Disclaimer: None of this story is accurate to real life or even close. It is inspired from the fun I had whilst playing Kairosoft's "Game Dev Story". Only the world, event names, console names and certain environments described are borrowed from the game. All characters and major plot points are mine.
Author Note: As said earlier in the disclaimer, this story is inspired from the wonderfully addictive game of "Game Dev Story" by Kairosoft. I cannot press this enough, but, this is just a piece of fiction for fun. I am not gaining any profit from it, I am not trying to break any copyright laws, I am not trying anything stupid. It's near the end of exam times, I haven't done anything on FictionPress for ages, so I decided to write something inspired by something that I love. I also know nothing about game development so do not trust anything that I've written, I have done no research whatsoever so to all those game development enthusiasts, I am very, truly sorry.
Don't read the story if you don't like it. Reviews are nice, but please no flames.
To anyone who hasn't played any of Kairosoft's games (available on iTunes for about 5-6 bucks each), you should. You're missing out on a great heap of fun. Now, after a disclaimer and a huge author's note where I talked about crap all and even managed to advertise the awesome games, I think I should start with my story. Enjoy.
My name is Chris Zanford. I am 21 years old. After wasting my life for just under two decades doing nothing but sit on my ass, eat and game, I decided to do something of my life. I decided to be a game maker. So, I did all the proper education, was one of the top ten people in my class. But in the midst of the global recession, I guess everyone's budget was tight, I couldn't get employed.
That is, until I got a call from Epik Gaming. A tiny, brand new company that started out a couple weeks before. You couldn't really call it a company. Not really.
I arrived gleefully only to find that the company was located at a city apartment. Two desks were placed in a manner that whoever worked there would be able to see one another and four low-tech computers were set up. The table was placed near one wall and a huge desk was placed near the opposite wall. A secretary welcomed me and escorted me to the president of the company in the next room of the apartment.
He had a suit on, but I knew it was only a cheap one. He introduced himself to me: Jared Klapton. I recognized the surname and he laughed.
"Yeah, everyone does. I'm the son of Mike Klapton. Founder of Klapton Media.
My jaw fell onto the ground. Even though the outward appearance of the company was so mundane, it was being run by the son of the founder of the number one media empire on Earth.
"I'm so sorry, but if you're the son of Mike Klapton, why is it that this company so small? Couldn't you just get the funding for it all from your father?" I asked.
He sighed, "I guess, but I wanted the indipendence. I wanted to prove to my father that I can do this. That I can run a company from scratch and make it big and this is what I managed to start off with, all on my own." He continued to the point straight away, "Now, as I understand it, you've spoken to Jessica, my secretary about the job requirements and the details of your pay, correct?"
"Right," he stood, "now, if you would like to follow me, I would like to introduce you to the rest of your colleagues."
We entered the computer room, now filled with people. Jared cleared his throat and everyone gave him their fullest attention. "Everyone, I would like you to meet our newest recruit, Chris Zanford."
"Welcome," was the reply that I got from my three colleagues.
Jared pointed to the lone empty computer, "I guess there's not much else unfortunately. That is where you will work." He then pointed to the big desk on the other side of the room, "And that is where we come up with the game proposals. Now, for the rules."
I walked over to my computer and sat down. "Rules?"
"Yes. In this company, it is all about equality. We are all responsible to developing the games. Everyone needs to respect everyone. My secretary should be listened to at all times and I get the final say at which games should be released. Understood?"
"I guess so." I mumbled.
"Good," Jared smiled, "Now, our first meeting as a whole company will start at the proposal desk in ten minutes. Chris, welcome to the company."
"Thank you." I said as Jared turned around and walked back into the other room with his secretary.
The woman across from me stood up and reached over the computers for a handshake. I stood up and shook her hand.
"The name's Callie McAll – sound engineer. Nice to meet you." She smiled.
The man who looked in his fifties next to me patted my back, "welcome to the company son, I'm John Smite. Coder. And that one over there," he motions to the man sitting opposite of him, "is Mack Laylard. He's our main writer. He don't talk too much."
"So what do you specialise in Chris?" Callie asked cheerfully.
"Specialise in?" I asked.
"You know, what are you better at in game developing. Like me and John said, I specialise in sound engineering whilst John specialises in the coding of the game. Of course, we all chip in to everything for each game."
"Oh, okay," I paused as I thought, "I don't know, I think I'm an all-rounder?"
Callie and John laughed. "Well, we'll soon find out what you specialise in."
