Indie Rock: Game Dev Tycoon
- Updated: May 1, 2013
A great thing happens if you pirate Greenheart Games’ Game Dev Tycoon. I think they’d be okay with you doing so just to check it out, so long as you think about actually paying afterward or tell your friends to take a look too. If you aren’t going to do either then maybe you don’t deserve to find out about this cool thing at all. We’ll establish an ethics tribunal and get this investigation underway within the week. You’d better have a star witness and an airtight alibi or you’re going to face the full brunt of my total inability to follow through on weak threats I make in the form of column inches.
The game’s a pretty shameless further extrapolation of ideas from Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story. It’s impossible not to make the connection and Greenheart are barely trying to cover that up. They’re placing a rug over a dead body and continuing the dinner party as if the argument never happened.
You’re one of about five avatar torso and head configurations per gender that decides to set up a game development company. You name it after your favourite snack food or whatever, then get started on the exciting career path of sitting in front of a computer for months at a time then a video game is produced at the end (I don’t know how the sausage gets made I just know how to cook them when they’re done).
Once your company gets big enough, the games start reviewing well and the budgets get more unstable, rather than pay for your game instead the audience just torrents it and barely anyone kicks a single cent toward keeping the studio afloat.
That only happens if you’re playing pirated code. Otherwise the game gives you a nice pop-up saying thank you for supporting a tiny start-up and the only hurrdles thrown at the player are due to their own bad decisions (like, becoming a video game developer at all, dahahaha). Obviously this is a cool way to promote and it’s clearly been effective in that I’m writing about this video game now and I’ve spent £6 on it, but the flip side is I’m more interested in discussing this stunt more than actually going over whether or not the game is all right (it is; it seems that way).
It’s totally relevant that this game takes a lot of ideas directly from another source but then also tries to make a statement about the ways in which the industry struggles to support itself. Piracy and idea-borrowing aren’t the same thing and neither are inherently terrible. You’d argue the two technically sustain the industry and people have time to hear that.
Resident Evil 4 creates over-the-shoulder camera, Killswitch invents cover-based shooting, Gears of War likes both of them. People crack a copy of Gears 1 and like it enough to buy Gears 2. That’s the gooey family-friendly reality of things that people like to toss around.
Hearing the anti-piracy argument from someone doing idea-borrowing, though? That doesn’t sit right. I guess we have to ask if Game Dev Tycoon’s existence is going to lead to fewer sales of Game Dev Story? In a lot of ways GDT makes Kairosoft’s game redundant through further exploring ideas and systems in a far more technical and in-depth manner. It’s a very similar game, but GDT just has a lot more going on. If you’re looking for the Game Development Simulation that’s the best, Game Dev Tycoon’s absolutely the one you should choose over Game Dev Story.
Can you extrapolate on existing ideas? Sure. Can you pirate? We couldn’t possibly take a positive stance here but watch as I wink and nod in subtle ways to confer my view. If you make a statement about a factor biting into your profit margin, but also perform something you could argue might bite into someone else’s, do you have the high ground? Probably not.
I like having sex. I don’t think admitting that is going to come back to haunt me in any attempts to run for political office. Yes, President-Elect Mat Jones admitted consensual intercourse is pretty alright, a hundred years ago. Long before the earth was ravaged by the crystal warrior’s slutwave mantis transformation . Sex is great and I’m probably going to keep doing it.
That’s sort of what Cara Ellison’s Sacrilege is about. I mean it’s about sex, obviously. You are literally instigating a series of fuckplans on your choice of four irredeemable d-bags, but it’s also about the ways in which we talk about sex; more accurately how we avoid talking about it and instead vaguely infer intentions and end up in an emotional mess when really you’re just looking for a gross literal one.
Sacrilege is a rare perspective-based Twine game that not only asks you to empathise with the author, but also tries to convey an even larger idea. Wouldn’t our lives be so much easier if we were able to be upfront about our stupid urges to do stuff with our junk and other people’s in close proximity? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just ask if someone is, as they say, DTF without either of you getting all flustered like you’re Hugh Grant on some Andie Macdowell-type shit? Maybe let’s not necessarily make a fifth wedding or a second funeral out of people wanting things inside them, yeah?
Leave this running for a bit and check back in on it later. You’re in for a “treat”, teehee clever pun wow.