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Opinion Why do we need so many devs? Valheim Was Made By 5 People And Sold Nearly 7 Million Copies

Shadowstar39

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Apr 25, 2018
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Back in the early days of 3D gaming developers would have to create everything from scratch including all of their game development tools and the 3D engine. For example the Half-Life 2 team consisted of 82 people and that included a brand new game engine and breakthrough physics technology.

Nowadays you're run of the mill triple A game has a staff of 300 plus people and they take years and years to come out with their iterative sequel. If most game developers can just use unreal engine, what's the real need for all those game developers complaining, unionizing, and shitting on their consumer base?
Honestly we could probably avoid $70 games by publishers taking a good hard look at their workforce and getting rid of the mouthbreathers who can barely write lines of code.
I must be getting old when someone calls Half-life 2 back in the day , or early era of 3d. :(

If you said half-life 1 then sure, Early era 3d to me is Ultima Underworld, Wolf3d, Quake, Descent, Wing Commander, X-wing, duke nukem, blood, etc...

Have you played valheim? it used ps1 era textures and low poly geometry, Not really state of the art, and probably easy to make. New AAA games are photo realiastic and require teams of artists, musicians, voice actors, motion actors, animators, coders, producers, directors, map designers, 3d modelers, texture makers, lighting people, bump/normal map makers, and of course coders, for engine, scripts, ai, ui, netcode, etc... The size of AAA games require this.

Btw I refunded valheim, not due to the graphics, as I liked that, but due to the grind and not scalling properly for single player. They really should scale these games to player count like borderlands and diablo do.
 
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BabyYoda

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Sep 9, 2020
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I agree with OP, The Ascent also has a tiny team, but looks AAA to me. They left AAA development because they were sick of how inefficient it was, you can get a lot more done with a smaller team of veterans, sure they had to work at AAA studios to get that experience, so no one's saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I think with great development software and the right talent, a small team could really impress and the pressure is not there to spend an absolute fortune on the superfluous (like massive marketing budgets or celeb VO).

Gaming for me was at it's best during the 16bit generation, at least in some ways, and surprise surprise, they were all small teams! You lose something when a team of passionate developers turns into a corporation. Why else are corps like Blizzard bleeding all of their talent, only to get together to form smaller companies? They get it I think, keep the team smallish, keep the culture, a place where everyone knows your name and focus on games and features that get you excited, none of the bureaucracy (this is why companies like Google and Amazon always fail at gaming)!
 
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Venom Snake

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Dec 7, 2019
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I like this one:


But in some cases, you also need one of these:


And i don't mean quality here.
 

LRKD

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Nov 11, 2020
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If that's what you think, then you clearly have absolute and total ignorance of Minecraft's modding and PvP scenes. Minecraft is so, so, so much more than what you're describing at this point - unless you're the kind of retard who's only experience of the game is Bedrock.

I genuinely laughed. The ignorance is just palpable.
Keep coping, I can't believe you genuinely brought up modding into the conversation :messenger_tears_of_joy::messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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KungFucius

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Jul 16, 2008
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I've seen good takes, bad takes, ridiculous takes and all sorts of takes in between. This has got to be the most uninformed one I've seen in years. Are you kidding me?

Nice. Such a nice way to put it.

Why do we need actual competent products when we can have a fad take off and be successful? Because we need a consistent stream of competent products to create and sustain markets big enough that silly little fads can blow up and make a lot of money before nobody cares about them anymore.
 

ItsTheNew

I believe any game made before 1997 is "essentially cave man art."
Mar 26, 2013
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Interesting to note: Fortnite BR was made by 11 Epic employees in 7 weeks.

The AAA industry has been creatively bankrupt for years and is susceptible to be outmanoeuvred by indie teams who value gameplay over production values.
NOOOOOOO a game can't be a hit with a smaller dev team, and if it is a hit IT MUST BE FOTM trash.
 

