Ask a Game Dev — Lightning Mailbag: Bag-el Bites

It’s another Lightning Mailbag da, meaning short answers for multiple questions. So let’s begin!


Since it’s possible that Sony will want to milk a new market with God of war. I’m curious as to why they haven’t done Bloodborne yet? It seams like every time a Sony game is given PC port the other question is “why not Bloodborne?” I’ve heard that apparently Sony is jealous about that it was successful while it wasn’t made by them but that seams dumb.

I suspect that they will if God of War does well. They brought Horizon Zero Dawn to PC in August of 2020, God of War launches in January 2022, so other PS4 exclusives like Bloodborne, Last of Us, or Ghosts of Tsushima seem like fair game after that.

A follow-up on the Sony/God of War question: what about the people who would buy the console in order to play future exclusive games, but who now think “they will release it on Steam in 3 years anyway, might as well wait and not buy the console”?

There are so few of them that will actually follow through on this for the reasons stated that they are statistically insignificant.


You mentioned that mobile games need to spend more on marketing than on development. Do mobile developers in the trenches (gameplay/level designers, artists, programmers) mind the fact that the vast majority of the game’s budget is going into marketing instead of into the game itself?

Not to my knowledge. Those in the trenches don’t usually get much insight into the marketing budget or the marketing itself unless we are involved with those initiatives or we’re just particularly nosy and want to know. Most of us just focus on what we’re working on directly – our schedules, our tasks, and our milestones.

Hey I have a game in my mind but a question hovered into my mind. The question is: Do I need to ask for a writer’s approval for me who is following his story as the game plot?

You need permission if you use anything copyrighted. That means a specific story, characters, names, locations, plot details, etc. If you make up your own (similar) story, you don’t need the writer’s permission.


Several different FPS games of the past year or so have added grapples. Is there some technical reason this has become more feasible, or is it a stylistic trend?

It’s stylistic. There was a grapple mod available for the original Quake (1996).

You mentioned there is not a common academic curriculum on level design and most designers are self taught. I’d the rise of game colleges changing this?

Not that I’ve seen yet, but hope springs eternal.


How prevalent is cheating in online games? It’s very common for people to accuse others of cheating when they lose a fight/game, but I wondered how much of that is actually true. Would companies even share information like that, for fear of making their game look bad?

It depends on the game. Generally speaking, cheating is not very prevalent for very long because widespread cheating tends to make players quit. Most of the time, cheating (like piracy) is a question of ease. The easier it is to cheat, the more commonplace it becomes.

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Tóraidhe: Phosphorescent ( 2020 ) by Aaron McBride

Concept for my personal graphic novel project ‘ Tóraidhe’ More here: View this on ArtStationAaron McBride on ArtStation Source link

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