I just played the demo for Bloodstained… and I’m genuine terrified for the game’s future. It’s exactly what I wanted and expected it to be… but that also described my reaction to Mighty No. 9 from the demo, and everyone hates that game, so… how do I know that won’t be true here?
What burned up all of Mighty No. 9‘s fandom goodwill isn’t really anything to do with the game’s content. It’s that Mighty No. 9 was atrociously managed as a project, falling prey to poor communication, repeated delays, constantly shifting promised features, and other sundry issues that, taken together, managed to alienate a big chunk of the game’s backers before it ever came out.
Which isn’t entirely uncommon. Mighty No. 9 became merely the latest in an increasingly common trend of rock-star game designers trying to go independent via crowdfunding, and entirely failing to understand that being a good game designer and being a good project manager are totally different skill sets. Heck, the big budget video game crowdfunding trend started with a project that ended up being hilariously mismanaged because a rock-star designer thought he could fly solo – anybody remember Broken Age?
The critical difference in Bloodstained’s case is that Koji Igarashi has extensive experience as a producer as well as a designer. That alone should be reassuring – the guy’s far less likely to pull a Tim Schafer simply because he’s frequently been the one responsible for whipping poorly managed projects into shape. This is not his first rodeo, as the saying goes.
rock-star game designers trying to go independent via crowdfunding, and entirely failing to understand that being a good game designer and being a good project manager are totally different skill sets.
Haven’t you heard?
John Romero’s about to make you his bitch