TandA: Cut vs Keep

You are developing a game! so why are you taking stuff out?

If you follow game development for some amount of time, you might have seen one or more times where a “update” during the development process actually removed content! wtf is that about right? and you may or not have been pretty upset about it. or possibly convinced the logic of taking something out to advance a game’s development is backwards thinking.

I get this portrayed to me at times in the form of a question, comment, or complaint whenever I remove even very smallest, buggiest, non relevant part of a game. Or when I go back and make a more refined version of something without any excess filler stuff, or remove haphazardly added content.

So I wanted to make a post addressing various reasons for this. I first I want to say that in the process of creating a game, it is not just all about adding and adding more and more stuff. At times is beneficial to remove something that isn’t really working and/or stalling the development process to continue doing it.

We currently live in a era where there are tools for aspiring people who can stay focused to be able to create their own game(s). And what’s even more awesome is that there is an interest in following development of games where people have a similar interest or investment in that game. However I think people are not really used to seeing a game being created from the ground up, literally from a concept.

Almost always when you finally get to play a beta version of a game made by a professional studio with millions of dollars put into it, it is mostly, if not totally done by that point aside from looking for final bugs to fix.
You were not there for the early adoption of the game when the studio was deciding what works an what doesn’t. what to keep in vs cut out.

It is similar to when I worked as a computer engineer at government job doing something similar to research and development work. At lot of research, up to 90%, was not used or replaced because the idea didn’t really workout, or we found a better way to do it, or better way to code it, or found better hardware to support the software, etc.

And imo in many ways lot of people on patreon saying they make games really have not made any games yet, or rather finished making one. they are on their first game.

And when making their first game, or even an established game creator trying out new ideas, a lot of that is research and development.

They will will run into road bumps, finds ways to optimize code, get overly ambitious, and number of different issues that can slow down or even stall the development of a game. Sometimes it is best to take something out or scratch that idea to actually finish the game in a way that works in timely manner and is motivating. A lot of people really don’t know how to do that, or don’t want to for fear of disappointing their audience.

However it could jeopardize the game to the points never gets finished at all.

I ask that people try to keep this in mind when/if you see this happening. Not just from myself but from others aswell. If something got removed, they are likely trying to do what is best to finish the game. The things that might have been remove to cut to do this could be revisited later.