Really major flaw with the game


#1

I quite enjoyed my time with this game for about 10-15 hours. But the “endgame” of this game is really, really flawed. I was in year 55 with pretty much everything maxed out: 7 team members with 900+ stats on everything, all specializations, best engine, all research, etc.

I reached the point where I couldn’t really improve the quality of games I was producing, as everything was maxed out and I was using the optimal genre/age/sliders/etc. So every game I produced had pretty much the same quality as the previous game, with a very small fluctuation.

If you reach that point, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to get 10/10 scores anymore, as you need to improve your game’s quality at least 5-10% to be able to get 10 scores. If you keep producing games with the exact same quality, maximum score you’ll be getting is 8’s and 9’s.

This works when you have still room for improvement in your staff, engine, sliders, etc. But once you max out everything, it’s impossible to get 10s anymore. This really kills the endgame for me. No point now trying my best to make the perfect game, when I’m locked out of getting 10s forever.


#2

The game really isn’t designed to be played forever. If you have all researches and your staff is maxed out and you make perfect balance decisions every time and luck is on your side then yes, you will find it very difficult to receive a 10/10 rating after that. Usually players don’t get everything unlocked on their first game until way past the point were you are. I think you did really well.

If you still want to have a challenge, perhaps consider the new pirate mode or, if you play on PC, install some late-game mods that add content and thus allow you to grow further.

On more of a game design note, I think without generic improvements (let’s say allowing you to go to Graphics V8,9 to infinity), I don’t think we could make the game go on forever without it feeling just really random.


#3

I think they game would have worked out better in the long run (by that I mean playing beyond year 35) if it focused on competing with the industry, rather than competing with your best score.

A player who knows how the game works (either by guessing how it works based on experimenting, or reading up on the review mechanisms online) will intentionally only increase his game score by 10-15% each time he makes a new game, even if he had the capability to make a much bigger increase if he wanted to. By making small incremental game score increases, he will be getting 9+ reviews most of the time and will be able to put out many more 9+ games than if he, for example, made one big 40% increase in game score. If he made such a big leap in quality, he’d reach the point where he cannot increase his game score by the necessary 10-15% to get 9+ reviews much sooner, which means he’d make less 9+ games than if he only made 10-15% game score increases each time.

Instead, if the player was, for example, compared to how other competitors in the industry are doing (with them getting higher game scores as the time and technology progresses), the player wouldn’t have to intentionally release games that are below his potential. It would also get rid of the confusion when a player releases a game that’s equally as good as his previous 9+ game, but only ends up getting 7-8 reviews for game of the same quality. This logic that “if a game doesn’t improve upon the previous best game, it will get lower scores” only should work, for example, for games within the same genre or genre combination. It shouldn’t be applied to all types of games. Real life example scenario: if a new RPG game made by the same company wouldn’t improve upon their previous RPG game, it would make sense that reviewers wouldn’t rate it as high; but if the same company released a Sports game, it would make little sense for reviewers to compare it to the company’s previous best game, which was an RPG game, and rate it lower because the Sports game “didn’t improve upon the RPG game”.

I also find many other flaws in the game. I don’t like that the game doesn’t penalize the player for releasing games over and over:
a) for the same console,
b) with the same genre (for example, RPG) but different topic,
c) with the same topic, but different genre,
d) with the same audience group,
e) simply swapping between 2 topics over and over to bypass the penalty for releasing the same topic/genre combo.

I don’t like that majority of consoles are simply not a good option early on in the game either because of bad genre combinations or lack of popularity (or both). For example, TES only has good combination with Casual games, which aren’t even available by the time TES releases. Or many, many consoles that are never popular so it makes little sense to release games for them.

I think reviewers should give more insight into what the player is doing wrong if their review score isn’t close to 10. It’s really hard to figure out the mechanics of review system simply by playing the game. Especially because of the fact that the game never really tells you that you’re supposed to increase your game score by 10-15% each time to have a chance of getting 9+ scores. A player would release a game with very good balance and scratch his head because he only gets 7s, simply because his game score was about the same as the previous best game. The player would then try to change the balance of the game, only to find out it never fixes the issue (and maybe even lowers his reviews even more). A simple remark by the reviewer “the game has good balance but doesn’t bring anything new compared to its predecessors” would give the player a hint that he doesn’t need to work on game’s balance, but instead add new features or improve number of design/tech points to “bring something new” and get 9+ scores again.

