Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Game Development: Tranparency

I was thinking this morning that I really need to post more about game development here. For one thing, game development is my job; it's what I've I done for 8+ hours a day 5+ days a week for the last 6 years straight and then on and off here and there in both professional and amateur capacities for 6+ years preceding. For another thing, I have pretty strong opinions regarding game design and the development process. Lately however, one aspect of game development has revealed itself to me as perhaps being more in need of being discussed and that is transparency or more specifically the lack of transparency between development and the audience and how this creates false expectations from said audience.

As a developer I understand the need for this lack of transparency: gamers are a ravenous horde who not only seek to devour any information about projects they're interested in, but also to speculate on that information in ways that often affect the public perception - and by association the retail performance - of a product. Simply put: you scare the shit out of us. I don't think there is a correlation with any other form of media where audience reaction can have such a massive and immediate effect on the product, certainly not in any form of media this big. Gaming sites often go after any information released by a developer or or those close to a developer with the same voracity that political pundits do gaffes from the opposite party's leaders. This is a large part of the reason why I have a disclaimer on this blog. I don't want my thoughts on games and game development (or anything else for that matter) to be misconstrued as official statements from a BioWare or EA employee. This overwhelming desire for information from fans and the lack of transparency from developers forges a relationship that can quickly (and quite often) become adversarial. Because of this however the lack of transparency persists and because of that lack of transparency I believe expectations often become outrageous. It's a vicious circle.

Anyway, I seem to have gotten away from my initial point which is that I would like to post more about game development, to be more transparent, but to do so I need to create a certain distance from anything I am currently working on. That being the case, I think I'm going to try to post some things about the process of game development in a general sense. The goal being to shed some light on aspects that people rarely ever see, without incriminating myself in the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment