Game Dev Story

If you thought this app development malarkey was a doodle, then prepare to be set straight with Game Dev Story. In this sim game, you control a software development company hoping to make its billions on the highly competitive games market. You must hire staff, train them to improve their skills and then direct them to create titles, selecting the most appropriate member of your team (or outsourcing if none is available) for different components of the game such as graphics and sound. Elements of real-world development that are also included are the need to pay licensing fees to develop on different consoles and to invest money in advertising both to boost your company's general reputation and to increase sales of a particular title. In order to boost funds, the company may also work on short-term contracts while it is not currently developing a game.

Game Dev Story includes just enough elements of strategy to make it addictive, although the number of parameters that you may control is perhaps not as extensive as with some other sim games. I confess that when I started playing the game, in the absence of much of an in-game tutorial, I did not fully understand the value of all game elements such as the "boost" packs that you can buy. These allow you to boost the content and quality of various aspects of projects you develop, e.g. a game's creativity, which in turn is crucial for getting sales. As in the real world, the simulated console market is highly volatile, with consoles going on and off market at a rapid rate compared with the speed at which titles for them can be developed. The cost of developing for new consoles rises steeply during the game, so that if you are not careful it is easy to get "stuck in a rut" and have to take on a large number of between-game contracts in order to be able to afford to stay in the market. Not necessarily unlike the real world, I suppose.

If you enjoy sim strategy games, especially those where the primary goal is "asset building", I recommend you give Game Dev Story a try.

Using a creativity boost to help sales of an upcoming project in Game Dev Story
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