Jen MacLean Profile picture
May 2, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ Writing this rant from the perspective of someone who started in #gamedev as a playtester, many years ago.

Stop blaming the dev team for games that shouldn't be released. You're blaming exactly the wrong people.
2/ Pick a game you've found disappointing in the last, say, 30 years. Bad monetization. Buggy. Frustrating. Just not fun.

I'll bet money the dev team said "please don't release this".
3/ Game devs are smart. They care about their work. They want to make a great game. They play games too.

(Seriously. No one goes into work each day saying "yeah, I really want to make a game I'm not proud of.")
4/ But in the large, LARGE majority of cases, the dev team doesn't get to decide the release schedule. In many cases, they don't get to decide monetization. They may not even get to decide staffing levels, or product strategy.
5/ And (very) often, game devs know a game shouldn't be released. They know it's buggy. They know it's not fun. They know it needs another year or more.

But generally, the dev team doesn't get to make the decision about when a game is released.
6/ Often, devs will try REALLY HARD to make an impossible release date, and they do this far too often at the expense of their health and well-being. They do it because they want to make something amazing and wonderful, that will prompt strong emotions and make your life better.
7/ Also often, when devs know a game WON'T be good, they try to get the time they need to make it better, or even stop its release entirely. *Especially QA*. That team knows when a game shouldn't see the light of day. (Looking at you, Pizza Tycoon from Microprose.)
8/ But games get released anyway. They get released because of shareholders. Institutional investors. Release plans. Arbitrary dates devs can't control (like movie releases and sports seasons).
9/ But games do NOT get released because devs are stupid, or they don't care, or they just want to move on to the next thing.

We care.

We care so damn much.
10/ So when you want to be angry or upset or disappointed with a game, do so. Because players care too.

But if you're blaming the devs, in 99.99% of the cases, you're blaming exactly the wrong people.
11/ If you're blaming the devs, you're blaming the people who argued harder than anyone that the game shouldn't be released. Because it's their professional reputation on the line. Because it's literally years of their life. Because it's their baby, and heart, and soul.
12/ So let's show the devs some empathy, and understanding, and respect. Let's not shame them for something they had no control over.

Let's encourage great people to stay in the industry, and try again, and learn.
13/ Let's hold companies accountable for bad games instead of people.

Because the people who make games are exactly that-people. With feelings and joy and pain and love and sacrifice.
14/ Here's the thing- if we keep blaming the dev team-people- for something they can't control, we're going to lose exactly the ones we need to keep.

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More from @jenmacl

Jul 13, 2018
One of the things that has been most astounding/dumbfounding/inane about the last week is the number of people who have said that men are harassed far worse on social media, or who have more difficult careers. 1/
Now that I've recovered from my fit of laughter and face palming at those remarks, please allow me to clear things up for you. 2/
Game dev is hard. It's challenging, frustrating, infuriating, and rewarding no matter your gender. But for people who don't present as cis white men, game dev is ridiculously harder. 3/
Read 12 tweets

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