Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dear Developers: Bugs


This is one of those topics that goes beyond one platform, one generation... no matter who the audience is, and that is bugs. Bugs... do just that, bug gamer's if they affect game play for the worse. It doesn't matter the size of the developer... granted smaller developers get more of a pass, especially if the game is more ambition than a small indie title. That said... no one gets a pass if a game has been released and goes un-patched, that's annoying, especially if the game is still being sold like fully functional games are.

There are fun bugs, but the ones that stand in the way of gameplay should result in the game being temporarily free until... it gets fixed. There could be a free window to play... like how games have those free weekend's on Steam. That would be motivation to fix the game asap.

As a matter of fact... it may piss a lot of developers off, but games released without a disclaimer of still being development (which there are a few on Steam)... I think all platforms should do a free window until it's patched. Some games may not be able to do that since the experience can be enjoyed in one sitting... but in that case they shouldn't be available to play or buy. It would be cool if developer could decide between not having the game available for sale or a play window, until they swat those bugs.

I'm not deliberately trying to make myself public enemy #1 with this post, but there is a silver lining.

Think of the reviews, the word of mouth, the detoured sales and your overall reputation when it comes to future games. This isn't our first dance with this topic, but I was reminded of it... when I saw a fellow gamer, Gunn3r... playing Mercenary Kings on Steam.

I inquired on whether the game had been patched since the last time I had played... which was quite awhile ago (granted many games have to be played). He did a bit of playing and testing it out, only to get back to me saying that there are still problems with the game (main when he plays in full screen).

I still have to check it out myself... but that game was released back in 2014! I mention this game for the purpose of including all games in a similar space... don't let your efforts go to waste.

On the flip side... there are situations that occur in development teams that never reach the public. Arguments between teammates, legal disputes, team mates leaving the project. So there are things that can affect the project beyond a developer merely choosing not to get it done, but there should be efforts to seek new members to fill those voids... because someone is still collecting a check as long as the game is being purchased.

A game like Mercenary Kings doesn't have to stop at the initial missions... because it's one of those multiplayer games where more can be added on to further and enhance the gamer's experience. I'd personally take and expand over the course of 4 years based on crowd funding. That would extend the life of the game and... pave the way for a new installment (if it makes sense based on new ideas and tech). Anyway... developers, think about this stuff, especially if you're just starting out and haven't considered the downside of incomplete game releases.




Thanks for your support!