Bob’s Game Demo (is terrible)

<div class=\"postavatar\">Bob's Game Demo (is terrible)</div>

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.”

and

“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.”

or

“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.

4 thoughts on “Bob’s Game Demo (is terrible)

  1. Robert is actually pretty humble about his game. He wrote those egocentric “crazy” quotes in context of the fictional in-game character “bob” as part of a somewhat mislead viral advertisement. Granted that its unnecessarily confusing, and he hasn’t done much to help the issue. Mr.Pelloni doesn’t really think he is the greatest developer of all time, the in game character “bob” does. Not to mention that if he hadn’t acted as he did neither you nor anyone else would have heard of it. Robert is trying to get a retail length RPG (more of an adventure game) that was developed by one person on store shelves, That’s a pretty big goal, in case you haven’t noticed games by one person don’t make it to retail. Sure Cave Story is going to Wiiware but it’s taking a team of people to make the port.

    Now as for IWBTG I love the game, but you didn’t make the engine that its built on so the fact it was made by one person is about as impressive as finding out that a flash game was made by one person. And before you talk about polish you might want to look at your own game because DAMN man take some pride in what you do.

  2. Okay okay okay, maybe it is some crazy viral campaign. Even if it is, the demo is rubbish. Maybe the whole game turns out good? Who knows. But even taking what he’s said in the BEST context, so far there is nothing impressive to see as far as I’m concerned.

    Maybe if he does somehow make it to retail, that’ll be interesting, but frankly I don’t care. It doesn’t make the game inherently any better.

    Also so what if I used a platform to write the game?

    “Oh wow! Man, you know, music in X game is good, but it’s not as good as the music in Cave Story, because not only did Pixel right it, he wrote his own music tracker!”

    This statement is of course silly. Pixel’s music is good because he is good, not because he made his own music tracker (which he infact did). Frankly I think making your own tools is infact usually FOOLISH and a waste of your time that could be spent on other things.

    And yes IWBTG is not polished. I never claimed that it was. I don’t know what you’re trying to get at with ‘take some pride in your work’, besides as some pointless snide jab.

  3. You’re right ‘show some pride in your work’ was a pointless snide jab that crossed the line. I played the game a couple of years ago so I doubt it was the most recent version.

    Robert wrote his own engine because it he believes that to call it a game by one person, he needs to personally write every line of code used in the game. It just wouldn’t be meaningful if he took some DS homebrewer’s code and built his game on it.

    As far as I can tell, some features of the game were deliberately disabled for the Demo, but I guess the demo can’t be fairly judged on what MIGHT be in the full game. “bob” only spent about a month on the demo thugh, it was a fallback when his iPhone port was delayed. Read about it here:
    http://forum.bobsgame.com/forum-news-f10/status-report-t741.htm

  4. Well regardless of what my expectations are of the quality of Bob’s Game, despite his problems, I wish him a good luck in his iPhone port. It really is a much better platform for him, financially. He’d be making more per unit then DS carts and would be able to sell at a much lower price.

    As for the comment, again, IWBTG isn’t polished. Evenif you played a newer version, there would be problems. Part of this is the fault of the platform I used (which educated me enough to pick a better one for the future). But the thing is, IWBTG is not meant to be my opus. IWBTG was a practice project that turned into a full length game due to tester interest.

    Hopefully in the future if you play anything of mine, you will see a much higher level of polish and detail.

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