Monday, 17 October 2011

Review: Under Development by M Dickie

Here at HYTIB, we love videogames, and we love having opinions. Those things go together like ham and cheese. Like fried eggs and ketchup. Like pear syrup and salami in a sandwi-what, really Tobi? That's bizarre.
So, a brief introduction:
M. Dickie was introduced to me by a veteran co-worker who I guess has some level of personal experience with this... chap? He has a way with words, and he has published a book on game development, as well as many articles on his experiences. I think his website says everything that you need to know about him. He likes religion. He likes wrestling. He likes himself.
He has recently released a new game which he developed single-handedly, which is 52% downloaded as we speak. I’m real excited to be reviewing this game. It’s about other games. It’s going to be great. Tobi, your thoughts so far?
I had never heard of the guy before this, but if we can go by the portfolio on his website, we’re in for a real treat.

Installing the game now... did it really just offer to install an MDickie toolbar?

During the installation you get treated to this 

This might come “highly recommended” by him, but I highly recommend you turn all that stuff off. So really, who are you going to trust in this situation? Me or the guy with a penis-name?

So, um... I’m making my character. I can change everything except I can’t figure out how to change the gender?

Silly Allie. This is the games industry. Oh wait, the option is buried under a sea of poorly thought out menus. Too late, though!

Instead, meet Tobi
This rainbow-haired adonis wears a sports-bra for support, kneepads for safety and camo-shorts for stealth. I appreciate games where you can select an ‘ALL’ option for ‘accessories’.

..and Allie.

I have actually gone down a suspiciously similar route. Eerie. Ai’ight, lets roll.

Tobi makes Shiggy an offer he can't refuse.
So, I’m in my chair in my hilarious little office, and to start designing a game, I need to play asteroids. Wow, this is pretty accurate! I’m fairly sure this is what designers do all day eh? eh? ;) 

I like how game devs do one task per day and then they're like K I'M DONE, LET ME ZZZZZZZZ NOW! Another accurate portrayal of the industry, I imagine. 

Harsh, but fair. :'X 

Alright, I need more hands. I’m hiring Mat Dickie himself. I offered him a filthy bedroom coder rate of $15k salary. Trouble is, I’m not good at maths and I haven’t paid any attention to what the numbers are like in this game.

My Dickie is working for Nintendo and also dissed indie development when I proposed that he’d come work for me in my bedroom. Even Miyamoto didn’t give me such a low blow.

Hehe, 'your dickie'.
...Wait, shit. Apparently the salary is monthly. WELL, this isn’t gonna be pretty.
Might need to re-start.

Bill Gates, I hear he's a pretty mean guy.
...Are you tickling Bill Gates' pecs?


So in other news, is this game some made with some kinda game maker program? Some kinda dating sim type template? I’m getting the impression that the character customiser is very wrestling-oriented.

It’s made with Blitz Basic, so not quite. The beautiful visuals may be recycled from his bible and wrestling games. 

This game's minigames contain about 4 different sprites from retro games, as well as ripped music both with a strangely headache-inducing lack of variety.

Wait wait, so some guy from a rival games company came in and SOLD me some unused 3d art assets he had created for that company? I guess this fits in with MDickie’s grasp on copyright law.

Same thing happened to me. After 12 months of “work”, I decided that my product is going to be Frogger. A Capcom employee bursted into my office and told me he had lots of 3D modeling for sale that might be complimentary to my game. The link between Frogger for Atari 2600 and 3D graphics was clear as day to me, so I gladly paid half of my remaining budget.

With the 3D graphics in place, I decided it was time to release Frogger into the world. The press immediately got wind of it and gave it a 52% rating. Then a terrible snowstorm presumably hit the city because the game froze up. Right on time because I was pretty tired of playing Snake to further my programming.  

Set your brain to MAXIMUM THRILLS.

All in all, this isn’t a poorly thought out game, at least not as much so as I had expected. Shame it’s the worst genre of game, though. Just a management simulator. A nasty, torturous management simulator that forces you to play a round of space invaders over and over and over. 

To be completely fair, the game he blatantly ripped off, Game Dev Story, is fun, addictive and doesn’t waste your time with terrible minigames, visuals or infantile takes on creative industries.

Would you say that M. Dickie has mastered all of the disciplines of game development?

I’m not even sure if he’s mastered A discipline of game development, let alone all of them.

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