Game Dev Story

Game Dev Story

Postby Axikal » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:51 am

If you're on my Facebook, you've already seen the screenshots from my iPod about this game. If you are not, let me tell you about Game Dev Story.

There are a plethora of sim games on various consoles/platforms that cater to a never-ending amount of genres. From the dungeon-builder sim, to the city creator mammoth like Sim City each has its own unique style and fervent fanbase. While there are deeply untapped markets of sim genres (Swords & Potions is one of my favourite freeware flash games that puts you in the role of the RPG shopkeep), occasionally someone comes in to fill those gaps in the sim category. Kairosoft saw a deeply needed place in the sim game arena: Game design. Thus, Game Dev Story.

As you start the game, you'll notice that it's a simple type of game. Minimalistic graphics hearken back to the 16-bit era and carries a smoother "EarthBound" art style. So right away you'll feel at home with the game's simple charms and nostalgic setting. You're an un-named entrepreneur starting out his own gaming development company and it's up to you to either drive it to market-dominating success, or heartbreaking failure.

Gameplay in GDS is entirely simple, but carries a nice learning curve to master it. The tutorial is sparse and doesn't do a good enough job really preparing the player for how to play the game. Instead you're tasked with reading the even shorter manual that briefly gives you an idea of what to look for/focus on when playing. It comes down a lot to trial and error when coming up with winning teams and game strategies. To perform any task, you simply tap the screen to bring up the menu. From there you can train/level-up staff members; hire/fire them; develop new games/carry out contracts; and more.

When starting out, it's hard to even get one game out the door each year, which makes for a rough and agitatingly slow start. But once you get into the swing of deving a game and carrying contracts to tide you over til the next project things tend to pick up. I reached a point where I was mass producing top-tier titles in very short spans. To dev a game you have to pick a system to develop the game for (you have to buy a license to dev on all but 2 of the in game systems). Then you need to choose both a Main genre such as "Action", "Adventure", "Shooter", etc. then pick a sub-genre like "Robot", "Ninja", "Animal", and more. Unlocking these genres is a task unto itself as you have to meet specific training parameters to find them. So not only do you need to balance what games you are developing, but you HAVE to train your team to learn new title combinations. The money balancing act can be scary at first, but as with everything else once you get the rhythm down it becomes addicting.

After that your team begins to develop your chosen title. You'll need a strong scenario writer to start out the game, then on two more occasions you'll be asked to pick someone to design the graphics and sound. Each of these choices can give you massive boosts on top of your perpetual additions from your other employees during development. Choosing the right person for the right game can be daunting, adding in that using the same person too often will decrease his/her effectiveness. Get the combinations right and you're going to see some amazing results. Get them wrong, prepare to start over.

Occasionally you're asked to attend an expo, or awards ceremony at the end of the year. In each you can either gain more fans, or win awards with cash prizes. These events are mostly diversions from the main game, particularly the awards show. Getting the grand prize feels random and entirely not based in any "reality" the game itself tries to emulate, making it a completely annoying affair. Especially when my titles have swept the show and somehow I still don't manage to obtain that coveted final prize. Adding to that, once you've finished developing a game you are treated to a short "review" screen where 4 critics give you a score from 1-10. These seem arbitrary and unfairly munchkined until you start hitting 100+ on all your game development stats. Then it becomes commonplace to see 8-10s across the board.

The sound is diverse to a point. While the effects from boosts or researching break up the monotony of the music, the music is monotonously redundant to a point where I actually will turn it off just to not toss my iPod into the wall just to hear something new. It's nice and charming at first, but eventually it becomes grating and irritating to listen to.

The last thing to note is how hilarious the game actually is. As you play through you will slowly (if not immediately) realize the game is a parody of our own gaming industry. From blatantly obvious references to big name companies (Intendro, Sonny, Nipon, Microx) to satirical references to system flops (wait until the Virtual Kid gets revealed; your secretary has quite an opinion on it), it plays out slowly and faithfully (to a degree) to our own industry's life cycle. Systems will also go out of development after time, making it impossible to dev for anymore. Good thing though that should you land a Hall of Fame hit, you can develop a sequel on currently available consoles. Yes, you can make sequels that are recognized by the game (and your fans) as a sequel.

Game Dev Story is definitely a title worth having. From it's quaint and quirky style to the sharply humorous references and parodies, it stands out as a top-tier app on iOS and Android. And for only $4 it's a damn steal. Just be prepared to be playing it for hours on end without realizing it.

Game Dev Story is a 9/10
Image

Image
User avatar
Axikal
Lieutenant 3
Lieutenant 3
 
Posts: 1196
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: Bethlehem, PA (USA)

Re: Game Dev Story

Postby Musashi1596 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:22 pm

I haven't been playing handhelds for a while now but this sounds interesting. Always nice to see a genuinely amusing game, too.
Image
User avatar
Musashi1596
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 7970
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:38 pm
Location: England


Return to Mobile Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron