Would You Rather: Developer Edition

It’s time for another edition of your favorite game, Would You Rather. We know how much you like talking about yourselves and all, and that’s cool, because we like it, too.

Our last Would You Rather covered the beginning of 2011, looking forward to the year’s major releases. This edition is going to be the “developer dream job” version, tackling questions about the video game makers we know and love. Since many of you are aspiring video game developers, we thought it would be appropriate to see where your tendencies lie as potential future leaders in the industry.

For the Would You Rather newbies out there, the game is easy: we ask and you dish out your response. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.

Don’t let your answers suck, though. There’s a special blacklist going around on our site for sucky comments. Let’s just say those people get fed to the Sarlacc Nick keeps in his closet. And that thing is hungry. So yeah. Answer well. Go!

1. Would you rather have your favorite developer start a new franchise, or continue working on a franchise that already has lots of sequels?

2. Would you rather have Japanese devs try to make a Western game, or a Western dev take a stab at a typically Japanese genre?

3. Would you rather a developer listen to feedback or follow their vision?

4. Would you rather push for a multiplayer component on a game your developing, or focus on single player at the cost of sales?

5. Would you rather develop games for the PC or console?

6. Would you rather work for a developer that has consistent success but only makes sequels, or a developer that has a new, interesting IP but is more of a risk financially?

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

5 thoughts on “Would You Rather: Developer Edition”

  1. Yes! Another WYR! And it’s an awesome topic! Yay!

    1.) New franchises are always interesting, but there are long-running franchises that allow for a lot of exploration within the universe. Also, reboots from long-dead franchises are always intriguing as long as they’re done well. Realistically though, I’d rather see a new franchise because reboots or recent sequels are harder to pull off well, and at least new franchises have new stories and perhaps new gameplay.

    2.) I’d rather have a Western developer make a Japanese-style game simply because there are enough “Western” games and I have a feeling a Western developer would want to make their Japanese-style game stand out more due to the stigma that all Japanese games are same-y and dull.

    3.) Listening to feedback is always important, and a developer can still maintain their original vision while letting it adapt with feedback from the community and the other people working on the game. If the game and its vision can’t be flexible, it’s not worth developing.

    4.) I feel that multiplayer adds more replayability to a game and more opportunity to experiment and grow the community rapidly. Singleplayer games are great, but the industry is getting to point where, at least soon, a game should focus on either singleplayer or multiplayer, or combine the two. Put story in your multiplayer, or add coop, but just make your game the best at its strong suit. Tacking on multiplayer to singleplayer games is already showing its flaws and you need to either develop both of them very well, combine them, or focus on one.

    5.) Personally, PC’s overwhelm me, and while the freedom of modding is astounding, I design my game ideas around the console’s controls and performance.

    6.) New and interesting IP’s are always going to be more fulfilling than sequels, so I’d rather take a risk and make innovative new IP’s than churn out sequels of questionable quality even if the paycheck appears to be more stable.

  2. 1. Depends on the franchise. I want for Valve to, I don’t know, FINISH WITH THEIR FUCKING HALF-LIFE SERIES THAT I’M STARTING TO LOSE FAITH IN THEM FINISHING. Anything else I’m always up for people trying new things.

    2. Westerners stabbing at Japanese… that came out wrong. Most western games since to be based around the same thing (war, urban war, guns, more guns, world war 2, vietnam war, maybe a twist in the plot where a character who was obviously going to die does, maybe something horror but that is usually based on Japanese horror anyway, more war games, maybe a medieval rpg style game… more war?) while the Japanese seem to make games about anything and everything (plumbers who fight giant turtles, hedgehogs fighting mad scientists, androgynous teenagers fighting God with impractically large swords, a pink fluffball devouring a penguin king’s minions to absorb their powers…) and I’d like to see a bit more variety coming out of the west. I think we have creativity in us, we are just a little afraid to take risks. I think games like Super Meat Boy and Portal are probably a good sign that we’re moving forward.

