Everyone loves game developers

Most jobs dealing with the public will make you a misanthrope. You have my sympathy.

I agree, you’re not a crazy loon. I would bet that if you met and talked to the bucket of people you call “Publishers”, you’d probably find them less scorn-worthy than you imagine. It’s been my experience that:

  • They are passionate about gaming, and genuinely want gamers to happy and feel like they’re getting a good deal.
  • They not infrequently get the blame for decisions made by studios and developers.
  • They often choose not to defend themselves in part to preserve developers’ images.
  • They are driven to create new ways to make money because the cost of making games keeps increasing, while the price of games is largely stagnant.

And it’s easy to forget: The primary function of most publishers in gaming is to hand large wads of cash to developers so they can actually make the games without having to add “fundraising” to their core set of skills.

Not at all–I found your comment very thoughtful and insightful. t I think you offered a plausible reason why some users become abusive. At the same time I didn’t read anything in your comment that sounded even remotely close to an apology for such behavior. I know sometimes attempting to explain and understand a negative behavior can sound like an attempt to justify it, but I felt the explanation you offered highlighted the irrationality of abusive users.

Speaking as a developer outside of the gaming world, the answer to the question of “why can’t the program do this?” is that when the program was written, nobody asked for the program to do that. Poorly specced applications with insufficiently documented requirements (and unrealistic timeframes for completion) are the bane of all developers. The reason why we ask users to justify making changes to an application, is because (at least in my experience), developers have WAY more work on their plate than they can even begin to think about getting done, and the biggest problem faced as a developer is how to prioritize user requests. And as somebody who doesn’t use the program in their day to day work, having a good idea of why it’s important to the workflow of the actual users is important. It’s not the developers being lazy and not wanting to make your changes (at least, not most of the time, lol), it’s the developers trying to figure out which of the hundreds of outstanding user requests should be tackled next. And yes, the more people that have the problem, the more likely it is to be prioritized.

I realize I wasn’t clear at all, and I apologize for sounding like I was bashing all developers. I really should have specified that I was being critical of a certain type of developer, specifically the sort that uses the question, “Why would you need it to do that?” in an attempt to deflect questions about nonfunctional programs or poor design.

Most of the time “Why would you need it to do that?” is a perfectly understandable question, because what’s being asked for is something outside the program’s intended use, or something the developer simply wasn’t aware of because its need wasn’t made clear to them. And there have been times when I’ve started explaining the need only to realize that what I’m describing isn’t that important, or that there are other ways to do it within the existing program, and I feel guilty for wasting the developer’s time.

But when I say, “The ‘Reply’ function won’t allow me to reply” and I get, “Why would you need it to do that?” it’s frustrating. Especially when I take the time to explain, as politely and articulately as possible, why it’s needed, and what I get back is, “Okay, but why would you need it to do that?” Or, worse, “No one else has reported this problem”, which is especially frustrating when the person sitting next to me has also reported it.

Obviously it’s just like every other profession: there are a lot of great, hardworking people in it, and some who really should be doing something else.

1 Like

Yeah, those guys are just lazy assholes. :slight_smile: And in my 20-ish years doing software development, I have luckily never worked with a developer who would actually do something that blatant (although I hope your example is simplified for the sake of making your point, if it’s not I am absolutely HORRIFIED on behalf of all developers, everywhere). Those are the times when you really hope your company has a structure where you can escalate something like that to your manager.


True, Valve has never specified anything about continuing the Half Life saga, but way to leave it all setup for the next adventure.

It’s like watching the first of the Lord of the Rings and then never getting to see the rest of them (or them never being made).

Oh yeah, absolutely understood. I think you’ve identified one of the dynamics that triggers this dysfunctional behavior in some gamers. I think there are other dynamics at play too, which may even be related to that, but that dynamic plays a major role. It’s really interesting.

Yeah, so much for the “episodic content” experiment. My colleagues in game development always shook their heads at the idea as impractical. At least Valve have actually said, post-Episode 2, “Episodic content? Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore.”
I can actually think of a few other games that ended on something of a cliffhanger, presumably to leave the door open for sequels that never happened.
It’s sort of like the 1978 The Lord of the Rings.

I’m sorry to say that my example was only slightly simplified, and that I’ve encountered this problem at more than one company. If it’d only happened once I’d say, hey, this is just one person, but, while they are a minority, they do seem to be a type.

And a large part of the problem is the management that lets them get away with this sort of crap–the management that temporarily shuts down the customer service department so users “have to take responsibility for learning the new system on their own”, or the managers who turn a blind eye when one of their developers responds to criticism by going into a customer’s account and changing their passwords, effectively locking them out.

A significant part of the problem is lack of truly qualified managers. The managers who allow this sort of crap often don’t have a technical background themselves; they see coding as spooky magic, so they consider it safer to have disgruntled customers than a pissed off IT guy.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.