Out There: “Lazy” designers

Out There: "Lazy" designers

One of the points in our recent editorial on gamers' sense of entitlement was that many players have almost no sense of what it takes to make a game. Dinofarm Games' dissection of what it took to make a single small asset for its forthcoming strategy RPG, Auro: The Golden Prince, shows how this lack of understanding can be a real problem for developers.

In November the developer, maker of the excellent iOS Rogue-like 100 Rogues, put out a call on Kickstarter for $15,000 to help fund Auro's development. Though it's a fine looking and sounding game, the drive failed pretty roundly, only gathering $3,502 before its deadline.

"They want FIFTEEN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ? For THIS? To me it looks like a fraud," said piotr on the Indie Games blog. While thesircuddles commented on Kotaku, "Can anyone explain what exactly makes a project like that cost $15,000? Are they both going to be working 8 hours a day for 2-3 months, and it's their salary?"

So artist Blake Reynolds has expressed just how much work he has put into a single animation for one of the game's monsters – 40 hours. It's a fine-looking sprite. As disappointed as Dinofarm clearly was in its Kickstarter failure, it's still working on Auro, which is a fine-looking game. 

Forget webcams. How about Kinectcams? Both beautiful to look at and faintly stalkery in feel. (Being a live feed, we can't guarantee there will be anything to look at when you visit, of course.)

"… in simply censoring words that are in themselves innocent, Blizzard deny, erase, the identities of those who want to apply them to themselves. At its most extreme, this is the kind of thinking that leads to a lethally toxic environment for LGBT people, and no less unpleasant for leading in this case merely to a policy more concerned with suppressing problems than solving them. It's political correctness gone soft."

Brindle Brothers discuss the problems of Blizzard's over-zealous text censorship system, which blocks all instances of banned words, producing the following if you were to type it on its forums: "critics have alleged that the works of Charles *%##ens are comparable to Steinbeck’s The G*!@#$% of Wrath in their !###ual overtones".

"It is a work of compulsive madness, which therefore makes it utterly brilliant," says Paul Barnett, a designer on Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning and now at BioWare, about what must be the ultimate Ultima guide. It's very big and covers every version there is. Oh, gamers.

Some great insights into how designers have to weave an understand of human perception into making a game feel right from Jaime Griesemer, who explains how when making Halo 3 a delay of a single frame between button press and seeing the action made all the difference in players feeling the connection between the two.