Game Development Reference
project and the attention to detail. An animator was brought onto the team
who, although he had considerable animation experience, had not previously
worked in the games industry. When, some weeks later, the quality of his
work was brought into question, his reply was, 'It's only a game.'
Regardless of any perception of the worth of games in the grand scheme
of things, we, as an industry and as individuals, are creating products on which
we hope the general public will spend their hard-earned cash. To work to
anything less than our full professional standards at all times means we are
cheating them of the complete experience they were led to believe they were
paying for. If you feel the same way, that 'it's only a game', then perhaps you
should think about why you are considering writing for games. If you think
that it is an easy route to making quick money, then you will be disappointed.
Another aspect of professionalism is to accept criticism and requests for
change with good grace.There will be a great deal of both I can assure you.
Some criticism will be genuine and some will be down to misunderstandings
or lack of proper communication. Requests for changes, though, can be
much more substantial and can range from modifying the story because
sections of the game have been re-designed or even removed, to something
as significant as the main character is no longer male but female, or the
investigative dialogue gameplay has been dropped altogether.
Professionalism also means delivering on time.All aspects of game develop-
ment are very closely woven within the project schedule and any late delivery
could have a knock-on effect. Causing delays in an expensive project is unlikely
to win you any popularity contests and it will not be forgotten in a hurry.
All other considerations aside, if you wish to establish yourself as a writer
of games, it is in your own long-term interests to be as professional as you
can at all times.
The independent route
The traditional development model - developers funded by publishers who
deliver the finished product to retail outlets - has come in for a lot of criticism
in recent years. The expensive nature of game development and the low
royalty rates often mean that studios struggle to make any profit. Increasingly,
studios are looking for independent sources of funding that frees them of
many publisher ties and where the returns could be much higher.
For the product, the final outcome of this is pretty much the same, how-
ever. The game is published, manufactured and distributed to retail stores as
before. The major difference is that the studio is able to work with more