GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

February 24, 2011 -

An interesting Game Developers Conference session will give social game developers a chance to lash out at all the haters. this year' "rant session" is called "No Freaking Respect! Social Game Developers Rant Back," and is co-sponsored by former IGDA head Jason Della Rocca and Eric Zimmerman - or as like to call them, Rantmasters General (both have delivered potent rants at previous GDC's over the years).

The tongue-in-cheek description of the rant session goes explains that this year's rant "has invited the people who everyone is blaming with ruining the industry: social network game developers." Participants include such notable developers as Brenda Brathwaite (Loot Drop), Trip Hawkins (Digital Chocolate), Brian Reynolds (Zynga), Steve Meretzky (Playdom), Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology), Chris Hecker (D6), and Scott Jon Siegel (Playdom). The full description:

"For the last six years at the GDC rant session, game developers have made themselves heard. They have trashed their publishers, shocked players and fans, and expressed heartfelt passion about the industry that we all love to hate. Last year, we heard from developers that had recently lost their companies and their jobs. This year, its time for the underclass to get even. At the GDC 2011 rant session, we have invited the people who everyone is blaming with ruining the industry: social network game developers. At least since last years GDC, when social game talks were met with boos and catcalls, they have been taking your abuse.

At the rant session, well give social game developers a chance to strike back. What exactly does burn them up? They may well rail against common criticsms of social games, but THEY choose the topics of their rants, so be prepared for the unexpected. Cutting through the clutter of polite industry chit-chat, the rant session takes on the issues that matter to developers in a no-holds-barred format. Fasten your seat belts and prepare for strong opinions from some of the game industry's most distinguished and dissatisfied game developers. The invited panelists from scarred veteran to hothead youngster - will be given free reign.

You have been warned. Co-hosted by Jason Della Roca and Eric Zimmerman, the rant session is about identifying solutions as well as problems. The audience will have a chance to respond to the rants and join in the discussion. Topics will address issues of concrete importance to the game industry. And we may catch a glimpse of a better future for us all." If you manage to get into GDC this is one of those sessions you won't want to miss."

Check out the GDC site for more information.


Comments

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

It's not that they're "not real games" because technically, they are. They're still designed for entertainment purposes, just like the AAA+ titles you play everyday.

The problem I have with games like Farmville (and then you have other games like Mafia Wars and all the spin-offs) is that there is absolutely nothing compelling about the gameplay. I used to play both FarmVille and Castle Wars simply because I was bored and had nothing else to do. They're actually pretty good for that as you do tend to waste a lot of time on them.

The problem with them is that they require you to start adding friends that you don't know (I had over 600 at one point and am now weening it down, gotten it down to about ~315 or so) to progress further in the games. You then start playing other games and realise how nothing is ever actually different. They're all the same game, but set in a different setting. That's it.

They might be games but they're an insult to the entire purpose of game design, not because they're not "real" but because it's so obvious that their only reason for existing is to make somebody a quick buck. That's it. There's no gameplay value, no storylines attached, nothing like that at all.

They're for monetary gains only and frankly, I have a hard time believing anything else.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

I won't go as far as to say that things such as Farmville aren't games, but they do leave me with a feeling of disquiet that I really can't explain.  Probably because there isn't very much in the way of gameplay, and it is just a naked corporate money grab.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: GDC Rant Session: Social Game Developers Strike Back

Damn, pity I won't get to see that... I have having progressivily less patience for the 'this isn't a game I play, so they are destroying the industry!' crowd....

 
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