julho 20, 2019

5 Razões porque é Difícil fazer Videojogos

Comecei a ler “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels” do Jason Schreier e chegado ao final da introdução pareceu-me existir já material relevante para partilhar, tendo em conta que Schreier apresenta nessa mesma introdução uma espécie de síntese daqueles que são os problemas centrais da produção de videojogos, ou seja, dos elementos específicos que separam esta indústria cultural das demais, nomeadamente de um lado a cinematográfica, e do outro a de produção de software.

Definição do processo de produção de qualquer jogo:
“Every single video game is made under abnormal circumstances. Video games straddle the border between art and technology in a way that was barely possible just a few decades ago. Combine technological shifts with the fact that a video game can be just about anything, from a two-dimensional iPhone puzzler to a massive open-world RPG with über-realistic graphics, and it shouldn’t be too shocking to discover that there are no uniform standards for how games are made. Lots of video games look the same, but no two video games are created the same way”
As 5 razões apresentadas abaixo são o resultado da síntese de entrevistas a mais de 100 criadores da grande indústria internacional de jogos, entre 2015 e 2017, responsáveis por títulos como: "Pillars of Eternity", "Uncharted 4", "Stardew Valley", "Diablo III", "Halo Wars", "Dragon Age: Inquisition", "Shovel Knight", "Destiny", "The Witcher 3":

1. Eles são Interativos
“Video games don’t move in a single linear direction. Unlike, say, a computer-rendered Pixar movie, games run on “real-time” graphics, in which new images are generated by the computer every millisecond. Video games, unlike Toy Story, need to react to the player’s actions. As you play a video game, your PC or console (or phone, or calculator) renders characters and scenes on the fly based on your decisions. If you choose to walk into a room, the game needs to load up all the furniture. If you choose to save and quit, the game needs to store your data. If you choose to murder the helpful robot, the game needs to identify (a) whether it’s possible to kill the robot, (b) whether you’re powerful enough to kill the robot, and (c) what kind of awful sounds the robot will make as you spill its metallic guts. Then the game might have to remember your actions, so other “characters know that you’re a heartless murderer and can say things like, “Hey, you’re that heartless murderer!”
2. A Tecnologia está Constantemente a Mudar
“As computers evolve (which happens, without fail, every year), graphic processing gets more powerful. And as graphic processing gets more powerful, we expect prettier games. As Feargus Urquhart, the CEO of Obsidian, told me, “We are on the absolute edge of technology. We are always pushing everything all the time.” Urquhart pointed out that making games is sort of like shooting movies, if you had to build an entirely new camera every time you started. That’s a common analogy. Another is that making a game is like constructing a building during an earthquake. Or trying to drive a train while someone else runs in front of you, laying down track as you go.”
3. As Ferramentas são Sempre Diferentes 
To make games, artists and designers need to work with all sorts of software, ranging from common programs (like Photoshop and Maya) to proprietary apps that vary from studio to studio. Like technology, these tools are constantly evolving based on developers’ needs and ambitions. If a tool runs too slowly, is full of bugs, or is missing pivotal features, making games can be excruciating. “While most people seem to think that game development is about ‘having great ideas,’ it’s really more about the skill of taking great ideas from paper to product,” a developer once told me. “You need a good engine and toolset to do this.”
4. A Calendarização é Impossível
“The unpredictability is what makes it challenging,” said Chris Rippy, a veteran producer who worked on Halo Wars. In traditional software development, Rippy explained, you can set up a reliable schedule based on how long tasks have taken in the past. “But with games,” Rippy said, “you’re talking about: Where is it fun? How long does fun take? Did you achieve that? Did you achieve enough fun? You’re literally talking about a piece of art for the artist. When is that piece of art done? If he spends another day on it, would that have made all the difference in the world to the game? Where do you stop? That’s the trickiest part. Eventually you do get into the production-y side of things: you’ve proven the fun, you’ve proven the look of the game, and now it becomes more predictable. But it’s a real journey in the dark up until that point.” Which leads us to...”
5. É Impossível saber o quão "Divertido" será um Jogo até que o Joguemos
“You can take educated guesses, sure, but until you’ve got your hands on a controller, there’s no way to tell whether it feels good to move, jump, and bash your robot pal’s brains out with a sledgehammer. “Even for very, very experienced game designers, it’s really scary,” said Emilia Schatz, a designer at Naughty Dog. “All of us throw out so much work because we create a bunch of stuff and it plays terribly. You make these intricate plans in your head about how well things are going to work, and then when it actually comes and you try to play it, it’s terrible.”

Excertos da Introdução de “Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made” (2017) de Jason Schreier, da Harper Paperbacks.

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