Game Dev Tycoon Review (PC)
Game Dev Tycoon is the brainchild of Australian duo Daniel and Patrick Klug who founded Greenheart Games in July 2012. Taking their inspiration from Game Dev Story on iOS the pair have brought game development simulation to Windows, Mac and Linux.
Like other “tycoon” games Game Dev Tycoon is all about managing the business side of a game development studio. After deciding on your studio’s name and the name of your character it is time to start making games.
The tutorial will run you through the basics of creating your first game. Pick a genre, topic, name and platform then start developing. There are three stages to the development of a game. At the start of each stage a dialog with three sliders is presented and allows you to tweak how long is spent on each area of the game. Spending more time on the story rather than the engine for an adventure game would make sense. Similarly spending more time on level design and AI makes more sense than dialogs for an action game.
Game dev tycoon does very well at parodying gaming systems of the last 30 years. From the Govodore G64 to the Vonny Playsystem 4. Only the PC remains consistent while the other platforms come and go. Choosing the right system to develop for at the right time can make all the difference to the success of a game.
Marketing also plays a large role in how well a game sells. Magazine interviews and conventions will help to hype your current project before release. There is even a parody of the E3 convention at which you can set up a booth to hype your upcoming projects.
As the game continues you will find yourself in a bigger office with multiple employees working on several projects at once. This is where the game will test your management skills as you attempt to balance training, annual leave, research, contracts and development. This is the core of the game where you need to pick the correct employee for each section of each development phase. Choosing whether to self publish or go with a publishing contract can also make a big difference to the income from your next project.
Graphically, Game Dev Tycoon, is clean and simple, with very little in the way of animation. The menu system feels a little out of place with a context sensitive menu appearing on the right mouse click. Clicking an employee will show the actions allowed for that specific employee while clicking anywhere else gives the menu for the general actions for the studio.
Game Dev Tycoon does a great job of parodying the last 30 years of game development history. It even has a crack at the immediate future. Where it falters is in feedback to the player. Often there is little to no direction given to the player about why a game is bad or good. In fact, telling you that the game is bad or good is about the only feedback you are given. After each game is released a set of five reviews is generated with a score out of 10 and a one line description like “could have been better” or “just bad”. This makes the game more trial and error than anything else.
Game Dev Tycoon has built on the ideas of Game Dev Story with enough change to make it feel like a different game as was the intention of Greenheart Games. However, the lack of decent feedback somewhat diminishes the gameplay. If you liked Game Dev Story then for around £5.69 Game Dev Tycoon is decent value for money.Game Dev Tycoon Review (PC),