Game Development Reference
original concepts and retain creative control. For the writer, to work with a
studio going down this route is a potentially more exciting prospect, though
the working structure will remain fundamentally the same.
There is, though, another aspect to independent development that is
increasing in popularity and scope: when completed, games are delivered
directly to the customer through online delivery systems. Put together with
small, dedicated teams, these games rarely sell in the numbers of their normal
retail counterparts, but with much larger royalty rates many developers are
able to make a very comfortable living. For the writers who perhaps want
more control over what they create, teaming up with a small collective of
like-minded people could offer creative opportunities that other routes
would not be able to match.
For anyone who works in the games industry, playing games on a regular
basis is vital. If you do not play games and, more importantly, if you do not
enjoy playing games, how will you, as a writer, be able to relate to the game
players and apply your craft in a way that gives them that extra level of
quality? How will you begin to understand what works and doesn't in a
game if you haven't struggled through weak games and become totally
immersed in the good ones? How will you ever grasp the game development
process if you do not have an understanding of the end result of that process?
Even if you do not have the time to play whole games - and many involve
a huge time investment - you should at least download many of the latest
demos and play as large a selection as possible. If you expect or hope to be
working on console titles you should buy one of the top game consoles
available and play those games and demos to understand the differences
between the way they are played and the way that PC games are played.
On the face of it, the untrained eye may not instantly see the differences,
and visually there may be little difference between versions of the game.
However, the very different methods of interfacing with the game (joypad
controller vs mouse and keyboard) can often take a slightly different mind-
set to handle it.Very regularly on the consoles, for instance, the control of the
main character is applied in a screen-relative mode - moving the controller's
stick to the left moves the character to the left of the screen. When screen-
relative is used in a PC version of the game it rarely works as well and a
character-relative mode is generally more preferable, where pressing the left
cursor key causes the character to turn to the left.