John Scalzi, Game Dev

This is hilarious. Scalzi is trying to impress his fellow SJWs with his game dev credentials, which are so much better than those belonging to the many devs of #GamerGate.

“I write video games. I think it’s pretty obvious GamerGaters don’t speak for anyone but their own pathetic selves.”
– John Scalzi, 6 August 2015

Needless to say, #GamerGate was unimpressed with Scalzi’s credentials. Beginning with Mark Kern, who worked on Starcraft, Diablo II, and Warcraft III before becoming team lead on the original World of Warcraft.

Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
I had no idea you could just write video games into existence. Guess we won’t be needing these designers, profs, artists, devs.

Dal Gren ‏@DalGren
Researching, I can only find one video game he’s written (Midnight Star). So…he’s lying about the amount.

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
Scalzi lying about his involvement in gamedev like he does about his blog traffic? Say it ain’t so!

Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
He lies about his blog traffic?

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
Yeah. He’s a shamelessly dishonest self-promoter.

The Deuce ‏@ibbibby
@voxday is the one who noticed and pinned him down on it. See these articles http://voxday.blogspot.com/search?q=scalzi+traffic …

Mark Kern ‏@Grummz
Oh wow, Scalzi really inflated those numbers.

No Fun Allowed ‏@nochafaa
Damn, Scalzi is turning out to be a bigger tool than I thought.

It was a bit amusing for me to see this, as on August 6th I was on my way back from GDCE. I currently have two games in development, one game in temporarily suspended development, and three more of my game designs will be in development shortly. (Hence my request for questions from experts in various games; I’d like to have at least 2,000 questions and answers before development starts.) Guests at my SAE-sponsored game development course that begins next month will include studio heads, lead game designers, veteran programmers, university professors, magazine editors, and other industry professionals who will share their perspectives on designing and developing games.

To have one writing credit on one failed mobile game doesn’t make you a dev. It means you’ve dipped your toe in the industry. (And to the real devs: if you had asked me, I would have told you a mobile rail shooter was very unlikely to work. Not all past mechanics are worth mining.) If John Scalzi genuinely wants to learn how the industry really works, he should take my course because he obviously knows very little about it. As Grummz wryly observed, one does not “write video games”. The insiders can always spot the fakers and the wannabes.

As for Scalzi’s frequent claims that I envy his career, I remind you of the Third Law of SJW: SJWs always project. And speaking of my career, here is a piece of concept art from one of our current projects in development.

Yes, that’s exactly what it looks like. Think of Joust, only with modern graphics, powerups, and the addition of a vertical element that involves goblins with catapults and orcs with scorpios. The hawk-riding elf is also armed with various magic spells for air-to-ground combat and he can ride other flying beasts with various abilities. I always wondered why there weren’t scads of Joustalikes, but I figured it out when I played the little-known Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest. John Newcomer transformed the core game from horizontal with vertical elements to a vertical game, which considerably changed the gameplay and made it very difficult while subtracting from the fun. That failure made Joust look like a dead end from a game development perspective; if the producers can’t make an effective sequel, who else can expect to do so.

So, I thought, what if we gradually brought in additional vertical elements to the horizontal game, plus provided powerups to prevent the difficulty from overwhelming the player too quickly? That turned into an arcade spinoff of my Elven Raider design that was signed by Elephant in 2008, but never made it into development. Although set in Selenoth, Elven Raider preceded A Throne of Bones. And as it happens, The Wardog’s Coin is what resulted when I turned one of the scenarios from Elven Raider into a short story.

This isn’t the only game we’re developing at the moment. Another one will be out in September, and I’ll post some screenshots in the next two weeks. The thing is, it is very clear that the big fish in science fiction don’t realize how small and insignificant their little pond is compared to the Vast Sea of Dev.

ASaltMineNamedZilla ‏@gameragodzilla
What games did he make again?

Bizz McTavish ‏@Bizz408
he’s not a Dev, he’s some B-list Sci-Fi writer

ASaltMineNamedZilla ‏@gameragodzilla
I know. Did he write any games worth talking about?

Bizz McTavish ‏@Bizz408
nope. he’s a nobody.

Silvertongue ‏@SilvertongueDvl
He’s writing for an ios game. He’s bragging about writing for a _mobile game_.

Drew ‏@omgMyCat
Miyamoto, Kojima, Romero, Scalzi… lmao

Midnight Star was released in February 2015. It has an average 68 review score from 8 critics on Metacritic. It does not have enough any user ratings. One can only conclude that John Scalzi should have written it better.

“Midnight Star sure looks promising, but comes up short in execution with
extremely watered down gameplay that is too bland, and repetitive to
recommend.”

Bland and repetitive gameplay in a mobile rail shooter? Who could possibly have foreseen that? In the meantime, KiA appears to have discovered ethics in SF journalism.