The Truth About Game Development

by Darius Kazemi on February 1, 2007

in design,games

So back in September I posted a design experiment on this blog.

Well, much to my delight, Petri Purho actually created a game (loosely) based around my challenge! It’s called The Truth About Game Development. He made it in 7 days, as the EGP does–apparently, he makes one such experimental game every month. That’s awesome!

First reaction: this is totally freaking sweet. The production values are actually very slick. Its aesthetics are very reminiscent of Kyle Gabler’s EGP games, and actually bears a fair amount of resemblance to The Crowd.

What’s the game about? Well, you’re a producer (I can only assume Executive Producer!) working at a Kafkaesque game company where the game developers are your slaves. You can control things like their salary (by default $3/hr) and the amount of your budget you put into graphics, gameplay, and marketing. Killing developers makes them work faster. “Fear of death is the best motivator,” the game tells you.

An especially nice touch is the random events. I got one saying (paraphrased), “Hey, one of the peons has figured out that a wacky controller will get the game more publicity. Shall we get the slaves working on it at higher development cost?”

I haven’t figured out exactly how to win the game yet, but it’s a quick play and a pretty small download at 8.1 MB. Give it a try! It’s funny, and delightfully cynical.

It’s also weird, because I was just telling someone on Sunday how much I want to make a game about the game development process. This is more of a satire of the process, but it’s a pretty effective satire.


Darren Torpey February 1, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I wonder if Petri will use this post for “review” snippets… I can see them now:

“funny, and delightfully cynical”
- Darius Kazemi

and perhaps even:
“also weird”

gummikana February 1, 2007 at 10:40 pm

Wow, I was really impressed by the speed of your blogging. It toke me longer to write this comment, than it to for you to write the blog post :)

I’m glad you found the game’s satire funny. If I can make people smile, with the game I know that I haven’t wasted 7 days of development on a crappy game idea.

I think I’ll have to setup a paraphrased review snippets for the game: “Very Kafkaesque game experience”.

Petri Purho

solipsistnation February 2, 2007 at 12:06 am

All right, the best strategy seems to be to raise salaries right off (to $5 or so) and then kill at will. They’ll run like little bastards for a load of cash and the threat of death.

And when it’s at 5/5, kill everyone you can until they decide to ship whatever you’ve got (even if it’s not actually _done_), and you’ll still get loads of cash.

I got a score of 146316 this way.

…and, again, 155755.

Your lesson is: When it’s mostly done, fire everyone and ship anyway. Yay!

solipsistnation February 22, 2007 at 2:53 am

Pay everybody 50 bucks an hour! Let them go for a long time, and when they’re mostly done, kill them off! 351,385 points! Yeah!

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