The absurdity of the game industry

I’ve been involved in the game industry in one way or another for a long time.

I got my start as a modder; I did level design, texture design, music as well as some coding, even flirting briefly with a small gaming studio startup.

I also wrote in the gaming industry for a bit before I started GGN, which is my biggest side hustle at the moment.

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of things. I grew up as a gamer with an Atari 2600, NES, and ancient “personal computers”. I’ve played some real lemons (including the E.T. game for Atari, which was so frustratingly bad).

I have a lot of tolerance for “bad” in games if there are redeeming qualities.

I enjoyed Anthem’s movement and combat systems.

Breakpoint launched GGN.

I eventually grew to like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

Star Citizen occupies a big part of my heart.

I say this because I am playing the latest “bad” game, and for the most part I’m enjoying it.

Forspoken has a number of flaws, but also a number of beautiful moments.

First, let me say this about the main character, Frey: I like her. I feel like she’s well written for the type of character she is. I am reading her character as someone with PTSD or Borderline Personality Disorder (or both/more): I recognize these mental illnesses from my experiences interacting with others who suffer from them. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but I believe the delivery works, and I feel for her in a way that seems to be lost on most people (plus, she’s got an incredible voice actor behind her pixels).

What isn’t a beautiful moment, however, was a side quest that ended up having me feed some sheep.

One of the (admittedly many) valid criticisms of this game is the fade-to-black cutscenes and interruptions to controls. There’s a lot of them.

One in particular involved you feeding some sheep.

Now, most game developers would have you do a really basic hand out animation while the sheep approaches and noms on something in your hand. Forspoken is no stranger to grabbing your character and placing them in a specific place for a cutscene, so this seems like it’d be a no-brainer, right?

Wrong. Instead, you get a fade to black, and..


I am not. Even. Kidding.

This has to be one of the most laziest things I have ever seen in a “AAA” game (that costs $70 USD; thankfully I didn’t pay full price because I had a bunch of store cred in my Steam acct).

Look, the combat, magic and parkour in this game is spectacular. Voice acting? Fantastic. I don’t even hate the writing really.

Everything else, though.. For $70? This is definitely a “wait for a big sale” game.

Hopefully by then they’ll have fixed more of the issues, but.. “Fed the sheep” deserves to become a meme with how bad it is as it pertains to modern AAA game design.