DevTycoon is a game of a small Polish studio founded by Denis Szwarc. Here we become the head of a software company and it depends on us in which direction our career will go. We must take care of finances, employees, morale, deadlines and continuous development. In other words, just like in reality, we start with small orders to climb up. The graphics are made in the popular for some time lowpoly technology. It fits the character and subject matter of the game. It is legible, simple and does not overwhelm with a million details at the start.
I have such a tendency that before I click on "New Game", I look at the options menu. In DevTycoon, the settings are limited to a single screen with graphic properties and sound levels. Small games based on Unity engine are often optimized enough and that's the case here. I have run the game on my laptop (i5-4300U/8GB RAM and with integrated graphics card) without any problems in the default settings, while on my desktop (i5-3470/16GB RAM/GTX670 2GB) the game runs smoothly in the highest settings in FullHD resolution. In both cases I didn't notice drops below 30 fps, it's not a dynamic shooter anyway, so the frame rate is not the most important here.
Before starting a new game we have to choose the name and surname of our hero and choose his first three skills. The tree in the current version of the game is simple and refers to the generally understood webdevelopment. In the future other development paths will be added. After choosing the skills and buying the first location, our command center appears to us. Currently the main game mechanics are working:
- Notifications - upcoming bill payments, summary of executed orders, etc.
- Hiring employees - if you do not have the right wage or skill set for you, you can look for someone else.
- Orders - the basic and most important element of the game.
- Finances - a review of income and expenses, if we do not want to remember about upcoming fees, we can hire an accountant.
- Employee Development - detailed information about skills and the development tree.
- Information about the currently selected employee and his/her level.
- Information about the account balance and the number of fans.
- Menu of equipment and purchase of furniture/equipment for the office.
- View of the area.
Eat, Sleep, Code, Repeat
Before we accept the first order, we need to go to the equipment menu and buy at least the cheapest desk with a computer, and then assign a programmer to it.
If we have done so, open the order menu and look for a suitable task. In addition to the information about the required time and salary, we must pay attention to whether we have the right skills to complete the task in the required time. Technologies that we have not yet mastered will be marked in red. The number of units required to build a module is also important. A more experienced programmer will do the work faster and with fewer errors.
On the right side of the screen there will appear a panel where you have to click "Create project" and in the window displayed select the appropriate components for building a new application. They must match the list of previously required components.
The last step is to assign a programmer to work on a selected module. Drag the icon over the component to be executed. If a red marker appears instead of a green one, it means that the employee does not have the required skills. This is one of the strategic elements of game mechanics. At a later stage we can specialize programmers and assign them tasks from specific areas. After assigning tasks, work on them will start automatically. When it is finished, the component will be highlighted in green. It is also worth remembering that the less experienced employee is assigned to this job, the more time he/she will waste on correcting mistakes, which he/she will also necessarily make more. We can submit an application with errors, but it is associated with penalties.
After receiving the prize, we take another job, earn again, we can afford to pay the bills, another employee. We acquire new skills, perform better paid tasks, buy a bigger office and so on.
In the current early stage of development the game provided me with about 1-1.5 hours of fun. Although there were some minor errors in the operation (incorrect graphics display, sometimes not working buttons / controls, sometimes even the program has suspended), but for the alpha version is normal, so this element is not subject to rigorous evaluation. The game starts and is playable. As I described above, it is a simple scheme, but it reflects well the basic and main element of the game mechanics of this genre. We will have to wait for a more complex model and I'm curious what the authors will come up with and offer to the players. Personally, I would definitely like to see a simple tutorial or slightly remodel the order execution system, because it is not very intuitive, and added autosave. More advanced skill trees and progression system have already been announced by the creators. It would be nice to implement modifiers to this, when, for example, a better computer gives us a bonus to skills, a better accountant cares not only about bills, but also allows you to earn better on orders. As far as project development is concerned, there are many possibilities, and similar games have also been created. So this is an opportunity to either create another clone, or to catch the mistakes of the predecessors and create something fresh. Personally, I wholeheartedly wish the creators of this second scenario.
Final score: 10/10
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