how to talk about awesome things and then beg programmers to make them. Programmers know how to finish things at or near the last second. Now, in a proper setup, the business side is constantly talking to the development side and they’re working on how to keep costs low and profits high, which ideally should involve a great game that people want to throw their money at. Developers move between teams making sure everything is going smoothly. It’s kind of like a kitchen! I’ve made that analogy before. Of course, programmers are programmers, but a great project lead can just set the last minute back a bit and usually results in great work.

Anyway, point of the matter is, when a developer is like yes we can do this, they’re saying it from the perception of flying around with unlimited money and high hopes. A business arm is really necessary for bigger projects to get off the ground. After all, the end goal of any game should be to make money since no one can expect people to work for free. When you add in "free" money from Kickstarter and big dreams, sometimes that mark is just going to be missed.

That’s about all I have to say on the subject. I’m going to crawl back in bed now and play some more Destiny.

Oh, real quick, I do think it’s awesome though that the Yogcast group didn’t just run with it and say “lol sucks to you be” and that SOE partnered with them to make sure the backers got SOMETHING. Huge kudos to all involved, again, if I forgot to say that in a previous Respawn.

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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