What makes Game Dev Tycoon so addicting? What about this game has made me (and my brother) sink over 416 hours into it? Well, maybe it’s the addictive nature of the game, and the micromanagement you have to do, just to make sure your company doesn’t collapse. Game Dev Tycoon has a sort of addicting nature, which can keep you engaged for minutes, nay, hours at a time. Let’s talk about Game Dev Tycoon, and the flaws and the brilliance of its design. Game Dev Tycoon is a simple business management game, where you try to create a game development company from the very beginning, in the early 80s, to the early 2010s. You start in a garage, making games for the burgeoning PC Gaming market, and over time, new consoles will come out, parodying the consoles in the real world, for example, the Playstation is the Playsystem, and Nintendo is Ninvento. When you start, some things pop out immediately. The most important part is the little rounded rectangle, that says no project. When you’re developing a game, or doing a contract, which we’ll talk about further later on, this little rounded rectangle will light up, and will display little circles, labeled Design and Technology. During Development, your character will make little bubbles, which will go into the circles. This indicates the quality of said field. In my opinion, this minimalist UI conveys its intent in a great fashion. In Level 1, the garage, you do everything by yourself, and quality is wanted, but not expected, and the definition of “quality” is somewhat different: A game with 20 design and 20 tech tend to be stellar. In Level 2, the first office, you can hire others to make your games higher quality. Although this can backfire on you if you just hire anyone, as you have to pay attention to their competence in design, technology, speed and research. Obviously, you CAN hire someone for the name alone, but don’t expect games over a 5 out of 10 if their attributes are in the 100s.Point is, if you hire the perfect team, you can make great games. But here’s the thing. If you hired someone who wasn’t very good, you can still use them to their advantage, by training them in a certain field. Someone’s not good in the tech department? Just train them there until they have a good level, usually 500 or 600. Same thing with every other level I talked about earlier, training can help make someone who wasn’t very before, into someone amazing. This adds a lot to the game, creating further potential for improvement, making it not just a “Galatico” kind of thing where you get incredible workers, or at least somewhat different to such a thing, you have to develop talent and improve problem areas in this game, adding a lot of balance . Level 3 is basically Level 2, but with more better people available for hiring, and stuff like the R&D and Hardware labs respectively, which add more possibilities, such as a DRM Game launcher, like Steam, or making your own console, and making games for that,as well as furthering the scale of your games by turning them into MMOs and AAA games alike. Such a feature is a great, adding a layer of possible versatility to one’s playstyle every save, giving Game Dev Tycoon a lot more replayability than I would have expected. But you can fail at making either of those types of games, you have to specialize your staff in certain areas so that your game doesn't fail miserably. During development, you’ll have to move sliders to decide how much time is spent on certain areas, such as dialogues, Level and World design and Sound. You would think that you should slide all of the sliders to the top, and you’re kind of right, but it doesn’t always result in a quality game, as workflow prevents such a thing from working, which I find a sensical and purposeful feature. There’s also add-ons that you can choose to turn on or off during development, which can range from open world to level editor. These only add on to the engine slider, not much else. And when you’ve researched Medium Games and above, you can choose who works on what, for example, you can get someone with an even design and tech, to work on Sound. The same can be said for Design and Tech alone, with every other type of slider. You can also gather hype during development. There are 2 ways to do this. 1. You can attend G3, which is this game’s equivalent of E3, or 2, you can research marketing and do different types of it. Doing so can help your game make more money, as it has more traction from the two ways of getting hype I discussed earlier. During development, doing contracts, and making custom game engines, you will collect research points, with which you can use to find components for game engines, which we’ll talk about later and new topics. New topics allow you to make new games, and components like 3D Graphics V2 can help you make better engines, and by making better engines, your games are much better. In other words, Research is VERY important, and it helps with your company’s growth. Now, what happens when you’ve just made the worst business decisions? Well, you go bankrupt, and have to take out loans. This is the scariest part of Game Dev Tycoon, as you have to pay the bank back EVENTUALLY. And when you don’t have the money required to pay them back, you have to rely on making a good game to stay afloat. And if you don’t, and you don’t make enough money to pay them back, your game is over, and you have to do either one of two things, either load a save, or just restart the level. It feels horrible bankrupting, because this company that you’ve worked so hard to make, just crumbles around you. If anything, you need to learn how to make good decisions, who to let go, who to train, what to spend money on. It’s a good way of making the player work on their business skills, and I honestly think that this game could help someone if they want to make a business, and that’s a very good perk to have. Game Dev Tycoon is a good game, I really like it. When the stupid stuff pops up, its really dumb, like the RNG system when game reviews come out, but everything else about it is really enjoyable, you have to learn how to manage a business to stay afloat, and if you don’t, you fail, and you have to relearn how to make good games. 9/10: All Games was really mean to me.
So recently, when I was up at like, 1:00 AM on a Wednesday, I decided to check my paid memberships on YouTube for no reason. I saw Premium, and I was like, “Yeah! This is a good investment.” So I took the plunge and I grabbed a 2 month free trial, and this is the result of that. First, let’s talk about the Original Shows. The first thing that came to my mind was Matthew Patrick’s Game Lab, a show where MatPat and a few of his friends try to do the same things seen in video games, for example, doing cool parkour moves, like Faith Connors in Mirrors Edge, or sneaking through a giant base, like Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid. Honestly, Game Lab is just fine. Not amazing, just fine. Some episodes knock it out of the park, like the episode about MGS. And some are just boring, like the Mirrors Edge episode. They both have the exact same formula of taking some of Mat’s friends to meet an expert about the thing they’re doing on that day, learn about the concepts, and finally, execute it. Every single episode is like this, and it’s not shaken up, unlike say, Mind Field (i’ll get to that later). If I can say anything nice about this show, its that the concepts they try to put into real life are kinda interesting. Sometimes. I mean, the parkour episode was kinda interesting, and it got me to learn some parkour moves when I saw it in 2016. The MGS one is also kind of cool. I mean, It can kinda teach you how to not be detected well, but when are you going to use that information in your actual life? Some episodes, like the Five Nights at Candy’s episodes are really just boring to watch. By the end of the episode, I was begging for it to end. Hell, I wasn’t even watching the episode. I was just checking in to see if my recording software was still recording. Every other episode that I recorded, I at least watched like half of the episode, before going on to do something else. The Candy’s episode just made me want to go do something else, and that doesn’t really signify quality. Game Lab isn’t bad, I don't hate it, but the misses are really noticeable. It’s fine, not amazing, let’s move on.
Nintendo has long been the forefront of new innovations, whether it be motion controls or d-pads. That was merely proven with release of the N64 in 1996. Guess what that brought:
A 3D Mario Game, specifically Super Mario 64. For a debut into 3D, and as a launch title, Super Mario 64 ticks of all of the boxes. Good controls, interesting gameplay that was never seen before and for the first time ever, a voice for the Red Capped hero. So, with that said, let's talk about the excellence of Super Mario 64.
Mario 64 is predominantly based on an open world structure, where you can do whatever you want within any level you're in. Stars are the main collectable and they can be collected in many ways, from doing a simple objective, beating a boss or something that the game wants you to do. This open world structure is concealed in an amazing control scheme. The long jump, the side somersault, the backflip and the dive make Mario an animated and versatile character, an absolute wonder to contol. Nintendo really perfected controlling Mario on the N64. They would perfect him again in later installments, but for the N64, this control scheme is just perfect. These actions are the jumping off point for the worlds that you run around in. And those worlds are amazingly designed.