Indie Review: Game Dev Tycoon
Game Dev Tycoon is a game development simulation game, by Greenheart Games, that is both extremely addictive and deceptive with its visual aesthetics.
- Worth The Time?Yes, especially when you succeed in releasing a perfect scoring and well selling game.
- Things LovedThe gameplay design is overwhelmingly addictive and continually maintains your interest. There are so many options in the game and Game Dev Tycoon offers depth and varied choice paths, be it in what games you want to develop, what genre of games you want to develop, platform choices, hardware development and a whole host of other elements.
- Things HatedThe game can be a tad repetitive if you continually pursue the same strategies in game development. But this is remedied somewhat by experimenting with game topic choices and overall design decisions.
- RecommendationIf you love simulation games and have an itch for game development, Game Dev Tycoon is right up your alley.
- Name: Game Dev Tycoon
- Genre: Simulator
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Greenheart Games
- Publisher: Greenheart Games
- Price: R 106.10
- Reviewed On: PC
Game Dev Tycoon, by Greenheart Games, is a genuinely addictive game development simulator that explores the life of your very own developer, through 30 years of game development history, from the 1980s, to current-gen, to next-gen and beyond. Yes, you can even create your very own console. The basic premise of the game is that you start off out of a garage as an indie developer in the 1980s following the videogame crash. You work from a PC and move on to various other platforms, and gradually you make your way to bigger offices, hire more employees and the like. Eventually not only do you take on small independent games, but you can take on publishers deals and release your own large game independently in the final stages of the game. If you’re good enough, you can start developing and working on your very own unique gaming hardware.
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In the 1980s, you are on your own and develop new games, and take on contract work to make ends meet. Everything in the game functions through action context menus that are accessible by simply clicking on the screen, from there you can easily create a new game and research topics, new technology and game engine improvements. You start off developing text-based games and basic 2D-based games for the PC and a parody of a well known competitor. As you make your way through the various decades, you are introduced to handheld gaming consoles like the Gameboy and PSP, parodies of the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, N64, Sega Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, and eventually the PS4 and Xbox One. As you progress, the environment also changes with updates to your office and increases in your budget as you produce more hit games.
The aim of Game Dev Tycoon is obviously to be successful. So you have to constantly research new game topics, combine genres, improve your games’ engines and hire new talent to take on even bigger projects as you make it to the later stages of the game. However, if you make the wrong investment making wrong topic choices, bad genre picks and combinations, or develop games for an unsuccessful platform both your sales and critical success may suffer. The game keeps track of your current amount of cash, the year you’re in and the stats for your fan following. As these stats increase, you can take on bigger projects independently without the help of a publisher, this is achieved by taking risks with game development choices and mixing it up when it comes to game design. The whole point is to experiment with various platforms and see where you fit in as a developer.
The main focus of the game is developing games, but you can help produce gaming-related hardware and peripherals in the later stages of the game. Each developer in your team is under you control starting off with your very own creation, whom starts the studio which you can name however you see fit. The main options for your developer start off with basically being able to research and develop your very own game independently on a small scale. This changes as soon as you develop your first hit game and move to a bigger premises. Once you have moved you can hire more talent and then have the option to train your various developers in your team in a number of fields be it design, technology, speed, research and such.
Every time you take on contract work, develop a new game or take on a publisher’s contract, you can use research points and money to fund future projects and games. To be successful at all of these, you need to train your developers and increase their basic stats. This way you won’t fail contracts or produce lacklustre games that inevitably don’t sale well, and are critically panned because of a lack of training and education for hired staff members. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have options to develop sequels, take on larger contracts and inevitably develop your own games with huger budgets that when you started out of a garage. The feeling you get from succeeding is purely euphoric, but when you fail and have to face bankruptcy you can ask the bank to bail you out. If you are bailed out by the bank a number of times and fail to pay them back you will be forced to file for bankruptcy, and your business assets will be sold to a major publisher. Essentially Game Dev Tycoon gives you the whole game development experience from the development and financial sides.
However, the game at times can become repetitive when you figure out what research topics are the most profitable and what areas of development to focus in the game development process. Specifically this becomes prevalent when demarcating development time to graphics, AI, world design, level design and such other elements. Besides this point, the game is highly addictive and can maintain your interest for a decent enough play-through. Visually the game is comparable to other casual games but is serviceable, and suits the feel of the game.
Game Dev Tycoon is not a serious experience and is light-hearted which shows through in its visuals and funny parodies of console developments. The game makes light of game console wars such as Sega versus Nintendo, and Sony versus Microsoft at present. The music is decent and fits in will with the overall visual aesthetic and is not an exemplary element of the game’s design. Ultimately, Game Dev Tycoon is an enjoyable game with very few faults.