Kairosoft is a Japanese game developer who make games for Android, iOS and PC. Their games are generally simulator type games based on building villages or businesses up from nothing to dominate the in-game world. Sadly their entire site is in Japanese and built with lots of text in images so Google Translate doesn’t work well on it but all I know is when they release a new game I’ll be playing it lol.
I’ve played most of the Kairosoft games but the 2 of them that I played the most were Game Dev Story and Beastie Bay. One focuses on creating games and consoles at a Game Development company, training staff up and making as much money as possible. The other is a village sim where you spend your days trying to entice new heroes to live in your village so you can send them on missions, getting tourists to spend money in your shops and generally build as big of an island village as you can.
Game Dev Story Guide
This is the story of a fledgling development studio trying to make their way in the games industry. To do that you need to make sure you have the right staff, train them and set them to work. The game has an in-game time system based on weeks, months and years. Each year you need to pay wages, get a visit from the traveling salesman, go to a games convention and see the awards show. The whole game is a bit tongue-in-cheek with the naming conventions.
At first you won’t be able to afford to build a console or game so you’ll need to do some contract work to get the capital.
The workflow revolves around 4 main game traits: Fun, Creativity, Graphics and Music. When you start a job you’ll need to get a certain amount of points in a specific game trait within the allotted time scale. At first you might miss the deadline (which means no money) so pick ones that have low point requirements or hire more skilled staff members.
Hiring, Training and Leveling-Up
Your employees are the ones that make you the money so it’s only natural for you to want the best.
- You can advertise and get some better new employees. Maximum of 4 to start with.
- You can train the ones you already have at a cost.
- Or you can level up the ones you already have which ups their yearly wages and costs research data.
Hiring good employees with low wages is the best start to the game, then you can train them in whichever skills you want them to specialize in and level them up using research. When they reach level 5 you can change their jobs.
There are a few basic job classes to start with. Coder, Writer, Designer and Sound Engineer. Beyond that is other specializations like Director and Producer. You can hire people at that level or you can level up the 4 basic classes to max to unlock them. Someone leveled up from the basic classes will be much more skilled at everything that someone hired at that class.
The Elusive Hardware Engineer
Hardware Engineers are needed to develop consoles and have very high skill points in Coding and Writing but medium-low in Graphics and Sound. Having more Hardware Engineers means you can use better hardware when developing your consoles.
Hackers are the top-level employee you can have, they can only be turned into Hackers from Hardware Engineers. They have HUGE skill points in all traits but their wages are also huge. You can hire these later in the game but someone trained up from the bottom level will have much more skill points (and cost more in wages). The only downside to training Hackers is that you must turn a Hardware Engineer into one and lose the Engineer.
Developing A Game
Once you have enough cash you’re going to start building your first game. It will be a PC game as that requires no licence fee to start out with. Other company consoles (such as the Phony consoles lol!) need you to pay a licence fee up-front before you can develop for their console but you won’t be able to afford that till later on. Cost of developing a game is depending on the type, genre and if you choose any upgrades such as Speed+ or Quality+.
Making games works differently to contract work. You pick the type of game and genre and then you have a certain amount of time to make the game, Your employees simply clock up points till your out of time. The more points a game has the better it is and will sell more copies.
Games have a 5th trait to them, bugs. You don’t want to release a buggy game so the last stage of game development is debugging but you can choose to release it before all the bugs are worked out if you want. There are also a few other things to consider such as the ‘hype’ of the game. advertising it and having big names working on it will build hype.
There are 4 main points in the development of a game:
- Bug Testing
Each stage involves picking an expert from your studio (or outsourcing it to a specialist) to do the task. The first one is Writing the game and it’s done before any other development work. An employee will get to work right away to get you some points to start the game out with. Then everyone will start work collecting points. At 30% though development is time to start thinking about Graphics, it works the same a Writing, pick the person with the highest Graphics ability to do it. Then is sound, again get the person with the highest musical ability to do this.
The last stage is debugging, the game is finished as soon as debugging is started and you can release it but if you release a buggy game it probably won’t sell very well or get bad reviews.
Developing a Console
Console development is a very long, very expensive process and it requires you to have at least 1 hardware engineer. You can’t hire hardware engineers, the only way to get one is through leveling up your staff enough to change their job category.
Building a console is separated into 2 stages where you need to earn a certain amount of points in the traits before you can move to the next stage.
Once you release a console you will earn money for the sale of it forever, or until it stops selling. It also doesn’t cost a licence fee to develop a game for your own console and selling good games for it will boost the console’s sales figures, keeping people buying it even when other companies release better consoles than yours.