Loot Drop here I go

That’s right,  my stint at Loot Drop has come to an end after five weeks.  If you’re thinking, “did they fire him?”,  you’re thinking along the right lines.  Why did they fire me?  Hmm, the official reasons in my termination letter include that I wasn’t good enough and that I asked too many questions.  Unofficially,  I was probably too blunt when criticizing my new bosses,  something that I’ve always been guilty of.  So I guess my career as a game programmer has come to an ignominious end.  Who would hire me now?

Fortunately I can still hire myself, so it’s back to doing independent game development, and no,  I’m not touching facebook game development,  at least not the way things stand right now as of mid-2011.

Why,  what’s so bad about facebook game development?  Just think of the money!

I’ll tell you what’s bad,  these things aren’t fun to play,  at least not for me.  Call me antisocial,  but I prefer the single-player fun games like the Halos, Mass Effects and Donkey Kong Country returns.  Farmville?  no thanks.  And I’ve even been known to grow tomatoes, strawberries and chives,  but in the real world where I can taste the fruits of my labors.

The worst part though is spammy feeling that pervades these games.  I hate spam.   I’m not going to subject my friends to a continuous barrage of spam about which games I’m playing.  The whole focus is on the “friend grind”,  getting your friends to play this “game”, if you can call it that,  and then their friends, etc.  Sounds like a pyramid scheme,  and we old-timers all know what happens to pyramid schemes: they collapse into a heap of misery and broken dreams when they run out of victims.

A rather bizarre thing for me was seeing my baby,  the isometric game,  still flourishing on facebook,  and all I could see is the technological backwardness of it.  Why are we trying to do fake 3D when real 3D games built with real 3D engines are so easy to develop now,  even for cheap phones?

Even weirder is the monetization aspects of facebook games.  Did you know that only 2 percent of all players actually pay,  and paying players spend an average of $100 per game?  The developers aim at extracting as much money from the few and the rich.  It doesn’t really matter what the other 98% are experiencing,  because they don’t pay.

And so concludes yet another rant,  hopefully the last one for a while.



About Franz Lanzinger

Franz Lanzinger is a classic video game developer with video game credits for Atari's coin-op Crystal Castles, Tengen Ms. Pacman, SNES Rampart, and the Gubble series. He has a degree in mathematics, wrote "Classic Game Design", a book about how to make classic video games, and is a professional pianist, accompanist and piano teacher.
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