Bad Games Are Fault of Management, says Developer

David Rodriguez, a lead game designer for High Voltage Software, said that bad games which come out of game companies aren,t always the fault of the developers. His comments, made to PopCultureShock, redirected the accusing finger to the higher ups in management. Rodriguez said, "Sometimes no matter how hard you work, someone more powerful than you is going to come in and stick their [uh… fingers] in your peanut butter."

He gave a personal perspective in the process of video game production by saying, "I,ve been involved with or have watched other games that were on a track to possibly be a good game, slowly get churned into a giant steaming piece of crap through no fault of the people directly working on it."

As far as bending to the will of those above him, he said, “That means that no matter how bad I think an idea is. That means no matter how unreasonable the request or how stupid the last thing they said was, in the end they write the check, so they get to decide. I can voice my opinion. I can tell them what I think because that’s what they are paying me for, but ultimately, if they decide that something must be in the game… Then you can bet your sweet ass it’s gonna be in the game."

Rodriguez summed up his views by stating, "Next time you,re playing a game that makes you wish the developer would go to hell, just remember it’s not always their fault."

Rodriquez,s contention that it isn,t always the developer,s fault is a half truth at best, as the final decisions rely on honest feedback from the development team. In the game industry, where good appearances to superiors often override the function of being frank about a game,s progress, developers and producers often sell out by overstating a game,s quality to gain favor from their bosses. It is imminently far easier to say, “The game is great and doing fine,” rather than giving the report of, “This game sucks. You should trash it.”

Millions of dollars are spent in research and development of a game title, and it is a difficult matter for anyone in the management chain to simply put the brakes on a failing title and to give an honest assessment before it is too late. While bad game titles are a fact of life for the gaming community, the news that the games are poor, oddly enough, doesn,t occur until they are actually released – someone isn,t telling the truth during the production stages of these games.

It is evident that many bad games appear on the store shelves of retailers simply because someone in the chain of command in production failed to say, “No, this isn,t working,” and ultimately, this is where the responsibility squarely lies.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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