I'm rising from the dead here to post a little rant.
In the last few weeks we've seen a lot of discontent from the gaming community at large. Some of that discontent has, unfortunately, manifested in the form of death threats leveled at game devs. Let me tell you why that's ridiculous (aside from what should be the very obvious answer that death threats are unacceptable behavior).
I have worked with game devs at studios of all sizes for over 2 years now and let me tell you something - I still don't know how games are made. Not the technical side, that's straight-forward enough (in theory). I mean it's a miracle games are made at all. Let's look at the facts here.
1. Games take a lifetime to develop. That's not hyperbole. Take the size of your average studio, multiply by how many years a game is in development, and I'll wager it's over a lifetime.
2. What's more, games are complicated. So complicated that something will work one day, break the next, work again, then break in a completely different way a few days later. Nothing is coded in a vacuum and that means when you change one thing, something else could break that you didn't at all expect.
3. Games aren't developed in a vacuum. You'd better believe studios are watching the trends, analyzing customer behavior, and gauging reaction to similar products in the field. They're studying all that, plus the insights they gain in their own alphas/betas, and using that data to shape their game.
4. So many meetings! The code is one thing, the art is another, but it's the meetings where things get sussed out and brainstormed. So many meetings it'd boggle your mind. Ideas are discussed, challenged, debated, thrown out, and sometimes brought back again. Designs are tweaked constantly over the span of years until each system is polished and implemented in a way that's meant to feel satisfying to the player.
5. Nobody loves that game you're insulting more than its devs. Sure, it probably caused a lot of headaches and it wasn't all fun, but these games are the devs' babies. They've spent years nurturing the little idea seeds into a full-grown game. It's a huge accomplishment to ship a title and that shouldn't be taken lightly.
So next time you want to submit anything less than rational critique of a game in a public forum, think again about what you're doing. Do you have any idea how long that game took to make? All the meetings the team sat through to make sure it was perfect? Do you know about the late nights? How much blood, sweat, and tears did you pour into that game? I promise you those devs did everything they could to ship a fantastic title and they don't deserve to be bashed, or worse, for their hard work.