I don’t usually do this bandwagon thing, but Scarybooster touched a nerve on this one.
See, I’m a developer. I’m not looking for cookies (though sending me fudge would be OK) or cards, but let me tell you a little bit about this side of the console.
Game Development is a job. It is hard work. It’s packed with thankless iteration, long hours and soul-grinding, mind numbing inanity. We do have our moments, though.
It is really great to see something you’ve worked on get to playable form. (“I love it when a plan comes together.“) Even small victories through the day, when some code works or a piece of art actually looks right in the game, well, those keep us going.
Many of us believe in the potential of games as not only entertaining (though primarily that), but also uplifting and educational. Putting something you created out into the wild and watching it make people happy is a boon to the soul that few things in life can match.
We love it when people pay our salaries, to be sure, but those sterile numbers on the quarterlies don’t tell the human story.
The occasional blog post or Facebook blurb where someone praises our games are islands of refuge in a sea of grumpiness. The few times I’ve had someone chime in here on the blog that they liked a game I worked on are delightful. Most people like to know that their work is appreciated.
And y’know, it really doesn’t take much. I don’t think I’ve ever had the Boss bring an email or letter to a company meeting, sent in by a fan to praise our work. Sure, Blizzard has people falling over themselves to praise their name, but they aren’t the only people who make games. I can almost guarantee that even taking five minutes to send an email or “real” mail to a company, praising their product, will be much appreciated by the sometimes forgotten devs.
We’re not greedy, we just like to be liked and appreciated. Fudge is good, but a brief “that was an awesome game, dude!” is candy for the soul for the guys in the dev trenches.
So, in closing, let me thank a couple of people quickly:
Thanks to the Three Rings crew, mad geniuses behind Puzzle Pirates. Special “mad props” (what does that even mean?) to Apollo, Demeter, Nemo and of course, Captain Cleaver, and a huge round of applause from me for the whole dev team and the dauntless Ocean Masters. The community around Puzzle Pirates is particularly tight knit, it seems, and these folk keep making great additions to the game, and keep the community rolling in good will. That may not show up itemized on the quarterly financials, but it’s as good as money in the bank.
Individually, I’d like to tip a hat to the good Brian “Psychochild” Green. He and I don’t always see eye to eye, but he’s taken time out of his crazy days to communicate with me on a handful of topics, and I find his insight to be valuable and interesting. If you’ve not http://www.psychochild.org/ yet, might I recommend it highly?
To everyone who has chimed in with a comment here about games I’ve worked on, thank you. Words on a website may not look like much, but the goodwill behind them is always felt and appreciated.
And, if I may, to anyone who has enjoyed a game for any reason, please consider sending a nice email (or more if you feel like it, to be sure) to the guys and gals who made it possible. In an age of megapublishers and blockbuster games, sometimes it’s easy to ignore the real people doing the work. Heaven knows I’ve forgotten too many times, and I’m no stranger to either side of the fence. We could all stand to be kinder, and going out of your way to praise someone is healthy.