Monday, April 26, 2010

Why not finish your Game eh?

Any idea what that title means ?

Any idea to whom i am talking ?

Well now. It seems i have failed a few games lately that still went through to the Live list, and they are now available on the Xbox in the XBLIG section. I am a Peer Reviewer, it is one of my jobs to be a reviewer and makes me a better community member. Sometimes I love the job, sometimes I find it frustrating. These last two games are on the frustrating side of things for me. Why am I frustrated with them I hear ya ask. Well, you are in luck as i am gonna tell ya.

Number #1.. I like these games. I would like to buy them one day when they are finished and go live. Hey wait a minute.. did i not already mention they had gone live and were therefore available to buy? why yes I did.

Number #2.. I do not buy unfinished games. I have written so many games over my career I believe i know when one is finished. This detail can be awkward, as some people would point out i am sure that a game is Never truly finished, it just has run it's course, or got to a good stopping point. Though i agree with these sentiments in principal, you really can tell when a game is finished and that means ready for selling.

Let me talk about the latest game that gets me frustrated. It is a nicely put together piece of software. The gameplay is solid. The graphics are good. The menus are even done with a little style. So what is the problem? Well it is one of completness. And this game is just not complete. Below I will list my playtest report to the Devs (ok, i thought the game was in playtest when in fact it was in review).

Ok, so first off, I thought this was a Playtest i was doing, so I wrote some notes up.. I have written them, so figured I might as well put them here in this thread anyhoo.
1. Hmm - The title music is very common music is it not ? And does it really say tennis? sounds like a gameshow. (personal preference obviously)
2. Bad - Sometimes the camera would move upwards and I would see a grey screen, I believe the ball may have been lobbed incredibly high.
3. Bad - sometimes the players ran to the net and stopped there for quite some time. Again i believe the ball was somewhere in the stratosphere
4. Good - nice reactions from the players after winning or losing etc
5. Bad - 40-40 is NOT freakin 40-40, it is DUECE! This will aggravate ALL tennis players no end (oh yeah, i am one!)
6. Bad - The racquet graphic has issues. a, it looks like a Wii tennis controller. b, it has missing polys near it's handle
7. Hmm - Audience Avatars are awesome, but they do not ever do anything. No yay, or clap. Seems very sterile
8. Hmm - When players change court (though it is change ends really), they move to each other and then pause there, I think you should cut before they stop moving.
9. Bad - No options. For the music and SFX volumes specifically.
10. GREAT - I loved the control. Though it was hard to figure out how to pass my opponent, they all seemed to move so well :S

So if you have read the 10 points I listed you will see that none of this points are Big. Not really. Well ok, two players could be real Big, but I never mentioned that above did I? haha. Oh wait back to topic.. So if none of the items missing from this game are so devastating to write. Why not do them. why not clean up that transition timing on the change of Ends ? Why not change the text so it Says 'Change Ends' and not 'Change courts'. C'mon i am not asking for much really. This product must have taken at least 6 months to write, and now you are going to push it out there with a few more days of work left unfinished.  WHY!?? I ASK WHY??

Rant Time!

This then is what ticks me Right Off. So many Devs on the XBLIG platform are putting out their 'Games', their pride and joy unfinished. They want it out, 'Oh c'mon it's close enough' Let's make some money sooner!. Well guess what, I doubt that your game will do so well without those last precious days of coding and touchups. People can tell when something has had that care taken on it. (Not that they always get downloaded). Most of the games that have a good Sell Thru (this is a good metric, not download numbers), have these little things tidied up. Each game has different things, but also most games have the same little things. Like sfx when pressing buttons, or fade transitions when apropriate etc.

So I am going to Appeal to the XBLIG Devs. Please publish your game after you have tidied them up and finished them. It will make the channel much more appealing and will draw a larger crowd. And i NEVER ever wanna hear some one say ever again that 'Oh sales don't matter, i just wanted to get it out, i wasn't meaning to sell it.'. Well this channel is for sale, If ya don't wanna sell it. Then publish on the PC!!

Ok, that is enough Ranting for tonight.


No comments:

Post a Comment