Have you ever been playing a game and thought out loud to yourself, “I can make something better than this piece of junk”, or “I can easily make something as awesome as this”? Ever wanted to make your own video game but lack the creativity or knowledge of today’s thingamabob-gadgets and do-hickeys? Well, it is your lucky day. Greenheart Games have released their flagship title appropriately named Game Dev Tycoon, a business sim where you start and run your very own game company.
In Game Dev Tycoon you begin your journey at the early years of video games. You begin by giving your company a name and by creating your games on a single workstation in your garage. From this humble origin you must now make a name for yourself in the world of game development. Do not worry about about the technical aspects of the game-making process, creating games has been simplified in Game Dev Tycoon. It is as easy as picking a game topic, its genre, and the target platform and you are on your way to creating the next hit.
As the owner, you call the shots as to what game is created; that werewolf RPG game you had rattling around in your brain? You can make it a reality. Zombie romance sim, government action-adventure, transport RPGs? Sure, why not. Mix and match to your adventurous whims.
Actual development is divided into stages where you adjust sliders in order to focus on certain aspects such as dialogue, graphics, sound, and so on. Care must be given to this as each stage will affect how well your game fares out compared to other games of that genre. Action games heavy in dialogue and RPGs lacking in story or graphics may fare poorly in the market, so you must use experience and your best judgement in order to make the game focused on what is most important to that specific game. Not everything will work, but it is fun to experiment with obscure mixes of genres and subjects. You never know what may become the next smash hit.
Your options are very limited at the beginning, with only your garage as your office, yourself as the sole employee, and only the early infancy of computer technology as your platform. As time progresses you will gain new platforms and technology to work with as companies form and begin to release new consoles. As well as new tech, you gain experience with each new game released, new tech to research and, hopefully, some income from your game sales for which you can use to fund more projects or expand your company.
Speaking of platforms, the timeline in Game Dev Tycoon develops much like the real-life game industry. As the gaming industry grows, parodied versions of companies such as Ninvento will release game consoles and even form rivalries with other industry players such as Vena. Early on you gain access to consoles such as the Ninvento TES and the Vena Oasis for your game development. Those names sound familiar? These thinly-veiled parodies of real-life companies were a great source of amusement for myself. It was fun trying to guess what the next console or company would be named.
If you have managed your money and releases well enough you will eventually be able to move into bigger and better offices. These offer a much larger workspace than a dingy garage and will allow you to hire employees and expand your company. As you grow even more you can expand even further into the industry by adding your own research department or develop your very own console. This all adds up to more tech, more development options, and more income. The amount of options available to you is simple astounding and frankly a little overwhelming.
I have played other similar game dev simulation games in the past such as Game Dev Story, but GreenHeart Games’ adaptation offers a bit more “meat”, so to speak. The game continued to impress me at each turn and gave me a few chuckles along the way. Very few issues come up with this game other than some frame rate slowdown at the later stages of the game, but it is bearable and it didn’t bother me so much.
I adore this game. It caters to my whims as an aspiring game developer and it just simply oozes with charm. If you want to fulfill your dreams as the head of your own game company or like business sims, give Game Dev Tycoon a go. You won’t be disappointed.
I would have to agree with the above rating. Simply marvelous.
This game was reviewed using a copy provided by the developer for that purpose.
© 2013, The Indie Mine. All rights reserved.