Yesterday, Polygon printed a book exerpt by Phil Owen that made what I consider to be the ultimate rookie mistake in the ‘are games art?’ discussion. They suggested that game designers and developers are failing at art because games do not do some things as well, such as storytelling, as the movies. While this is, in fact, true, it’s also a very silly point of view. It’s roughly akin to saying ‘movies can’t give detailed prose as well as books can, so they fail at art!’ or ‘music doesn’t do character development the way that television does, so it fails as art!’
Each genre or medium of communication and art has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each has elements that are true challenges for that genre, and other areas where it simply crushes other genres. Television didn’t really succeed until it stopped trying to be radio, for example, and embraced doing visual things that it does well. It took a while for TV to mature as well – some would argue that the genre took sixty years to mature, and didn’t fully until the advent of premium television and rise of quality serial television. Even that was a product of the times — binge-watching on Netflix makes serial television a net positive, where in previous decades it was more likely to bewilder viewers and push them away.
Today, Total Biscuit released a video titled ‘I will now talk about negative Mad Max reviews for just over 40 minutes‘, and whatever the hell else you can say about it, it is an accurate assessment of what he has to say. It is also quite silly (although to be fair, I agree with much of the last 15 minutes of him rant), but still there’s a lot in this that made me quite cranky. Here are my thoughts:
Last Tuesday, I launched a game. It’s doing quite well.
Boss Fight Entertainment released Dungeon Boss in a worldwide release on Tuesday in partnership with our publisher, Big Fish Games. This marks my first foray into mobile gaming, and indeed my first serious work on a published title that was not an MMO of some sort. So it was quite a novel experience for me, and quite frankly one that I needed.
The game has been doing exceedingly well so far. Google featured it on their store on Wednesday, and Apple returned the favor and added on an Editor’s Choice award (and a really nice review) on Thursday, which has just resulted in our numbers shooting into the stratosphere. It’s currently sitting as the #1 most downloaded RPG and the #2 most downloaded Free-to-Play game on the Apple store behind Happy Wheels . Our revenue position still has a ways to go, but this publically available list here claims that we’re number 30, and we’ve been rising steadily as our population gets deeper into and more invested in the game.
According to AppAnnie, we’ve reached the #1 RPG spot for 70 different countries. However, we’ve only taken the #1 game spot in one country – Latvia, oddly enough – though we’ve hit top 5 in 24. While this is all incredibly heady stuff and the chart-watching makes for a pleasant way to spend the holiday weekend, when we get back it will be entirely about how to make the game even better, as well as holding our breath to see if the metric patterns we see extrapolate moving forward like they did in beta. If so, Dungeon Boss is well positioned to be a huge part of the App Store landscape for years to come, and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.