Logo by Belghast
This week is Developer Appreciation Week! For those who don't know what it is, here is a summary: It is a way to remember that, yes, the developers are also humans and they also share the same passion as we do for gaming. After all, why anyone would work in an industry as volatile, to put it mildly, as the gaming industry when they could work be working on a much more stable and better paying industries? Because they think they can bring something awesome and entertaining to other people's lives, even if it is just for a few hours. That is why they put the kind of crazy work that is required to bring a game to market.
And as players we also love to discuss games, their mechanics, changes made to them and even complain. Unfortunately we also forget too easily to show appreciation to these people who bring us so much entertainment. That is the purpose of this week, where individual bloggers make a post to show some love for the developers of their favorite games.
Ok. With that out of the way, here are two of the countless games I am grateful for:
It was in Everquest 2 that I found how much decoration can be fun. Wait! Don't run away, please! I am not joking. You see, for a guy like me who loves pretty much anything involving creativity but who has pretty much no talent for any of that, building houses in a game is a pretty good way to scratch that itch. There is a very low barrier to enter it and to do something good with it doesn't require mastering some arcane software or have years of practice. All you need is a lot of patience, some creativity and think on what ways you can use pre-built pieces. In a way, it is kinda like lego except with more flexibility as how you put the pieces together.
Everquest 2 has one of the best decoration systems around, one that feels like there is very feel restrictions to worry about and a lot of potential to explore. Also the developers have been shown as much love for it as other parts of the game, pretty much validating its importance. The decoration community is also some of the nicest, friendliest, sharing and inclusive people I've ever seem in a game.
Another point about Everquest 2 is that it seems to be the only game that me and my friends seems to all agree to playing. There is just something in the game to please each one of us. And considering how diverse our tastes and personalities are, or how many other games we tried to play together, that is quite a feat and a testament to Everquest 2's diversity of content.
Now, the way I gushed over it may seem like I think it is the perfect game. That is hardly the case, but that doesn't mean I can't respect the game's developers or the efforts they put into cattering to such diverse tastes. Like I alluded to in the beginning paragraph it is not easy to be a game developer. Even more so to be a developer of a MMO as complex as Everquest 2.
Guild Wars 2
For me there are two ways to bring evolution to anything. The first one is through countless iteration. You keep tweaking and tweaking and tweaking until you are feel it is good enough and then move on to the next project. The other is to look at what was done before, ask yourself why it was done that way, try to come up with new answers to what they were trying to do and then throwing those answers at the real world to see how well they will perform. I believe that is exactly what ArenaNet did with Guild Wars 2.
It came at a point in my life where I was feeling pretty depressed and cynical about MMOs (for those who know me and are thinking "but you are like that all the time!", shush! :p) so the appearance of Guild Wars 2 was like a breath of fresh air. It did feel like they were trying to do their own thing, to do what worked right for their game. And that was something I really needed at the time to renew my love for the genre.
Did they revolutionize the genre so completely that it will never be the same? No, I don't think so. Nor do I think they had to. Did they make a game so good that it made it hard for me to play other games? Not quite, but they certainly did a lot of things that I wish other games would copy or improve upon. Did I have tons of fun while playing it? Hell, yeah. And at the end of the day I think that is all that matters. 🙂
To all the other developers I didn't mention
In my opinion you people are all crazy. But the good kind of crazy. So, keep up the good work and thanks for all the hours of fun and giving me a bridge to meet other people I'd probably not meet otherwise! 😀