I recently thought that someone should write an article critically examining the gaming industry and its habitual issues with delayed products and false expectations. It should, I thought, be an article that takes an unflinching and unbiased perspective, measuring carefully a gentle balance between the starry-eyed desires of consumers with the realistic constraints placed upon developers. Granted, I was pretty sauced at the time and I see now how that would be a really really boring article. No, what we need is a poorly researched, sharply biased piece more derived from intuition and imagination than fact Ã‚– you know, the sort of thing youÃ‚'d see at CBS! See, I can be topical!
[now, when I say topical, I donÃ‚'t mean that I can be applied to the skin like a salve or balm. But, I digress Ã‚– dramatically.]
IÃ‚'m well aware that we have a few developers perusing our site on a basis that I might term at least occasional, so a word to you gentle souls before I call you scum and roll you through the dirt. I love you guys like brothers. Brothers I never really knew, and who might have given me wedgies in front of your pimple faced friends when we were kids, but brothers all the same. You guys are out there on the frontlines every day doing whatever magical incantations and shaman shaking dances it takes to make computers perform feats fantastic, and for that I thank you. But, it is the kind of thanks IÃ‚'d give to a chef cooking my dinner while I wait insatiably hungry following a month of eating carpet lint, which is to say that itÃ‚'s a genuine thanks but one tempered with my desire to kill you and take whatever youÃ‚'ve got finished.
Perhaps a part of the issue I have stems from my inability to relate to the stress placed upon you guys. IÃ‚'ve never had anyone anxiously await the product of my work. No one ever messages me (and, I hasten to point out via my Freudian typo, no one ever massages me either) while I write my articles demanding a firm release date, except maybe Certis, and then only because if I write something it means he doesnÃ‚'t have to. Lazy is not an adequate substitute for anticipation in this example. So I canÃ‚'t say what the demands are for the spotlight you guys work under.
But, as I said this article isnÃ‚'t about being reasonable and patient. IÃ‚'m a gamer and a citizen of the net, so reason and patience are foreign and offensive to me. In the long run I think I speak for everybody when I say, shove your well considered delays and give us the damn games!
Not to be too on the nose about the whole thing, but IÃ‚'ve seen weathermen with better forecasting skills than most developers when announcing a new project. I realize there are unforeseen difficulties, but IÃ‚'m guessing this isnÃ‚'t the first time most of you have put together a game, so when you show up and say your new game Awesome Texture Five Thousand X-3 Xtreme will be out by the end of November, I donÃ‚'t think itÃ‚'s too much to ask that you not be wrong by half a decade. IÃ‚'d far more respect a shrug of the shoulders and a soft chuckle when asked about release than picking a date out of a hat. The fact is, head shakingly sad as it is, when you tell gamers stuff like release dates it affects their lives. They leap to their feet, skid across the kitchen in their Conker slippers, and circle September 30th 2003 in big black Sharpie surrounded by a halo of asterisks and stars. IÃ‚'m looking at you Valve! And, donÃ‚'t think I donÃ‚'t also see you, Bungie, in the back of the class passing notes to Blizzard.
And IÃ‚'m looking at you guys because when your games get delayed all you see is the volcanic ejaculations of message board vitriol, but you donÃ‚'t see the quiet shakes in the dark because you were supposed to be playing Half-Life 2 and instead youÃ‚'re playing Everquest again, and that means you probably need to be back on the reuptake inhibitors, and damn you just got this job, but we all know how itÃ‚'s going to be when the guild goes on a raid to kill the Sleeper but youÃ‚'re supposed to be up at seven to clean the deep fryers and this is your third can of Bawls so thatÃ‚'s just not going to happen, and Sally doesnÃ‚'t call anymore except to ask if youÃ‚'ll please for the love of all thatÃ‚'s holy send her Indigo Girls cds back, but don't deliver them in person until you get a shower and new clothes, but you donÃ‚'t even want to admit to yourself that you absolutely love the song Gallileo and listen to it while trading Spider Silks in the bazaar, and how you so wish you were playing Half-Life 2 instead Ã‚"….
So, you see, itÃ‚'s bad to delay games, because thatÃ‚'s how crazy stalkers are born. The net doesnÃ‚'t need more crazy stalkers; itÃ‚'s pretty much at capacity.
Now, I know what you guys would say, Ã‚"oh, weÃ‚'re just trying to make the best game possible, and we have to make sure the product is of highest quality, and blah blah blah.Ã‚" Well, IÃ‚'m a problem solver, and I have the solution. Instead of delaying the game, have it done when you said you would, and have it complete at that point. See, I can be reasonable. If that means you guys need to work twenty-four hours a day under constant threat of violence to soft squishy parts, itÃ‚'s a risk IÃ‚'m willing to take. I think itÃ‚'ll be a breath of fresh air.
Ok, I think IÃ‚'ve slipped into farce somewhere back in the third or fourth paragraph, and thatÃ‚'s really only tolerable for a very short time. We all love games, and thereÃ‚'s a reason we gamers donÃ‚'t just rise up against you. ItÃ‚'s because if it were left to us to make the games instead of people with training and at least a hint of functional knowledge, weÃ‚'d all be playing a lot of very bad games that released on time. Truth is, we gamers are angry monkeys in the cage. We can throw all the feces we want at the Plexiglas, but itÃ‚'s ultimately a pretty futile gesture. So, if you could show us just a little humanity and trim up those delays weÃ‚'d surely appreciate it.
Now, can I please have my Half-Life 2, because IÃ‚'m pretty sure my EQ icon winked at me the other day.