Friday, October 22, 2010

Crashed And Burned...

Unfortunately, I shall not get stinking rich in the video game business. This was not totally unexpected, as I was aware of both the initially-remote possibilities and the extremely long lead time in production of any video game, to count any chickens before they were hatched.

Still, I did at least get paid for my time and effort, and that's something, but at the end of the day Market Research did me in. Market Research says; the typical video game junkie, apparently, has no patience to solve puzzles, read or even think. When they sit down for their six-plus hours of mindless entertainment (the average video game junkie spends 6 hours a day twiddling their thumbs. Now you know why there's an obesity epidemic), they don't want to have to expend braincells. My concept was shot down because -- get this -- it was judged that there was the potential for too many pauses of greater than 30 seconds in the action.

See? The world caters to people with short attention spans. That's why there's ObamaCare and Jerry Springer. Never mind that those pauses were necessary to inform players of vital plot points, to give them information to continue their virtual quest, Today's Breed requires "total immersion". Any pause in their simulated violence, bloodshed, flashing lights and sound effects might cause them to go into a coma. Anything that causes their thumbs to stop moving for that long simply invites Carpal Tunnel syndrome, or probably brings on Rabies, for all I know.

Ask them to have to read something, and you just might see an increase in suicide rates, I would suppose.

Still, the experience hasn't been a total loss; I've learned a lot, and well, there's always someone else who might find gold in my garbage. I suppose that the most shocking thing about the entire process was the discovery that the people who were evaluating my product for eventual production were so clueless...about most things. Here I was, trying to sell a video game based upon the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, and usually discovering that 80% of the people in the room had never read either.

One woman, in her mid-30's by the look of things (the vacant stare gives away her age. She is obviously someone raised on Reality Television), during one meeting about the storyline suddenly blurted out, as if she had some particularly curious form of Tourette's syndrome "Hey, wasn't this once a movie with Brad Pitt...?"

"Why, yes. Yes it was, Sunshine. What college did you go to again?"

"San Diego State."

Good for you! I'm sure your parents are so proud. Ask for your fucking money back.

Anyways, I guess I'll have to continue to shop the project, and horror of horrors!, continue to find a permanent job (at least as permanent as you can get these days). I wonder if there are any openings on the San Diego State faculty?


Vassy said...

I call bullshit.
There are plenty of puzzle-solving games out there. In fact, most RPGs have a rather large puzzle-solving component. Resident Evil? Puzzles.
That's totally lame, dude. Sorry to hear that. :(

Matthew said...

I feel the same way, Vassy, but that's what I was told. I don't believe it either, but there you go; no one said they had to buy anything, and there was never an entitlement, on my part.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar-but-not-quite-infringing-upon-copyright game based on the same concept out there in time for Christmas next year.

That doesn't mean I'm giving up, just that I have to find a serious buyer/partner with the resources to make it happen.

Then again, I've learned a lot in a short time, and I can now see where I had made some serious mistakes that I can go back and correct before my next try.

Considering that just seven days ago, 30-or-so "development people" at this company suddenly found themselves being asked to clean out their desks, I'm not terribly shocked at the outcome.