Everyone knows gamers are pretty difficult to please, and I don’t mean the ones whose first game was Wii Fit because they read about it in a women’s health and beauty magazine. I mean the seasoned gamers who’ve been at it for years.
I was talking to a friend about Bioshock the other day. Now we usually have a shared opinion on things like Final Fantasy (XII being rubbish and X being amazing- but apparently that’s just us), but on this day he was complaining about the water in Bioshock. He wasn’t impressed with the water. More specifically, he wasn’t impressed with the reflection of the flames in the water.
Hideous, ugly reflection of flames in water! Absolutely ruined the game!
Now, I wonder if developers themselves are as hard to please? They’re nurturing and building something for years. It’s going to get thrown into the wrath of the games press, and later, be under the close scrutiny of gamers themselves. During development entire levels can be scrapped (anyone who used the level cheat in Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness will know what I mean). Over time the internet has seen the emergence of unused ‘Colossi’ from Shadow of the Colossus, and I’m certain I’m not the only one who would’ve loved to stab meet them all in the final game, because every single one looks absolutely wonderful.
In about a month or so, I’m going to find out who the hardest person is to please. My work fellows (okay, students) and I are showing our game to a number of developers in the very near future, one of them being Ubisoft. To be honest I’m really glad I don’t remember any other developers who are looking at it, because I’m totally bricking it as it is. If that amazing badass dragon-type-thing wasn’t good enough to make the final product, how on earth is our entire build so far going to stand up to professionals? If the reflection of flames in the water isn’t good enough for one of my own friends, what chance do we stand?
Like I said, I’m bricking it, and I’ll let you know if developers leave me picking up scraps of my ego after this ordeal, or if they are in fact, less judgemental than gamers!