Pleasing the publisher / client

There's an interesting article over at [url="http://popcultureshock.com/features.php?id=1402"]popcultureshock.com[/url], the latest in a series by game designer David A. Rodriguez, that's about the realities of a game designer's job and also pleasing the client/publisher.

It's quite an interesting read, and I'm sure Caroo, Ash etc will be interested in reading the series..

quote:I?m not an artist.

Sure I work in a creative field. Sure many of the things I do are creative and I get to imagine things and attempt to put them into reality. But an artist gets to do what they want, how they want, when they want. That's not what I do. Someone comes to my company with a contract. They give us money to make something. I make it. They take it and sell it. I don?t work in art.

I work?in customer service.

And fortunately or unfortunately, the customer is always right. That means that no matter how bad I think an idea is. That means no matter how unreasonable the request or how STUPID the last thing they said was, in the end they write the check, so they get to decide. I can voice my opinion. I can tell them what I think because that's what they are paying me for, but ultimately, if they decide that something must be in the game?then you can bet your sweet ass it's gonna be in the game.

We always hear about this situation of pleasing publisher demands, but it never occured to me that the game designer is the one who faces the brunt of it first.

Caroo's picture

I read the article through. And while it?s hard for me to post anything really relevant on this as I?m currently not in the industry I?ll give it my two bob.

My assumption is pretty much matched to the article. I understood a while back that it would be a long long long time before I?d get to work on my own game design. I would need to be the creative director of my own studio and have enough reputation before it would come to pass.

And some people never get that far. Ether due to complete and utter frustration of the industry, burn out, or a timid nature that hinders them to seize the appropriate moments to climb the rank ladder.

In other words: We?ll just have to see where I am in 20 years time.

Angel's picture

Great article Souri, thanks for sharing. Producers face many of the same challenges, relaying the publisher?s requests to the team and vice versa, but if it's good for one thing, it's definitely good for raising negotiation skills. The same sort of situation occurs between artists and programmers; sometimes you really need a mix of creativity and logical problem solving skills in order to find a balance that works well for everyone.

azmodai's picture

Good article. Nice to see people really laying down the realities of working in the industry.

I had a similiar experience in my last role and I had to come to the same conclusion or just go insane. In either case i'm happier now than I was.

I'm mostly happy that this is another step towards debunking the glorious idealism of game development.

CynicalFan's picture

I see another person has left the local industry for greener international pastures. No surprise that it is a designer as well ;).

azmodai's picture

quote:Originally posted by CynicalFan

I see another person has left the local industry for greener international pastures. No surprise that it is a designer as well ;).

If you can't join them, beat them with a stick and work for the dutch.

DaleK's picture

Good article Souri.

I too faced a situation like this recently. I was asked to submit a design for an scenario of an upcoming XP of a current title and had to find a subject. Luckily the three main fansites had polls running as to what they wanted, and the results from all three sites showed a definite swing in favour of one idea.

Some pen to paper (so to speak) and now I'm doing two scenarios for the XP from that one idea the fansites voted for. :)

Dale

panthr's picture

oh how true . I love the architect scenario, it was pretty funny :P

P