I don’t really like how MMOs work in this game. I could never make them as profitable as simply releasing normal games over and over. I only found them kinda useful for getting a bigger fanbase, while trying to make the MMO game not lose too much money. It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me that maintenance costs always increase over time. The maintenance costs should only increase at the beginning, when the playerbase is still growing, just like in real life. I used to play a lot of MMOs and the playerbase always decreases over time, which should make the maintenance costs decrease over time as well, especially considering that a company gets more experienced in maintaining an MMO over time, so the maintenance costs should decrease over time even if the playerbase stays the same. Also, playerbase shouldn’t ever be equal to total number of copies sold, as most players won’t play an MMO for a very long period of time (without any expansion packs, at least). Overall, maintenance should be a function of how long the game is on the market and how many active players the game has (not total number of copies sold). Maintenance should probably increase after an expansion is released, since a new expansion brings new short-term problems for the maintenance team, and of course it brings more playerbase so the maintenance costs should be higher.

Fanbase should decrease if a company doesn’t release new games often enough. I sometimes spend 1-2 years grinding off research points or training staff, and haven’t noticed losing fanbase because of that. It makes no sense. Also, fanbase should probably increase slower if, for example, a company that has been know for releasing RPG games decides to make a completely different genre. If a company has never released any good games of a specific genre, it should take the company a few games of that genre until it would bring fanbase increases in the same range as releasing good games for already established genres. Also, releasing for the same age group within short periods of time should lower fanbase increases, while releasing for different age groups shouldn’t have that penalty. An analogy would be trying to fish in the same lake over and over. The number of fish would decrease if you fished there too often, without waiting for new fish (new players) to spawn.

Overall, this game could have been much more than it is. I would love if my actions had more impact on the market and history. For example: if I kept releasing games for Sony, it would negatively impact how competitors’ consoles are doing, like making them develop new consoles slower, or having lower marketshare on their new consoles, or even completely going bancrupt. I don’t really feel connected if the history follows a linear path every time, no matter what I do. It’s like my actions don’t matter in the game’s world.

Edit: And forgot about one more thing that really is underdeveloped in the game: sequels. The game doesn’t care if a sequel is the same or different genre/topic as the original, it doesn’t care if the original was good or bad, it doesn’t care if the sequel is better or worse, it doesn’t care if a sequel came 2 or 20 years after the original (if it came 2 years after, it should bring more hype than if it came 20 years after). All it cares is checking if the engine is newer (would making the same engine with the same features over and over count as a new engine?), giving player more game score if it is, and if the sequel came out sooner than 40 weeks before the original, giving player a game score penalty if it did. It makes no sense to me that the game doesn’t penalize the sequel if it’s drastically different genre/topic/age group than the original. In real world it would bring controversy if a new God of War game was a Sports game instead of Action game.

And I also don’t like how some genres are really hard to balance design/tech for, like Action games. It’s much easier to balance out genres that require more design than it is to balance genres that require more tech. And figuring out what the correct balance is, is very hard or impossible without using the comprehensive guide made from raw data extracted from the game itself.


#4

I really think that the only player who would intentionally do that is the ones who read the wiki. Sadly, the wiki is based on outdated and, in some cases incorrect, information. What’s worse, it puts words into your head like ‘compete against yourself’ which while technically has some truth it applies to every single player game (without fair PVP based AI) ever. What we observe is that players who don’t read the wiki have generally just a better time with the game.

I guess it also depends on your expectations as to what review score is good. Game Dev Tycoon thinks 7 to 8 is good and 9 and 10 is exceptional. It wouldn’t be exceptional if you could just get a 10/10 every time.

Having said that, your comments on the ratings and progression are valid. We’ll think about this hard when making a sequel.

e. is certainly true, the others are debatable whether that’s a flaw. There are plenty of companies who release the same games on the same platforms for the same audience. If the game is good, why should there be a penalty. Personally, I think even the same-tech penalty for sequels we have in the game is probably a bit unrealistic (looking at you Assassins Creed).

