I recently played the demo for Bob’s Game. My response is less then kind. Of course I will say flat out that the demo isn’t really terrible or anything. Instead, it’s the behavior of the creator mixed with the underwhelming delivery that makes it truly hate worthy.
If you haven’t heard Robert Pelloni’s story yet, it’s worth a read.
Wikapedia’s Entry is pretty good…
But the Encyclopedia Dramatica article is way better.
So we have a crazy kid putting a ton of time into a solo project. Sounds good! And with lines like
“There is nobody like me. I have created the entire game, start to finish. I am far better than Miyamoto, Itoi, Kojima, Carmack, and Wright COMBINED.”
“bob’s game” is a game by ONE PERSON, and it’s one of the GREATEST GAMES EVER MADE- if not THE BEST. I stand alone on a mountain no other has even dared to climb.”
“I am the GREATEST GAME DEVELOPER THAT EVER LIVED. I am a GENIUS”
Well, with lines like that, this certainly has to be quality! So I boot up the demo and what to I get?
Oh great it’s an RPG. An RPG where you play a kid no less, who goes to school and does stuff like play videogames. This is so far the definition of uninspired. The pixel art is at least relatively nice (though the faces are those generic Chrono Trigger-esque faces you see in every game that people make in RPG Maker). The writing is kind of quirky, but what of the game play?
Well, the gameplay consists of fetch quests (involving randomly looking in boxes around the house) and playing little, obnoxious mini games. At first you play a strange version of tetris with involves permutations of 3 blocks (with diagonal blocks, unlike tetris). I found this fairly novel but ultimately tedious. From there you play a version of pong where you control both paddles and have to rally the ball 66-144 times based on difficulty, and, lastly, a short mario clone where you pick up money to stay alive. These mini games I guess are semi-clever, and would make for a half decent flash mini game collection on their own, but to get to them you have to go through streams of goofy dialog, fetch quests and just flat out waiting.
Yes, you have to wait. Theres a little time of day timer that controls when things can happen. To move time forward you literally stand infront of a TV. Doing nothing. This is clearly brilliant and well thought out game design.
So as ED says, Five years for a fetch quest and mini games? And this guy is calling him self game-design-super-jesus? I find this insulting. Oh my god, you made a game on your own. Whoopty shit, so did I. And mine was actually RELEASED and is POPULAR and even then, I don’t care. I appreciate my popularity and mild amount of E-Fame, but I don’t expect it or think I magically deserve it because I did something. I earned it, and even if I didn’t, I made IWBTG for the joy of making it and not to be someone with 15 minutes of fame. Robert also plods on about how big the game is and how amazing that is, while someone like Pixel makes a three hour game, but makes those three hours polished, powerful and full of gameplay. Or someone like Konjak, who made Noitu Love 1 and 2. The trailer for Noitu Love 2 shows how incredibly awesome and detailed a game by one person can be while still being fun and engaging. That game looks so polished and professional that it makes me a little jealous! … And the thing with these guys? They shut their mouths. Pixel is super duper polite and humble and Konjak is some nice kinda weird dude who’s cool!
Robert wants to be a rockstar. The game design industry doesn’t need rockstars. Robert can go hang out with John Romero. His entire attitude is, in my opinion, offensive to other indy developers. It’s especially insulting when he talks all this smack and then releases something that looks like it was made in RPGMaker. If he just kept his mouth shut and released a game, he’d probably get some credit for making such a big game all by himself, despite the games obvious flaws.
Also a side note, what is with people obsessing over doing something by themselves? I mean, it’s impressive when you can deliver a polished product by your self, sure, but that doesn’t make your offering any better. I do not have more fun playing a game because one person made it. I made IWBTG alone (if you don’t count the work I stole from old NES games :P) because it was practical, not because I wanted a medal. For Brave Earth I’m looking for art help and composers because, while I’m sure I could do those things my self (especially portrait art), I know there are people who can do it better who are willing to help and I am more interested in producing something great then producing something alone. If I had the money I’d hire a team to make the game with me.
People can be really self centered I guess! Well, what can ya do? I just felt the need to rant about this, because even though it’s not a big deal (who cares if some crazy person thinks he’s better then everyone? He’s crazy!), it does serve as an example of ‘what not to do’ or ‘how not to think’, or ‘how not to act’. The only thing to take away from Rob is that having the will to complete something is the most important part of creating something. That said, you can’t let your self get so into your work that you go blind. Once that happens, you can’t truly evaluate whether or not your work is good — be it games, art or anything. Once you think you’re super-hot shit, it’s pretty much all down hill from there.