Experience Points: My Life As A Dev In Game Dev Tycoon
It was one of those tiring days where you wake up exhausted because you spent the previous night churning out code on the clock to make deadlines, to make contracts and to get your engine up and running. Starting out of a garage was never my idea of living the life, but there is a beauty to being on your own, making games and drinking stale coffee as the sun rises. I remember that first game I developed called Genius Galactic, a space shooter, it was well received on the Gameboy and a smash hit. No one thought I would make tons of cash off of it. Nonetheless I did, and I felt on top of the world.
Following which, I reached an ever higher peak of success and made it to early game development nirvana. I developed a pet sim for the Gameboy that reached cult hit status. That was when I cashed in big time and earned my first four million. I was elated and felt like nothing could stop me. Except, an investment in PS1 game development and some uninspired game design choices crippled my dreams. This all happened as the PS2 was released, and as a result of my misplaced decisions I filed for bankruptcy. I was broken, for a while. Life as a game dev can be hard sometimes.
Eventually I started a new company from another garage. Things would be different this time. Of course, I had made many mistakes. But this time, I would rake in the cash and be a self-publishing darling that would change the videogames industry forever. More than a few years in, once again, I filed for bankruptcy after four loans from the bank. I couldn’t repay back the money I owed. Yes, I was naive. But I had finally learnt my lesson. I was a changed man, a different kind of game dev and now I had reached a new level of game dev-evolution.
I quickly transitioned from my garage into a fully fledged studio, called Samurai Shop, in the technology park, in a matter of years. This seemed to happen much quicker than expected, as if time miraculously sped up. My move was funded by a hit PC action RPG, and I made a substantial sum of money. I was content and after some further research moved on to varied platforms. I tried my hand at casual games on the Nintendo DS, I was met with limited successes on the platform with a rhythm game being my only real hit at the time. I then focussed on hiring more people as my studio expanded and the workload became too much to handle for one person.
I hired two programmers and we developed a variety of games for the PS2 and PC. I gained ground with a couple of PC strategy games and strategy simulation hybrids. Following this, I purchased a licence for a newly released console, the Xbox 360, and released an open world action RPG called Final Fantasy. In this instance, I was met with both critical and ultimately insane financial success. I was on the up and up, and made my way, with my team in tow, to a newer office where I hired a number of staff members. I then began development on a revolutionary engine for RPG game development. The engine was called RPG Ultimate Final.
With a new engine finally finished, my team and I developed a sequel to Final Fantasy simply called Final Fantasy 2. The game had new dynamic environments, improved physics, an interactive story and various improved features from its predecessor. The game was released on the newest Xbox platform and once again success was knocking on my door. After this, the engine was improved tremendously with added features and improved 3D graphics, and released we another sequel with Final Fantasy 3. My success continued and I took on a publishing deal for a large game with Capcom, It was a Martial Arts game, entitled Martial Arts Explosion, and my studio developed an action RPG. With the new engine and an interesting topic choice, we scored well with critics and made a great deal of profit from the whole exchange.
It was at this time that I received word that I was nominated for a lifetime achievement award in game design, which I won in the end. After 35 years of game development and continually refining RPG game design my dreams had been reached. What I learnt is that game design and development requires talent, a great work ethic and plenty of luck, especially if you intend to self-publish.
If you read through all of that, this pretty much sums up my whole experience of Game Dev Tycoon. I have been addicted to the game for a couple of days, and my devotion to achieving game design greatness has never felt as compelling as what I experienced in this game. It was a rewarding experience and if I gained even the slightest insight into what game developers have to endure than the game has done a pretty solid job. Game Dev Tycoon may seem superficially casual, but it is quite a deep experience as evidenced above. I suggest giving it a try, even if you are have only a cursory interest in game design. It will open up your mind.