Revisiting GameDev Tycoon

I have always loved GameDev Tycoon. I remember when it came out, I spent and entire evening playing with my friends. We will make a studio and collectively make decisions about what we were making, how we were doing it, who we would hire, and the rest of the creative decisions you need to take during the game. But there has always been one thing that puzzles me about the game, and I think it is one of the reasons I keep coming back to it over and over.

Unlike with many tycoon games, if you find a winning strategy once, you just need to repeat it. But it doesn’t seem to be the case with this game (either that or my memory and capabilities are worse than expected). And that is because of the aleatory nature of the game: there are different trends, different platforms, different audiences, and combinations. So what may work once, may not work always. And, if you think about it, that is true of the video-game industry itself. Regardless of how similar games may be, not all experience the same success. So I decided to have a quick play through: just a couple of hours or so, and share my game with you.

So I started my little company called Valinor (yes, there will be lots of references in here…).

imag28081
Medieval RPG combo – first game so text-based…

Managed to get some decent design points before finishing it up. However the reviews were pretty lame – 6 average I think…

Company keeps growing. Nothing mayor up to this stage even though I work hard to make my games consistent. So far best result has been like and 8. something. And then, I make this weird thing: fashion + simulation combo…Can’t even remember how I balanced it. And the most outrageous results happen…

So I keep going as this makes me quite a lot of money so I can make a proper good nice engine to make hard-core RPG’s and action games, which seem to be my forte. And well, we got some success:

So then I decide to check how far we can push it. Now I have been doing this for a game time of 10 years, got a team of 3, have moved to a new office…Things seem to go well, my games are complete products with good design and technology. But I seem to have a problem, I seem to be producing very few research points in comparison to what I remember from previous games…And this means I get slow…

And this really seems to be my downfall. The games I make do not seem to be quite good enough to pass top 5 or produce the right amount of money despite the reviews. At some point not really sure how I find myself spending a bit too much – I can only guess it was poor timing. And the bank tells me…hey, you are broke!

And this happens. I think it is the first time I have gone broke in the game for real. I have struggled, I have not made much money, but never actually become bankrupt. On the other side, I don’t think I’ve ever managed to make such powerful game engines at this stage of the game or games with such high values until later…So maybe going big at the beginning doesn’t work.

I personally think I shouldn’t have moved to the new studio so soon. But from previous games, it seems if you don’t move to the new studio soon enough, you do not get enough time to develop your own console within legitimate game time. So there is a very fine balance in the combo for this game. I will be coming back to GameDev Tycoon with a different idea and see how it plays…In the meantime, I’ll curse my accountant!

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