Friday, June 21, 2013

Game Dev Tycoon Review

If you’re not a fan of Greenheart Games, I imagine you soon will be when you play their new game “Game Dev Tycoon,” which casts you in the role of a video game developer back when the whole thing first started and takes you all the way up through the next generation of console gaming and beyond.

Graphics & Sound
Because the game is a simulation less effort was invested into the graphics and sound, though that’s not to say that they’re bad. As you might expect the graphics are somewhat more basic that other games might be, however they easily get their points across and it’s not challenging to identify your settings and the details that fill them. The sound is of good quality and the track, though repetitive is catchy and still not an irritant after several solid hours of gameplay, a feat not often accomplished by other similar style games.

Gameplay
My Splash Screen
The game starts you off as a brand new software developer working out of a garage and starting with a meager $70k to develop your first game. If there were any doubt about what to do first it’s quickly dispelled as “develop a new game” is you’re only starting option aside from just sitting there and watching your monthly costs eat away at your startup money. Even if you find a winning theme and genre combination right off the bat and balance your focus correctly, don’t expect reviews for your first game to be better than 6s. Better ratings come with time and experience and for now 6s are awesome.

As you continue other opportunities will open up for you. Research is your first option and at the start all that’s available is “research new topic” (which is great because it costs nothing except research points) and the well worth saving up for “create custom engine” which opens up the option for you to design your own game engine in order to utilize the new technologies you keep researching thereby improving your games.

Once you get your first hit game and make you’re first million dollars you’ll be presented with an option to move to a new office. I’ve found that accepting this offer immediately tends to result in bankruptcy and so I stayed in the garage till the next gen systems came out, researching the whole time and then made a new engine and moved into the new office. From there things just got better and better. Seven hours later I finished the game (but don’t worry, you can keep playing afterwards if you want to).

Object lesson

The best part about the game is that it’s designed to teach an object lesson, or at least the pirated version is. The two versions start very much the same way, however once you reach a certain point you start getting messages in the pirated version that you “lost x amount of money because of piracy” to the point where it becomes impossible to develop new innovative games and still keep from going bankrupt. While it may be slightly exaggerated, one can definitely see the point and I find myself glad to have spent the $8 for the game to avoid the piracy hassle in my N3rd C0rn3r.