A recommended read, especially for you developers. His point is that gamers spend so much time messing around in games, it forces developers to spend more resources creating troll/idiot proof devices in games. As a developer myself, I’d like to break down his example scenario from the article in a read more if you don’t mind:
The example is a conversation between a level designer, game designer, and producer. They’re discussing the player needing to follow his sidekick out of an exit in a room that’s filling with water. Typically, you would only need to have the water fill the room part of the way before the player gets the hint to leave the room after their companion alerts them. But gamers like to mess around, and will most likely sit in the room to see what happens when they become completely submerged.
Here’s where we add the extra zeroes on the end of the budget:
Now you’re talking extra water effects/animations, motion capture footage for body and facial animations of the sidekick screaming for you to hurry up and get out. Oh, and that screaming dialogue isn’t going to record itself. That costs more time and money for the voice actor to sit in that booth longer. Oh and then you have to pay the effects/technical artists to come up with post-process effects [that’s the blur/bubbles/distortion etc. you see when you’re underwater]. Then you need a drowning effect animation to be done. And sound effects, and the programming to tie it all together. Just because you wanted to sit in the room and see what happens to get your five seconds of enjoyment before reloading a checkpoint and doing it all over again.
That’s how game development goes now that we’ve been conditioned over the years to all the messing around. Now that’s always fun in its’ own right, but we’re all suffering from pushed back release dates, long development cycles, increased prices, etc.
Chew on that, and let me know how that makes you feel.