Varteras

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Dec 5, 2018
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There is certainly a ton of bloat in AAA development. Ubisoft and Activision are great examples. But a 5-man team could have never made God of War, Breath of the Wild, Grand Theft Auto V, or Final Fantasy XIV. Not in any remotely decent timeframe. You can absolutely tell the difference between AAA studios that have talent and are efficient and those who just try to throw people and money at the problems. There are plenty of examples of much better games being made by much smaller groups of people. But it also depends on the vision. What are you trying to create? If you're just building a relatively simplistic sandbox game then yeah. You don't need hundreds of devs. But if you're creating a highly detailed blockbuster style game then you're not going to pull that off with a handful of people. Ultimately, how many devs are used to make a game isn't really a problem for us. It's a problem for the companies paying for it. They need to recognize when they're overpaying for game development. As a consumer, you can do your part by choosing to not buy games from studios that are clearly soaking up money and developers while releasing subpar games for the cost.
 
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6502

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Jan 25, 2021
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Why don't you show them how to do it op?

Alternatively, if you are worried about waste of resources and lack of efficiency perhaps consider whether you are contributing to bettering mankind or just taking up space yourself before throwing stones.
 

namekuseijin

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Jun 10, 2020
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this game is the epitome of master race pc BS: the only reason it's a success is that kids laptops are too crappy to run new top games, so they resort to "new" games with graphics circa 2005...
 

nemiroff

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Feb 19, 2018
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I do like a lot of indie games, but for other reasons. I for one appreciate production value, and games like Red Dead Redemption 2 wouldn't be the same in indie format to say the least..
 

zcaa0g

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Sep 3, 2018
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Is 5 people why it doesn't have filtered textures and has low poly counts? It's not an art style, it's a resource issue even though filtered textures are easy to implement.
 

SSfox

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Jan 7, 2018
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You can have amazing games with 5 people team, just like you can have shitty game with 300 people development team.

What matters is the devs are passionate and have a vision of what they want.
 
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ACESHIGH

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May 16, 2020
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Sites like this one or the purple one can be so pro dev, pro publisher at times is annoying. OP is making a good argument here. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between the indie platformer or first person horror game and GTAV.

AAA games are bloated as fuck these days. Spending time and money in stuff like getting a Game of Thrones actor to voice a character (Destiny) or having the best cutscenes or motion capture. What happen to just making a damn good single player game? How much is enough? Old games like Silent Hill 2 are among the greatest of all time and guess what: They still look great. Why can't we have games with this scope more often?
 

PlayStaytion

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Dec 22, 2019
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The scope is different and it has nothing to do with creativity, some aaa publishers used to be making mega titles but no longer the case then lowered their gards to make double As and I don't care about technology when it comes to compensating manpower, it just didn't work for me, you could try a 20 plus yrs old mega titles and find that they still matches today's standards without the technology factor , technology is overrated and that's a fact cause you could look back at psone games and find that they still holding their value respectively , long story short a good game is a good game no matter what as phil spencer said .
 
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SSfox

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Sites like this one or the purple one can be so pro dev, pro publisher at times is annoying. OP is making a good argument here. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between the indie platformer or first person horror game and GTAV.

AAA games are bloated as fuck these days. Spending time and money in stuff like getting a Game of Thrones actor to voice a character (Destiny) or having the best cutscenes or motion capture. What happen to just making a damn good single player game? How much is enough? Old games like Silent Hill 2 are among the greatest of all time and guess what: They still look great. Why can't we have games with this scope more often?
Yup, you don't need a celebrity to make an iconic character, that's for sure, it could be more likely opposite (unless the actor really fits well), just look at John Marston and Arthur Morgan, both voiced by Rob and Roger actors that nobody knew before, obviously they have talent by weren't celebrity or something, and both made some of the most iconic voicing ever in gaming, same goes to Nathan and Nolan for example. Of course i can name millions examples in the same kind.
 
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Aion002

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Nov 21, 2019
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Only Valheim has legitimate depth where the majority of AAA output is skin deep.
I don't know about this game... But I will take your word on it.

Anyway, games like this are one in a million, while every year Ubisoft, Activision, Sony, MS and every other big game maker have to release 2 or 3 titles that sells a shit ton. They cannot wait for a small team to develop the next Minecraft or Fortnite, it's unrealistic and a gamble, they have to release games that are too big to fail.
 