"So, is this, like, the first day for all you guys?" I asked innocently.
"Oh, no. You see, Mack and I started when the company first began, but because of only the two of us, Jared only gave us contract jobs. So we've been very discrete when it comes to the gaming world." John explained quickly.
"Yeah, and I only joined a month ago. Then, as a test, Jared allowed us to try at making games. Unfortunately, that idea went down the drain, it never passed the alpha stage. He then knew that we needed to have at least four people to create games." Callie joined in.
"I've gotcha, so that means, Epik Gaming hasn't created any games at all?" I asked.
"In the two months that it's been up, no. But I've got a feeling that now that you're hired, that we'll be able to create something soon." Callie answered cheerfully.
Jared and Jessica entered the room once more and approached the proposal desk. "All right guys, meeting time is now."
We all stood up and sat down at the proposal desk with Jared and Jessica being at one end, overlooking us all.
"Now, from Jess' amazing contacts in the industry, she has managed to find that the respectable gamin online magazine, 'Game Guy' has mentioned our arrival into the gaming industry in the March issue:
'Competition in the game industry continues to heat up as newcomer Epik Gaming enters the market. We look forward to seeing what they have in store for us. It will need to be impressive to make an impact in this crowded market.'
"Yes it wasn't even that big, but look at it this way, the word is out, we're here. More job opportunities will come along. This is, by all means, a good start." Jared explained.
"What kind of job opportunities are we talking about here?" John asked, "are we finally able to make games?"
Jared sighed, "unfortunately, our finances are a bit down so I believe it is best that we do a couple more contract jobs to balance out the finance sheets first before developing a game."
"Oh, bull shit! You know that it'll be more beneficial for our finances if we start making games at an early stage." John growled.
"It might be, but," Jared pointed at Jessica and himself, "Mrs. Dunt and I believe that it'd be safer if we took things slowly. One contract job at a time."
"Oh come on," John started before he was interrupted.
"Actually, I believe this is the best way to go about things too." Mack said his first words since I met him. Even everyone was surprised. I guess Mack never says unnecessary things to anybody.
"Look, John, I'm sorry, but it's final. We will only be taking on contracts job for just a little more while." Jared continued, "Also, onto the next point, Senga has notified that they will be releasing a new console. We have been invited to the ceremony. Now, Mrs. Dunt and I believe that it would be beneficial if we were able to bring you guys along to witness the gaming industry at one of it's high-point. Unfortunately, it seems that we are only allowed to take one of you."
"Ooh! Ooh! I wanna go!" Callie put her hand up enthusiastically.
"No, no. I believe it should be Newbie that goes. You haven't had any experience in the gaming industry have you Newbie?" John asked.
"No, not really, unfortunately." I answered quietly.
Jared thought for a bit.
"But I wanna go! I love these revelation conferences. There's so many interesting characters to meet." Callie complained.
"You just want to see how many guys' numbers you can get." John teased, Callie opened her mouth to answer back but was cut off by Jared.
"No, I believe John is correct on this one. I think it'll be a very good learning experience for Chris to see how competitive the gaming industry is like. So, how about it Chris, are you interested in coming to the Senga release conference?"
"Really?" I asked.
"Of course really, don't worry, we won't force you too. As you can see, there is somebody else that would like to go to the conference." Jared chuckled.
Callie leaned on me to whisper in my ear. "Please say no, I really want to go."
I laughed and shook my head. I agreed with John's and Jared's reasoning. It would be good for me to go. "Alright, I'll go."
Callie melodramatically slumped her head on the desk, "no...but I wanted to go..."
Everyone laughed, except for Mack. He just shook his head.
"Alright now, we've got new contract jobs, which one should we accept? KidW24 Studios is looking for someone to design a comic book to be included in their latest game, the working title for the game is: "Killing Hardy", it is a Horror, adventure game. Trackz Games are looking for someone to help design a character for their new puzzle-adventure game and Shalom Studios are looking for a company to come up with an insightful and interesting scenario for their upcoming shooter game."
"How are the pays?" John asked.
Jared whistled, "Unfortunately, very moderate pays, these companies are all pretty new like ours. Around $160K or so."
I choked on my water, "$160,000?"
Callie chuckled, "this is the gaming industry, 160 grand is nothing compared to how much everything else costs."
I collected myself, what Callie said made sense.
"All right, let's go for the one which pays the most money. The sooner we get our finances up, the sooner we can start making games!" John exclaimed.
