Monthly Archives: February 2012

Crunch Time

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Looking into the development cycle for video games we look at one of the worst, and almost unavoidable occurrences. Crunch. For a common definition of crunch, or in full crunch time, Wikipedia give us A critical period of time during which it is necessary to work hard and fast . Indeed when we are crunch, for anything, we work as hard and as fast as we can.

But unfortunately crunch has a series of negative effect. In a brief summation of Evan Robinson’s article Why Crunch Modes Don’t Work: Six Lessons. Crunch leads to a short-term productivity boost due to the extended hours the people work. But in a long-term scenario crunch leads to a loss in productivity as the there is a natural peak amount of hours that a person can work and be effective at that work. As such it leads to poor work rushed out to meet deadlines. This happens with video games, writing, and many other things.

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So You Want to Crowd-Source Your Funding?

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With Double Fine adventures just hitting the $2,000,000 when I started writing this article; I seem to notice that the Internet, or at least the parts I pay attention to, is abuzz with ‘Kickstarter fever.’ Now I am extremely happy about this since: I love Double Fine, don’t like publishers, and feel this can be the start of something great.

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Game Design: On Ideas

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Often enough I have talked to people wanting to start making video games. And often enough they talk about making the next big game. I have to admire their enthusiasm, as it reminds me of a much younger me. But most often they say one thing which I can’t forgive.“I have this great idea.”

The number of times anyone in the industry has heard that must be innumerable. And I can understand why. There is vision and drive to make something awesome. The belief that this idea can be the next half-diablo-doom-craft. And wanting to be at the front of seeing that idea come to life is admirable.

Unfortunately, when you just start trying to make video games, that great idea is worthless. Not necessarily because it is a bad idea, but because you lack the experience to take that idea from the vision in your head, to the reality that the fanboys drool over. This is because a great game comes down to how the ideas are executed in the game.