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LRKD

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Nov 11, 2020
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minicrap AAA :messenger_tears_of_joy:
I mean in budget and employee numbers, Mojang has 600 employees and Microsoft money ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I imagine about 599 of those employees just get payed to pick their nose or something all year round.
this game is the epitome of master race pc BS: the only reason it's a success is that kids laptops are too crappy to run new top games, so they resort to "new" games with graphics circa 2005...
I can only run it at 20~ fps, and still get drops. I can't imagine how'd it play on most kids laptops. I can however run Destiny 2 at stable 55 fps, almost never see it drop. My pc is pretty good, outside of my 8 year old graphics card, so I'm not quite sure why I get such low fps in it, outside of it being a indie game, that is probably poorly optimized.
 

balt1kr1s

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May 17, 2021
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300+ people studios are not creating one game at the time, they work on different projects simultaneously to be released with certain consistency as this is required by their shareholders.
This is big business, more titles, more devs, more money - simple as that and you either like it or not.
AAA studios are relying on risk avoidance.
Games like Valheim are one of god knows how many early access relying on big luck and much lower financial risk - few people and game funded by players while is still in development

In short, once your grow to certain size you are looking more in to stability and lower risk.

This is a comparison of two completely different business models.
 
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itsjustJEFF

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Apr 12, 2018
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I think your line of thinking is valid and in some cases... it could potentially work, but unfortunately it's a gross simplification for a very very complex process/issue.

Not trying to offend, but this is a prime example of "Monday Quarterbacking" Unless you've been there and been a part of the process you really don't know what you're talking about. I get it, when you're passionate/care about something, been watching it or following it for many years, you're going to think you know, you're going to think you have a level of insight and you probably do... but it's not the same as doing it, it's just not.

Here are a few examples: 1. Fan's who know exactly how to stop Steph Curry from shooting 3 pointers, when other very good basketball players couldn't stop him 2. Fan's who knew exactly how to beat (Insert dominant MMA fighter name here) when other professionals couldn't beat him/her 3. Person who knows exactly how to turn around the fortunes of failing multinational corporation based on never having any experience doing so.
 

mr.dilya

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Jan 7, 2018
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We really don’t. Game devs these days think they are essential workers or something. A lot of them get paid less than 70k a year which demonstrates how worthless they are.
 
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mr.dilya

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Sites like this one or the purple one can be so pro dev, pro publisher at times is annoying. OP is making a good argument here. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between the indie platformer or first person horror game and GTAV.

AAA games are bloated as fuck these days. Spending time and money in stuff like getting a Game of Thrones actor to voice a character (Destiny) or having the best cutscenes or motion capture. What happen to just making a damn good single player game? How much is enough? Old games like Silent Hill 2 are among the greatest of all time and guess what: They still look great. Why can't we have games with this scope more often?

Totally agree fam.
 
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itsjustJEFF

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I wonder how the all seeing and knowing CEO of CD projekt red made so many mistakes on Cyberpunk, yet people outside of the project could see it.

Really gets my noodle going.
You call the CEO "All seeing and All knowing" what do you think your post makes you look like?
 
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mortal

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Apr 1, 2016
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I suppose if every game were literally Valhiem, your logic would make more sense lol
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Dec 9, 2012
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Yes, OP. I too yearn for the day when the entire gaming industry is indie survival games on Steam that are promoted by streamers and played by 12-20 year olds with nothing better to do. What a glorious, perfect paradise that would be. A tree-punching paradise.

Not sure why everyone is shitting on OP. I like AAA games sometimes too but stuff like Slay the Spire, Hades, and Dead Cells are more fun than most AAA ubisoft collect a thons that the industry is in love with now.
 
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ZehDon

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I wonder how the all seeing and knowing CEO of CD projekt red made so many mistakes on Cyberpunk, yet people outside of the project could see it.

Really gets my noodle going.
Blaming the CEO of a company for perceived deficiencies in a games design may be the dumbest thing posted yet. The board of CDPR pushed the game out too early. So, just say that.

Do you think Bobby Kotick is to blame for the "three lane" design of COD's multiplayer maps?
 

Optimus Lime

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Dec 24, 2010
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Not sure why everyone is shitting on OP. I like AAA games sometimes too but stuff like Slay the Spire, Hades, and Dead Cells are more fun than most AAA ubisoft collect a thons that the industry is in love with now.
Because the OP is confused, makes stupid claims, and never actually addresses what Valheim has to do with anything.

