Total War Battles: Shogun lead Renaud Charpentier is of the opinion that up to 70% of games on the market “aren’t good enough.”
Speaking with Edge during the Unite 2012 conference in Amsterdam last month, Charpentier feels more developers focus on the technological aspect instead of prototyping and refining gameplay.
“When you look at the market, probably 20 to 30% of the games are confident, and maybe 60 to 70% are not good enough,” he said. “Usually, they run. Most of them don’t crash – most are competent technically. Most of them look okay or even good, but they play like shit.
“[Developer’s] biggest risk is not on the tech, not on the art, it’s on the design. You have to front-load that: it has to drive many of the other decisions. Hopefully that’s something we manage to do at Creative Assembly, and that we managed to do with Battles, but it’s still something that I think is lacking [in the industry] and it has to change.
“We can’t keep releasing games that anyone can tell are not interesting to play after 30 minutes when 20 or 30 people spent two years working on them. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Charpentier said its impossible for a developer to turn a “turd into a great game to play” with just a few weeks left in the production cycle; therefore more emphasis must be placed on design as well as prototyping early on in development.
“Is not about writing a 100-page document of design that is totally useless, no one will read and will be out of date by the time they do,” he said. “It’s about crafting the game. For that you need tech that is ready. But the engineer tells you the animation system for combat won’t be ready in four months. What do you do? You’re blocked. You can’t be absolutely sure that certain timings will work [or] certain controls.
“As a player, I hate going through the burden of downloading a game, installing it, rebinding the controller, going through the tutorial, playing another couple of hours and then realising it’s fucking boring.”
Total War Battles: Shogun now available for PC and Mac.