"Okay, the Game Scenario job it is then. Mrs. Dunt will send the details of the jobs to your computers. That is it for the meeting for now, let's get to work!" Jared exclaimed.
Everyone stood to go to their respective desks.
"Chris, before you get to work, I need you to sign some papers for the trip to the Senga press conference." Jared stopped me.
"Of course, no problem." I said.
"I hope it all hasn't been to fast for you." Jared said kindly, giving me a pen and sliding the paperwork to me. I started signing them.
"No, it's all been quite exciting actually." I answered.
"That is wonderful," Jared murmured. I handed him all the paperwork and his pen back to him. He smiled, "all right. Thank you Chris."
I smiled and I went to my desk and started my work.
Senga Release Press Conference Day
I wsas surprised at the amount of people at the conference. Jared pointed out to me that not all of the people there were from game companies like ours but quite a few were fans of Senga and researchers from other big companies like Senga itself. Learning about what Senga's console is going to be and how they can improve their own console to be more popular than it.
Soon, by 10 o'clock, the time the press conference was scheduled to start, the whole hall was filled with people, I was nearly choking from the amount of people that were actually there.
The spokesperson stood at the podium and eveyone was soon silent to listen to him.
"Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. I am Sam Thompson, founder of Senga and proud creator of our latest console. As you know, Senga has come a long way from its humble beginnings and seeing that it is only the beginning of the evolution of gaming, we will be continuously finding ways to improve our games and gaming system.
"When I say that I am the creator of our new console, I mean that I was the project manager of it. I do not take full credit of it as our talented group of researchers and hardware engineers have basically done all of the hard work.I've just been the nasty boss with a dream, kicking their asses when I think they're taking too long. No, I'm only kidding, I just reduce their salaries when they are taking too long."
The whole crowd chuckled with Sam Thompson.
"Anyhow, without further ado, I would like to present to you, Senga's newest console. The state-of-the-art: The Exodus!"
The screen behind him lit up showing the whole crowd the Exodus. Everyone cheered so loud my ears started ringing. Sam soon calmed the crowd down to continue talking.
"Isn't she amazing? And don't worry, you can be sure that we will be releasing lots of fun games for the Exodus! So stay tuned everyone, it won't be long till the Exodus will be in your local shops along with brand new games.
"The initial shipment for the Exodus is planned to be 990,000 units and at a reasonable price, so please, buy an Exodus to experience the latest generation of gaming. Gaming will not be as you have experienced it before. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. As always, a Q&A session will be in session at 12 noon so if any of you have got any questions about the Exodus, come along."
The screen switched off and Sam Thompson stepped down from his podium, and went backstage. Slowly, the excited crowd made their way out into the foyer.
"Are we going to the Q&A session?" I asked Jared.
"No, I believe we should keep focusing on our contract jobs for the moment and worry about whether or not to buy a licence to create games for the Exodus or not later." Jared answered.
Ignoring others, we made our way out of the hall. I knew, from what we had just experienced then, that Jared wanted to one day be like Sam Thompson. And because of this knowledge and the experiences that I had gained, I was motivated to work hard.
4 Months Later
"Yes!" we all groaned after an exhausting game scenario job that had the deadline of 8 weeks. We managed to finish it with a few days to spare.
"Great job guys, another job well done. Now, I have some good news everyone. Listen up." Jared said as he entered the computer room.
Everyone paid attention and stayed silent.
"We are now ready to develop our first game." Jared announced.
Everyone cheered, except for Mack. He just smiled and cleaned his glasses. I was excited too. It's been six long months of constant contract jobs for me, I was stoked for our first game.
"Now, both Mrs. Dunt and I believe that it'll be of the company's best interest not to buy a licence to create Exodus games and to stick to creating PC games as there will most probably be quick advances in gaming technology to come."
Everyone murmured in agreement to his decision.
"Now, who feels up for making a written game proposal?" Jared asked.
"I reckon Mack should take the first go at it since his speciality is writing." Callie commented.
"I agree, even though our last attempt never made it alpha stage, I believe that Mack's game proposal had promise in it. And now that we've got Chris, we can definitely finish a game that we will be proud of." John said.
"Okay, Mack, are you willing to make a game proposal?" Jared asked.
"Great, are you able to have one done by next week?" Jared asked.
Mack nodded again.
"Excellent. This is it guys! We're finally properly entering the game industry!" Jared exclaimed.
At that moment, I had realised my calling in life. I couldn't wait to start making games.