Developer Blues

The Real GrindYou know, as someone who’s been playing a lot of games since they were a wee little one, I have to say that, especially with the advent of the Internet, developers for games really must feel like throwing themselves out a window.

I mean, think about it. You make or design a game, put hours upon hours into it, work all-nighters on very little sleep to deliver content. You put your passion, your life, your paycheck on the line to make something really great. You look proudly on the printed box, or the programming you’ve done, or whatever you’ve been responsible for, and you gingerly, but eagerly put it on the store shelf beaming with pride at the fruits of your labor.

And then within minutes of purchase, some dude titled GodlySephiroth4543 who probably has the spelling of a 6 year old and the brain of a 2 year old, has taken a dump all over it on some forum or blog. Worse yet, Mr. Final Fantasy VII obsessive has a slew of people in the angry mob who agree with him, and brutally throw down your precious little title from the shelves and rip it apart like a bunch of vultures, all the while saying, with their barely out-of-high-school degrees, that they could do better.

Why you don’t see many news stories of “game developer goes on rampage, kills XBox Live gamers” is beyond me. These guys and gals must have ice running in their veins. But I’m sure that even the most steely of developers feels at least one bad bummer of a day. That’s where Overly Positive and their patented Big Boost Bullet List come into play!

Don’t worry, developers, because:

  • One day, you could be the boss – After years of putting your nose to the grindstone like the one in the helpful picture, as well as blood, sweat, tears, and caffeine, one day you could be the CEO or boss, or lead developer. The prospect of being yelled at by millions of people and having your words put through a blender 2000 times and dissected over and over awaits you. At least your lead or manager won’t be able to yell at you.
  • You’re just a fad to bash – Today’s generation is pretty damn fickle and they have the attention span of a gnat. Weather the storm, because tomorrow, some other poor schmuck in your business is going to receive all the loving attention of armchair developers who probably know how to eat a corn dog more than how to do your job. Sure, they’ll come back to you at some point, but by then, you’ll have a bottle of alcohol ready to numb yourself to the headache.
  • You can always be eccentric – Nothing charms a gamer community away from what could be the little mistakes you make in development (what do you mean the office joke of the naked elf slapping her own ass never got deleted?) like being a little odd. This isn’t hard to do, because you are already half-insane for working in an industry with little appreciation, not enough pay, and more hours than a 7-11. Dress in loud colors. Make sure all your interviews feature you with some crazy trademark, like making out with the camera. Stare blankly at your few fans as if you would devour their soul in the next instant. All of these things can save you the scrutiny and give you a way to “express yourself”.
  • Fatal Attraction – For every 5 or 6 smug little bastard who decides to photoshop themselves literally taking a dump on your game box, there’s at least 1 or 2 who will love you dearly and disturbingly know your address, your path to work, and what you had for dinner the last 3 nights. Seek solace in the arms of your few adoring stalkers, but be sure to stiffarm them (delicately) when they take it too far. Note: letting them see you through a webcam all day, at home, in bed, is too far.

Take heart, game developers! There’s light at the end of that tunnel, or perhaps it’s the bright color of that padded room they’re taking you to. Either way, it’ll be away from having to sit in front of a computer for a week straight.

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