StuffWeLike.com Podcast Episode 11

Here’s the latest podcast:

www.stuffwelike.com/podcast/swl-podcast11.mp3 

File Size: 22.2 megabytes
Length: 24:18 minutes
Topics:
Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest (Movie Review)
Superman 1 vs Returns
Rocky VI Trailer
Controversial PSP Ad

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Perfecting Games aka Testing

When it all comes down to it playing the game is when you can make it perfect. While the design documents are well thought out it’s near impossible that they programmers won’t have to go in and tweak every aspect of the design.  

Figuring out why a game is either not fun or bad is a difficult process. You must be able to dissect the game. Look past all of the eye candy and figure out what is going on behind the scenes.  

This is one of the reasons why I suggest everyone should work in the QA department at least once in their career. If most games are clones and nock-offs of each other, why do some flop while others are AAA? It’s all because the team either did or did not spend the time tweaking the game.  

In The Divine we’re are currently tweaking the gameplay. When we originally began the project we knew which games we were going to base our game off of, but we never deeply went into what makes each of these games fun. We skimmed them saying well it has to be an epic in-space dogfight. What the hell does that mean?! Exactly my point. 

Licenses Are Sweet Deals

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: The Legend of Jack Sparrow currently has a 66% average rating on GameRankings.com. The game is horrible but what’s worse is that the game could easily sell 1 million units over its lifetime. 

A few weeks ago Majesco reported that Jaws Unleashed sold over 100,000 copies! Consumers buy what they know. It’s a smart business if we are able to obtain a license deal to make a video game. You pore in a couple million in development roughly 18 months and you’ve made a profit. It doesn’t really matter the quality of the game. What really matters is whether or not the IP has a large fan base in which some are gamers. 

Will the quality of movie titles ever increase? The Lucky 8-Ball says No. Why? Why should developers take their time on a product that will sell no matter the quality? That’s the answer. No consumers will never learn. They will think twice if the game costs more then $50, but usually games with 18month development cycles can be spared from the high-end price point.   

If you really want to own a licensed game, particularly from movies, wait until the game is in the bargain bin for $10-$20 unless the game is actually good. Save yourself some money and screw the developer that put out this title. 

Movie licensed games usually have less time on store shelves because the games themselves are created to coincide with the movie’s release. So you are likely to see the price lowered in a few months after its launch.