Saturday, January 10, 2009

bob's shame

Has anyone seen the news on Bob's Game? Does everyone know what Bob's Game is?

Essentially, Bob was a guy who wanted to make a game by himself, so he did. He made a 15-20 hour RPG specifically for the DS, and when Nintendo wouldn't give him a development kit so he could finalize the game for retail release, he decided to lock himself in a room for 100 days in protest. After 30 days, he gave up the protest, trashed his room, and lost his faith in a benevolent, loving Nintendo that I'm not sure ever existed. They are trying to run a business, after all.

I am oversimplifying, but that is the gist of it.

People either feel sorry for him or don't, and I think I fall into the second category. Yes, he put an extraordinary amount of effort into something all by himself, but effort doesn't equal quality, and he has not handled his rejection with anything resembling maturity. Read the news posts on his official site (you have to scroll down quite a bit) - these posts and the protest itself both show a person with little perspective, and with little idea of how the game industry works. The thought that one game by itself could have any perceivable impact on Nintendo's bottom line is misguided and laughable.

Throughout the trailers posted to the site the emphasis is usually on the fact that this game, however good or bad it might objectively be, was developed by one person, and that this alone makes the game worthy of retail release. His tone is self-righteous and abrasive. Put yourselves in the shoes of a major corporation - would you have given him a development kit for your system? A little maturity and professionalism would have gone a long way here.

We don't even know whether his game brings anything new to the table, because he won't show us any of it - I say this not because I doubt Bob made his Game, but because this is the polar opposite of the right way to generate interest in an indie title. Bob, indie developers have conferences. Indie developers often release their idea for public consumption and then get patted on the back later, after people deem their idea deserving of praise and attention. You cannot throw a tantrum because Nintendo won't give you what you want and because your strike didn't earn you the community's sympathy, and now your hissy fit (which has been plastered all over the place on this Slow News Saturday) has practically guaranteed that any merits your game had will forever be overshadowed by you and your actions.

I hate to kick a guy when he's down, Bob, but this is how not to follow your dreams.