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The Truth About Game Development is a sarcastic glimpse at modern game development: you play a game producer, and your goal is straightforward: to produce the best possible game, in a fixed time, and at minimum cost.

The main screen of the game is dominated by a big Donkey Kong-like platform in a gloomy factory, on which your developers (aka "slaves") move along slowly, working on your game. The speed of their movement shows how hard they work -- the quicker they move, the better your game will be; that is, the more of it will be finished in time.

There are two simple means to motivate your workers: The first is to increase their wages -- but that costs money, of course. A cost-free alternative is firing ("killing") a slow and lazy slave, which will greatly motivate all his co-slaves, if only for a limited time. But careful -- kill too many, and your workers will start to revolt.

The quality of the game you will produce is measured in three sections: graphics, gameplay and marketing. The "Budget" screen allows you to divide the worker's productivity between those categories -- the more you allocate to one section, the quicker the quality of the game in that section will improve.

Most of the few minutes that this game lasts is spent by staring at your workers gradually slowing down, and meditating about whether you should kill one more or not. This is sometimes interrupted by a random event where you often will have to decide. An example is one of the slaves having an original idea, which will create more favorable reviews, but which will take time to implement.

At the end of a fixed time (or after an all-out rebellion if you kill too many slaves), the game is released and shipped, and you will get an evaluation of you work, depending on the quality of the game's reviews, the number of games sold and the total money spent.


The Truth About Game Development Windows Graphics and marketing are okay, now let's see if we can get some gameplay into it...
The Truth About Game Development Windows The end. Not a bad score this time.
The Truth About Game Development Windows Some random events lead to automatic slave killing.
The Truth About Game Development Windows The quotation that inspired the game.

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Alternate Titles

  • "TAGD" -- Common Abbreviation

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User Reviews

Fun and surprisingly deep, but somewhat unpolished General Error (4364) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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This game was inspired by a design experiment post on Darius Kazemi's blog. If you look in the comments of the post, you can see Petri Purho's initial response.

Related Web Sites

  • Kloonigames: Games (The official home page for this and other games of the Purho's experimental done-in-under-a-week games series.)
General Error (4364) added The Truth About Game Development (Windows) on Mar 28, 2007