Honestly we could probably avoid $70 games by publishers taking a good hard look at their workforce and getting rid of the mouthbreathers who can barely write lines of code, bankrupting the company.
That's a pretty big claim - about the pricing, about the workforces used by studios, and about how much of that workforce is 'mouthbreathers'.

His argument is in the title - 'Valheim was made by 5 people and sold nearly 7 million copies'. That has nothing to do with the content of his post, and it's also irrelevant. Valheim is a limited indie game which is entirely built from the parts of older, more successful titles. It's success implies absolutely jack shit about how games in the more mainstream AAA space are produced.

So, that's why. If he wants to have a conversation about the potential for the indie development scene to create breakout titles, that's a great argument. If he has insights into bloat in game dev, based on his personal experience, he should definitely post them. As it stands, he's just babbling nonsense.
 

iamvin22

Industry Verified
Jan 22, 2010
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People demand experiences like Uncharted, RE Village, Final Fantasy and GTA. Do you think those games will ship within a reasonable timeframe with only a handful of people working on it? Or do you want every game to be indie like? Workforce increased for a reason, not because they're all dumb fucks who can't write code.
"shhh! Let him dream"
 
Jan 16, 2020
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Interesting to note: Fortnite BR was made by 11 Epic employees in 7 weeks.

The AAA industry has been creatively bankrupt for years and is susceptible to be outmanoeuvred by indie teams who value gameplay over production values.

11 epic employees took the core and assets of a game made by 90+ devs over the course of multiple years and made a new mode out of it in 7 weeks, you mean
 
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SenjutsuSage

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Jan 23, 2010
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Which major videogame publisher CEO is this? Take Two CEO, that you? Those greedy, greedy little game developers, causing games to be $70 and shit.. :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 

Optimus Lime

Gold Member
Dec 24, 2010
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There's quite a few posters that agree with me or understand the point that im trying to make. Maybe your reading comprehension is a little too low?
Great! Then, perhaps you can explain why you never said anything about Valheim in your original post beyond the title, and you can tell us where you're getting your assertions regarding 'mouthbreathers' in gamedev from. Which studios have you worked for? Genuinely interested to know.
 
Jan 16, 2020
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Great! Then, perhaps you can explain why you never said anything about Valheim in your original post beyond the title, and you can tell us where you're getting your assertions regarding 'mouthbreathers' in gamedev from. Which studios have you worked for? Genuinely interested to know.

You should listen to him

He got a character to move in UE4 using pre-made assets

He knows what he's talking about
 
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lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
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i dont think thats how game development works.
 

oagboghi2

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Apr 15, 2018
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Sites like this one or the purple one can be so pro dev, pro publisher at times is annoying. OP is making a good argument here. There has to be a middle ground somewhere between the indie platformer or first person horror game and GTAV.

AAA games are bloated as fuck these days. Spending time and money in stuff like getting a Game of Thrones actor to voice a character (Destiny) or having the best cutscenes or motion capture. What happen to just making a damn good single player game? How much is enough? Old games like Silent Hill 2 are among the greatest of all time and guess what: They still look great. Why can't we have games with this scope more often?
No he isn’t making a good point at all. Neither are you. Have you seen the budget of a lot of these old games? It’s funny watching people bash expensive games made today, and praise older games that cost millions and had large staffs for the time.

most resources in game development go to making new assets. You can have all the money in the world, but money isn’t going to pre-viz and visual development by itself. It’s not going to create 3D models, rig them, and animate them frame by frame by a deadline. Programming, sound, network testing, just to name a few. A large project requires people.

A lot of indie games are made by essentially outsourcing a lot of that asset creation by using recycled code and modifying pre-made content you buy off a store. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that, but most publisher franchises have higher standards.
There is a expectation when you play a game like ghosts of Tsushima for example, the assets were hand crafted for that game. Not downloaded off the unity store, ran through blender and call it a day.

OP comes off as childish and misinformed. He sounds like the clients I have who expect a single engineer to make Amazon and Netflix in a day
 
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