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Confession of a killer of games

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I've been looking at the last two videos and how passionate Ross is about companies killing games, and it slowly dawned on me that i'm guilty of this too.


I used to be an indy game developer, and two of my games went far enough to be played by more than just me.

As time went on my interests drifted away and i couldn't keep improving and maintaining either of them, so in the end i quit.


One of them was fairly straightforward and conflict-free - it's a strictly single-player game, so i posted a long rant, some conclusions and a final version with all the features unlocked, after which things slowly faded away.


The other one was a purely multiplayer game, with all the logic on the server.

I posted about not having the energy to work on it any more, promised to keep the things running for the rest of the year at least, and signed off.

After that every few months i'd get e-mails about what happened to the server, so i would reboot it and it'll work again, but eventually they disappeared and the server quietly died for good.


The most peculiar part, however, happened a bit later. It developed that the remnants of the community were making a new version of the same game, as an open-source project. Someone asked me if i wanted to help them out.


For some reason, at that time it made me feel infuriated. Something about people making a better version of something you made feels like an insult.

This got me back into the development for a moment, i went through a year's worth of bugs and feature requests in a month, revived the infrastructure... and silence followed. A few people tried it, left a few bug reports and then it slowly faded away again. Figures.

Kind of like a heartbreak, i guess.


Somehow it never occurred to me to just release the server, even though a few people asked. I think i thought it would be pointless to waste the effort to get it into a user-friendly shape? Something like that.


Anyway, it's been about four years since then, all the emotions have died down to indifference by now and i had a chance to think of how i could have done things better.

One more of these things i have just realized is how bad of an idea it was to disable a game like that, and what it could have been like from the player's point of view.


So, yeah. Thanks Ross for that insight. I sure will be keeping that in mind if i ever get back into gamedev.

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But thats the essential issue with multiplayer games, isnt it? they die off eventually. Pretty much only way you can make MP game hold up test of time, is to include decent enough bots to it. And indie games especially (unless they explode to something big). So that part wasnt your fault.


But i really like to see such stories because it does help others. For example, one of your mistakes was not looking at development objectively- you had no energy/time, yet you seemingly said no to people trying to improve your game & develop it further. And you took it as insult.


You cant blame yourself on how things went- and that story was really helpful as im currently trying to learn how to make video games because i really want to get my idea done

Jack O'Neill: "You know Teal'c, if we dont find a way out of this soon, im gonna lose it. Lose it... it means go crazy. nuts. insane. bonzo. no longer in possession of ones faculties. 3 fries short of a happy meal. WACKO!!!!!!!!"

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