It's hard to be a game designer


This article is likely to be critical, but I will try to touch on the good. I will use examples of famous startups. I’m writing not to criticize someone, but to improve the quality of games and raise the fun for beginners.

It seems to me that in recent years it has been very difficult to find a good game, including for smartphones. This, in principle, is due to two things.

The first trouble is monetization

I will share my impression after “Cut the rope 2”. I liked the first part very much. He played for a long time and waited for updates. But the second part really disappointed me: you can only go through a certain number of levels in a certain time; earning points (stars) was divided into three stages in each of the rooms; fees of some berries that always cannot be obtained in the right amount without additional purchases; Yes, and a bunch of all sorts of items in the store facilitate its passage so much that you don’t need to think much.

Of course, you can understand Zeptolab, they must feed employees, but do not forget about the users of the product. It's like with sausage: if you don’t like it, they won’t take it. Using an example of a triangle, I tried to express my idea of ​​the good ingredients of a game dev:


The basis in the first place should be gameplay. It is based on him that work is underway on art (the transfer of the atmosphere, mechanics and the nature of any characters) and the script. The script and monetization has given less space. Now I will explain why, using the example of Angry Birds. The plot in this game is secondary, since we do not pay much attention to it and the only thing we remember is that pigs stole eggs from the birds. There is no point in buying additional things in the store, because, in principle, if we did not pass the level, we enjoyed the fact that we destroyed a large number of items at the location and next time we will try even more.

Another good example is Fruit Ninja. New mechanics at that time and good art. Monetization, in principle, is not needed, and the plot is straightforward.

There is a tendency to squeeze as much money out of the user as possible. And here’s what’s going on in principle: The


modern approach: “We need money. Let's make a game. What do we have? The engine from the past farm, artists will redraw art, well, let it all happen in Africa. Right! Samali farm. " What is the most annoying - it is difficult for a young game designer to find a job right now. The employer wants the new employee to be with a huge baggage of the released projects and at the same time, as I see, they do not particularly care that they are solid clones.

As a result, we get it is not clear what, and for this we are asked for more money. Large companies have departments that conduct testing, conduct surveys and statistics among users and find the best option for the balance of the game. Small developers, in turn, want to cut down on the ball, while making as little effort as possible. As a result, we have small financial fees, a large user leak (since I don’t want to play for such a long time, so downloading it to watch is suddenly good) and the user’s impression of the company as a whole is not very good.

The second trouble is the so-called vinaigrette

Shove everything that they saw and did not see in one bottle and shake it properly. At the same time, all the attention goes to some little things: realistic fire, toolbar, pebbles, like in my yard, etc. But everyone forgets about the big picture.

I met this trouble personally. I had a chance to communicate with a person who was writing a script for his next game. I thought of working on a voluntary basis as a modeler with these people, getting my hand in hand and, in case of any success, continuing cooperation. After talking with the leader of their team (he is also a game designer, screenwriter and someone else part-time) he became interested and asked for at least some scenario. They sent me a Word document with six chapters. Text somewhere pages 15-17.

Reading it, I immediately plunged into a stormy brain activity. The script turned out to be pretty good, however, it needed some changes and improvements. In just 15 minutes, I squeezed out of it for about an hour and a half saturated gameplay. He immediately called back on Skype, began to give out tons of ideas and the way I see it. In response, I heard that this is not at all what he wants, not the way he sees it. In the end, it turned out that these six chapters will be just the background, a five-minute slide show at the beginning of the game. In the meantime, they came up with the first level, on which there will be a forest, a lake, on this lake a house on the island and all that needs to be done is to find a boat. It seems to pour gasoline and sail to the island for something. “Well, in general, we want monsters there when you shoot at them - they rip off their hands there realistically, their heads there, there will be a bunch of cut-scenes, complete trash, etc.

Naturally, in the future we did not communicate with him anymore.


If you make games for yourself, you can especially not bother. Well, otherwise, you need to please the fastidious gamer. Hold him, make him talk about your product and come back to him again and again. Let your creations become a cult, a fetish, so that the hands of gamers stretch lasciviously and feel “ your product ”.

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