A 7/8 is a good score!

That is a great idea. :+1:

There are plenty of real life examples of MMOs closing down because the player base is shrinking. If maintenance costs would be linearly tied to players and decrease with the players, why do they all close?

I fully admit the MMO mechanic isn’t’ as fleshed out as it could be but what we wanted is to make MMO’s late game achievements. Fact is that creating a MMO is a huge gamble and most real life MMOs fail miserably. We wanted to reflect this risk/reward.

I know other games in the genre do this but I was never much a fan of that. Some of my favorite companies release games very rarely and we didn’t want to penalize the player for taking their time with a new game. You would certainly loose Hype if you take too long but losing fans is another matter.

Easy to argue the exact opposite too. If you release a successful game in an untapped genre, logically you would gain more fans than in a genre you have saturated already.

Agreed :+1:

Yea, I think the sequel penalty logic is a bit arbitrary but so are you suggestions. Why would a sequel to a more recent game bring more hype than a sequel to an old one? Remember Duke Nukem Forever (rubbish game but HUUUGE hype). Also, why should we penalize switching genres? Some of the most successful games in history have been sequels (or spin-offs which we don’t really have so I argue they are sequels in GDT) that are in a different genre. World of Warcraft evolved from a RTS into a MMORPG for example.

The tech/design balance is sadly also a topic that’s completely over-exaggerated by the wiki. While it has an effect, it isn’t generally something you really have to worry about much. It’s more meant as a guidance how to think about design/tech for your games so that players have an easier time discovering where the sliders should be and who to hire and leverage in your games.


#5

Doing another playthrough for high score at year 35, and I’m getting really frustrated with how much RNG there is.

At the beginning, with the same review scores (7.5-8.0) and for the same platform, I’m getting sales anywhere between 15k and 26k units sold. Going for high score requires too much save/loading to get favorable RNG. I have always been against heavy RNG in games, as I don’t believe true luck even exists (I believe the whole world is 100% deterministic, despite quantum physics saying there is randomness). So a game shouldn’t be forcing such heavy luck factor into it.

I also don’t like how random game reviews are. For the first few games in garage, with exactly the same (optimal) sliders, topic/genre, tech/design ratio and total number of tech/design points, I’m getting review scores anywhere between 6.0 and 8.0. Anything below 7.5 yields poor sales (and even if I get 7.5 review or above, I still need to get lucky with good sales). Again, too much RNG for people going for high scores. I’m getting really tired of reloading. You should really consider putting less RNG in the next game you’re making. Try to make a game in which the player gets satisfaction for making good choices, not for having good luck.


#6

Done with the playthrough, I got tired of reloading to get good RNG with sales after the first few games, so I didn’t bother doing that for the rest of the game. I ended up with 111mil points, could have probably gotten over 150mil if I kept reloading on each game for better sales. Sales and review score are RNG - a “perfect” game gets anywhere between 9.0 and 10.25, with 9.5 being the most common result, and 9.25/9.75 being the 2nd most common. And also, even if you release a game with exact the same parameters, hype and review score, it’s RNG again how many will sell. So if you keep reloading, you’ll eventually sell really well, which means you’ll get more fans, which means you’ll get more sales for ALL of your future games because of having more fans. More sales brings more fans, which in turn brings even more sales and even more fans. Going by this logic, a score of 150+mil is very possible, but I’d rather play Watching Grass Grow Simulator for a week than bore myself to death with reloading each game 10-20 times to get good RNG.

The score shows 11mil, but it’s 111mil.
Also I find it funny how the developers didn’t bother testing their game enough to notice that there’s not enough digits to show the final score. Playing this game for the past week made me feel like that over and over again: “the developers didn’t think this through” on various occasions.

Anyway, I’ll probably be back to complain about the 2nd game released by GHG. I do realize complaining about faults and shortcomings of GDS is pointless since the game has been out for 5 years, and many bugs that existed since then haven’t been fixed, which just shows how little they care about the game.

Until then, signing out.


#7