14 March, 2011

Game Dev Story

Previously, I was into "Game Dev Story", by Kairosoft. It's a game development simulation. The gameplay and graphics are a lot like Lemonade Tycoon, pixelated and cartoony. In this game, you hire, train and fire staff, and make games for different consoles. You can decide the genre (action, adventure etc.) and type (motorsport, dating etc.) of games. Games are rated by graphics, sound etc. However, all you see of your game are its stats. You can choose a name for your game, but all games are alike apart from these numbers.

As an app, it's well-written. It was stable, autosaved and resumed without problems. However, these were the things I didn't like about it:
  • The main problem is a staff's level doesn't mean much. In games like these, level should be the most important factor, but here some level 1 staff are better than some level 5 staff. Energy and pay are better indicators.
  • Likewise, a staff's job isn't a good indicator of what he's good at doing, either.
  • Comments on compatibility between game types are often wrong. I keep seeing "nothing" on combos that will level up.
  • No warning when staff are trained to the max.

There are some very good tips on how to play at http://www.diygamer.com/2010/10/game-dev-story-guide/. Not sure about what they say about hackers though, I get astonishingly bad performance from designers doing graphics as well.

The guide refuses to list good genres/types though. I wonder if there are several possibilities? Seems like an important thing to leave out. This is what I found worked together. Some of them are not intuitive.
  • Online RPG - dungeon
  • Trivia - historical
  • Puzzle - detective
  • Audio novel - horror
  • Educational - historical
  • Motion - golf
  • Sim RPG - game co (haha)
  • Music - fitness
  • Table - chess
  • Sim - romance
Please tell me if you find any other types for these genres, or they don't work for you! Using a matching combo will level both genre and type, and give you 1 more point to allocate to your game development. I recommend you make a game of each genre at the beginning, so you have as many points as possible, although I'm not sure if the points improve your game in any way, or how to distribute the points.

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