Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time-Dilation and Other Relativistic Catastrophes

First things first: let's get rid of the overwhelming subliminal assumption beneath this fascination for the game industry, i.e., that making games and playing games are mere variations on the same theme. Believe me, they have nothing in common. Thank God for that, too. Think about it for a minute. These days, the typical game is considered a success if it provides the player with about 40 hours of enjoyment. Forty hours. About a week. Now, developing that very same game will take, on average, two years. Please reflect on the staggering implications of what you just read. Unless you are a tester, or you happen to be designing chess or Civilization III, you will work on your game one hundred times longer than your customer will play it. one hundred Please imagine how much fun it would be to play the same game, and only that game, every single day, eight twelve hours a day, for two years. Yep, that's right, wouldn't be any fun at all. After a month, you'd be hopelessly bored. Two months, and you'd grow warts at the mere mention of it. By the time you'd be ready to ship the sucker, you. Well, you would have killed everyone else on the team long before, so you never would ship. Developing games has its own rewards, of course; otherwise, no one would bother. But it is hard work, and nothing, nothing like playing games all the time. Get that through your thick skulls!

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