What GradeAUnderA complaining about video games shows me…

So there are a few Youtubers I frequently watch-one of them being GradeAUnderA, who is a brillant guy shouting out his opinions about things. While this doesn’t sound like a new thing-nor an enojoyable one, he’s got a really nice voice and seems eloquent to a deegree where I just like hearing him out on things. Really, if you haven’t, go watch his works, you’ll gonna have a good time.

One of his videos I like.

But, while I like most of what he has to say, there is that one video that I’d like to talk about, that showed me some things need an explanation.

I feel there are some things here that need explaining.

So what is here to explaing? Why the video games industry goes so much into the “visual aspect” and not the “fun aspect”, cause it seems that mr Grade just didn’t get. And I’ll try to make it clear for anyone, with my little bit of game developing experiance I have.

First off, the comparasion of game graphics to how food smells is a bit innacurate. A more accurate comparasion,in my opinion, would be dating a woman basing on her looks. Why? Imagine an ugly woman and a neat-looking woman. You’d probably approach the prettier woman first, then maybe, if that woman is not ok, you’d try your best with the uglier one. The first aspect that did matter wasn’t how good she is or how could you spend your time with her. That’s how human brain works-it’s like a bee flying to the prettier image-and that’s pretty much why gaming industry has this infinite “looks race” of the best looking game so much-people will aproach your prettier game first.

Why does it matter that they approach you game first, and not the other? You see, those people are your customers. Every customer has a wallet-and those are finite in cash amounts. And you know, making games is business. That guy could spend his hard earned money on your game, but he won’t mostly-he’s gonna spend it on the game that looks nicer to him-which doesn’t give the developer money-which in turn makes him go out of making games. That’s why half a year before the game is released, it’s all around the media, like interwebz, to show that the title exists and you’d might wanna spend your cash on it, or pre-order it. That’s how the developer is sure to get the money they require to operate.

What could be done to make people care about a game that plays and doesn’t look ? Maybe the thing is a playable demo. Non-devs think that “just release a demo” is a quickie, like giving someone a sip of a coffee. Well, that’s a lot more complicated. Making a demo isn’t like “just take  some of what you have and cut the rest”. If you want a good demonstration of your game, you have to prepare a release of the demo. That means debugging, building, cutting… a good demo could take even more than 2 weeks of work. 2 weeks! That time could have gone to polishing the main game.

So, It may seem that this whole “business” thing is some kind of evil monster that eats people and loots villages. Nope. That’s just like a hard RPG/strategy game, where one must try to get to live day by day-making games take a lot of effort, experiance, and gathered coins… I mean, money. And while some would like games to be a “charity” thing, that also *does* happen! There are countless games online to be played that are free (look at some of my games, they are not finished, I don’t see that they’re complete yet, I’d love to get some input on them, and I don’t require you to pay me), but people will complain that “this ain’t what they did mean” because they wanted the AAA market to be a charity/free type of market.

Ok, now it’s time to tell, why the hell there are so many AAA games released that are not finished, and have “day one patches”? Shouldn’t it be like, if they have so much money, they should be able to release a game without bugs, right? Again, it’s more complicated than that. First, Time equals money for the developer. They most likely don’t have the money on hands to spend, they get it from some kind of an investor, who would like to see the return for the game ASAP. That’s why the devs release the game when it at least, seems ready, and then when they recive additional funding, they fix the game.

Now, what has that whole bragging about AAA gaming to do with GradeA’s rant? It’s because to oppose that graphics in game matters, he has shown so called indie games. Indie games are titles made without a publisher or giant budget. They mostly aren’t made by a crowd of people-for instance, recent Witcher game took hundreds of people to complete, while minecraft was for months a one-man operation (with huge screwups, like the DDOS that Notch had to deal with-it was so bad that notch made the game free up until he fixes the DDOS damage). So, why big studios don’t work in small teams of people to deliver games? They do that(sometimes, for experimental work). But you’d also like to have to deliver something on a much bigger scale. Why? If you take risks with much bigger products, the return can get much bigger. It’s very similar to how Hollywood operates with movies vs how indies record they stuff for youtube – it’s the same medium, but much different scale: a big movie, with all-around marketing, that requires a lot of people to complete and hypes a lot of people, renders a lot more revenue than simple banner ads on youtube.

And you know what’s funny about that revenue thing? It’s not sure. It’s a huge risk. It’s basically a gamble. That’s why to not take extreme risks while building giant products, most gaming companies play it safe-a sequel to popular game is some sure money. A game similar to the other popular game, that plays mostly the same, is more safe than releasing a very experimental work (and that’s why we have so much same-ish FPS these days, sports games, car racers…).

So… I hope I made you, reader, a person who understands now better what’s going on inside games industry.