    3. Can’t a guy do both? I think when it comes to technical things, developers should probably see how the fans react, but when it comes to story or design they should stick with what they think is best. No developer should be listening to the type of people who make fanfictions to see where their franchise should go.

    4. On console systems I would push for multiplayer since I won’t play games on consoles without multiplayer myself (it makes me feel depressed and alone to do so :<). In either case I would definitely push for some sort of cooperative mode though, since all times out of every time I love cooperative modes in games.

    5. I would rather develop for the PC. I'd release through something simple to use like Steam so I could release frequent updates and patches and I would love to see somebody hack and mod any game that I've made.

    6. In all honesty, if it doesn't breach any contracts I would rather work officially at the financially successful one and then do new, interesting things by myself on the side. If it does breach a contract I'd rather work for the place that does the risky things.

  3. 1. I think I would rather see a new franchise. Since my favorite developer is Valve, I know they’ll create something that’ll knock us out of the park.

    2. I’d rather see Western devs try a Japanese genre, simply because they can breathe new life into it. Japanese devs are very conservative when it comes to gaming, and I don’t think they could pull off a western game with much innovation.

    3. I would love a little bit of both, but it really depends on the genre. If it were a company like Valve, I want them to follow their dream. But if it’s a company like Bethesda, which has recently sprinted to the top of my least favorite devs of all time list, I want them to listen to feedback.

    4. Single player focus all the way. Multiplayer is nothing but a gimmick.

    5. I would rather develop for the PC. Not only is it more newcomer-friendly, it’s cheaper and makes it easier to push out patches and additional content.

    6. I would rather work for a suffesful sequel-based company, mainly because of the current economic situation. I’m not much of a risk-taker.

    Also, if I could add something: If I were heading a development studio, I would ensure that my game is as close to bug-free as possible when it comes out, even if it means delaying the game. I am absolutely disgusted with Bethesda’s half-assed programming throughout Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3; Skyrim, unfortunately, has become a solid do not want for me. I can almost taste the massive letdown.

  4. 1. Depends on the developers. If it’s Blizzard or Valve or BioWare, keep doing what you’re doing. If it’s Bungie, hell yeah, let’s get some new games up in here.

    2. Western devs make a stab at Japanese games. Japanese devs have been trying to incorporate Western ideas for a while now, and they haven’t been that successful.

    3. A mixture of both, ideally. I feel that Assassin’s Creed 2 was a product of feedback, whereas the original was totally their vision. AND WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE ASSASSIN’S CREED 2. I just keep bringing it up.

    4. Single player all the way. I would buy two copies to keep a good sinlge player developer afloat.

    5. For the console. No offence to the PC gamers here, but I’d hate to put three years of my life into a game just to have it be pirated more than bought.

    6. If I’m starting out in the industry, a more successful sequel dev. Once I get a bit of experience, I’d more to a company that makes new IPs, but for early financial stability, the former.

  5. 1. Depends. If their is still some story left to tell, I want them to continue. However if the main story is done, I want them to spread their creative wings and try something new for sure.

    2. I’m going to be honest. I cannot stand most of anything that has to do with Japanese entertainment, be it manga, anime, or JRPG’s. I just don’t like them, at all. So no mixing please.

    3. Both. The developers have to be able to sort the good advice and criticism from the crap that fanboys spew throughout the tubes. That’s why most major devs these days actually have people whose jobs are solely to handle the community and get feedback from them.

    4. I wish I had the quote somewhere, but I loved Ken Levine’s (Irrational Games, AKA Bioshock 1) response to multiplayer in an interview with Gameinformer. Pretty much it says if you’re doing multiplayer, go all out or you’ll just waste your time and money. So if it’s only half done, you can have the better game without it and less sales, or make it and have a worse game and although you have more sales, it cost more to develop the title.

    5. Console. As I developer new to the industry nothing would crush my poor delicate heart like thousands of people stealing my game due to piracy.

    6. The latter. I want into the industry because I want to make damn good games and experiences. The best games were at once in their dev cycle huge risks. Not to mention that if that risky projects booms (like Halo) then the company grows and grows until it is no longer a private company, guess who gets stock options? This guy!

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