Each year for a while now there has been a tradition called Developer appreciation week. An event that started with the venerable Scary booster and has now been taken up by many others. It’s funny but in the previous years I never thought of it as a big deal, i just saw the mistakes being made and while I knew about the myriad of reasons behind those i didn’t really care that much.
Now, and the more I watch, experience and think about games and the industry the more I’m rather thankful for the rather thankless job the fill. The mistakes they made are often broadcast to so many. Every word is combed through and repeated back ad nauseam whenever an argument turns against them, me being a part of that too when the mood strike.
It would also be hard-working for such a creative medium with so much of it that is often out of your control. A restricted vision in terms of the time you have available and one that is often not entirely realised. Then you have a limited locus of control over the project. It’s a hard job in many ways but I’m very thankful someone is there to create these wonderful worlds and experiences.
One important point I also wanted to make regarding Developer appreciation week is a thanks to those that converse with the community. With the internet as toxic as it is now and so quick to judge that can’t be an easy thing to do. To open yourself up to attention and abuse.
And there are many out there doing well and in my mind it enriches the community in such an important way. Devs and managers like Mark Jacobs, Dave Georgeson Are so much more personal and of course get you more excited about the game as a result. I usually a more insular person too and it makes me want to be more a part of the larger community. Even community managers like say Joel Bylos from Funcom, and I still remember the work the firefall team did with creating weekly shows and engaging with the community on the forums and in-game. It’s something that has a tremendous positive influence on others and does well to shape a better narrative around these games.
So thank to all those, and of course the many I didn’t mention spending their time and energy engaging with the community. Sometimes it might not be appreciated, other times it might be attacked but in my mind it’s a very valuable thing.