I AM CRAZY FOR THIS GAME. There. I’ve said it. There’s no other way to put it, I absolutely love this game. I fell in love with Game Dev Story on my iPhone (reviewed previously by this wonderful team), and thought I’d upgrade to the PC version – Despite it being made by a different developer in homage of the app version. I must admit, I was so swept up in the app that I forgot to check who the PC version was made by – but it stays true to the original whilst changing certain aspects and incorporating some different elements.
I’ll start with the stuff that hasn’t changed. How to make a good game … the phone version centers around getting a high score in sound, graphics, fun and story. Greenheart Games shortened that down to the design and tech of the game; but this is done through stages of the game that go around the graphics, world design, characters, plot and all that jazz. The staff works on the same principals, as you’d expect, you raise your budget with the aim of finding a stronger employee, but adds the function of aiming for a specific role with the task you give them – talking about a design, complex algorithms etc.
The training functions are very similar – the phone version upgrades more based on the number of ‘Floppy Disks’ you want to spend, whereas the Research points spent on upgrading on the computer version is also the currency for everything else, much the same as the mobile app.
The sizing of the teams are quite similar – except at different points. The mobile app sees you move into the office and need to increase team size immediately, as your character doesn’t actually work. The first office lets you have up to 4 team members; and you can move office as soon as you fill up and make your first million. This second office gives you access to a few more people, while the PC has you as one of the workers – starting as an independent creator on your own, relying on your own skills to create a decent game before having the ability to hire others – but once you can, you hire up to 4, then 8. However, this version is much tougher on the creator, you can’t simply hire four straight away, as you will start going under … as I quickly found out. In fact, the first time I played, I brought in 4 staff as soon as I could, as I had made a huge hit on my own, but my ratings started dropping and the four staff became a burden and bled me dry of money.
The idea to release a cracked version that then had piracy within it, was a brilliant idea, really fooling those who thought they had an early release to the game. This is also incorporated into the normal version in a way, except you would steal data or things from other developers if you paid a shady character enough. Add in the function for fans calling for Engines to be released out into the open, and you have an environment more like real life – although sometimes fans are unrealistic in expecting engines to be released virtually straight away to the open, whilst you’re still trying to make games off that engine. However, there’s not much incentive in all scenarios – You can sell it, for a very small amount I might add, release it, which also costs you very, very little and does no harm to you plus you actually gain fans, or you flat out block the request, which still only causes a few fans to be upset. A more realistic system here, with more of an expectation, or more money cost to release or more fans gained/lost, and this could be such a great part to the story. I love the ideas of engines – something Game Dev Story does in relation to creating your own console, which only becomes available after an arduous process of training one character up to full level on all career options and switching their career modules.
Create-your-own-Consoles are available in both – although, the system of create-your-own in both takes its time. In Game Dev Story on the phone, you need to get one staff to max level in all career paths, whereas the cost and development of Game Dev Tycoon is 10x more realistic. The cost of a console can fluctuate between £11 million and £140 million, depending on quality of development, time taken and all the other factors – so it really does take it out of your company, especially if the console flops. In comparison, Game Dev Story only really affects the time rather than the cost of the whole process. The staff wages in Tycoon really eat up the whole budget you have, especially if no game is being produced whilst you’re doing the console.
The two games have reignited a passion for business management simulation games for me – although I don’t always know which ones I should get/are worth getting/worth putting my time into, but the love is there, and I’m starting to search for them more and more – I’ve already downloaded other games by Kaisoft, the developers behind Game Dev Story and I’m still playing Game Dev Tycoon, despite having other new games to play. I’ve also purchased Zoo Tycoon, which I’m sure I’ll end up writing about!