COLUMN | Everyone has done or said something in their life that they are ashamed of today. But embarrassment at the thought of your stupid antics and ill-considered statements is one thing, and aversion to your own work, which was created for months or years, is something that is difficult to pass over. However, the video game industry knows a lot of such stories.
Some developers who are not satisfied with the result of their work blame themselves for this state of affairs, while others blame it on publishers or other people who influenced the final shape of the game. But they all share a strong, nagging feeling that gets the better of them whenever anyone mentions that one fatal game.
The originators of this infamous Polish production were the brothers Rafał and Rodryk Walczowski, who invited three more people to work on the department. The creators were openly inspired by Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, but also by the Polish Psy series. The gameplay, in turn, drew heavily from cult turn-based tactical games, such as X-COM or Jagged Alliance. Unfortunately, despite being built on the shoulders of giants, Reserve Dogs turned out to be an exceptional nightmare – even by the standards of the still young, emerging Polish gaming industry.
The game may not have been pretty, but it was a nightmare to play
The reviewers did not leave a dry thread on the game, criticizing every element of the work – from primitive, vulgar humor, to poor gameplay and poor technical condition. However, there were also such as Jakub Janicki (then a reviewer of the “Gambler” magazine), who called Reserve Psy “the most spectacular, the most surprising and simply the best debut in the history of the Polish computer game market”. Michał Madej, one of the creators and programmers of the game, is of a different opinion today, and in an interview he confessed that he is ashamed of participating in the production, which he describes as “one of the worst in the history of Polish game development”.
Still playing Flappy Bird? Probably not, because in 2014 this arcade game was removed from the iTunes and Google Play stores by the creator himself, Dong Nguyen. But before that, the game was a mobile hit for a year and a half, earning up to $50,000 a day at its peak. Although it was poorly received by critics, it attracted millions of players from around the world to phones.
I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.
— Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 8, 2014
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In Flappy Bird, we controlled a yellow bird whose task was to fly between the green columns. Sounds cool, right? And yet this charming production led the Vietnamese artist to the brink of collapse. As Nguyen confessed in an interview with Forbes, due to the addictive potential of the game, he was plagued with remorse. Unable to bear that his work could lead to someone developing a harmful addiction, he decided to remove the game. It must be admitted that such an attitude among the creators of “mobiles” is a commendable exception.
Lara Croft is an undisputed pop culture icon. A smart, agile and brave archaeologist won the hearts of millions of gamers when in 1996 she appeared on the screens of computers and TVs connected to the PlayStation console. The hot feeling that many players had for the famous adventurer, however, was not what the creator of the character, Toby Gard, wanted to achieve. He could not come to terms with the sexualization of Lara Croft, behind which was the marketing team of the Eidos studio.
In an interview in 2004, Gard said, “I didn’t like when they started dressing her in skimpy clothes and sometimes stripping her completely. It’s very strange to see your character do such things. You can’t believe it.” (Source: Independent)
Unable to accept the objectification of the young archaeologist, he left the company and renounced his ties to the iconic production. Years later, however, the studio offered him a return, initially as a consultant, but eventually he was entrusted with creating a new image of Lara. He also contributed to other characters as well as the script and many other aspects of the new Tomb Raider trilogy, which includes parts: Legend, Anniversary and Underworld.
Fable 2 i Fable 3
Although Peter Molyneux became famous as the creator of such great hits as Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Black & White and the Fable series, today he is known for rather less glorious actions and statements. But that is a topic for another, very comprehensive article. This one is about Fable, which is – for those who don’t know – a series of very well-received RPGs that take players to the fantastic land of Albion. The series consists of three main parts and a side part called The Journey.
In 2020, the fourth installment of the series was announced
The British artist himself, however, has a morbid tendency to exaggerate, always presenting his new works as great and revolutionary, while completely disavowing his previous achievements. So when he started working on Fable 3, he called the second part’s plot “junk”. In turn, after the grand premiere of “three”, announcing his new project, he called the last work “disappointing”. Well, although I’m not a fan of the series myself, I wouldn’t rate it that bad.
The Postal series has always been controversial – indeed, it was created for this purpose, which has brought it as many loyal fans as hardened critics. The creators from the Running with Scissors studio have never tried to make their games beautiful, raise important threads or somehow tower over the productions of other producers. In the end, Postal can be loved or hated – there is no third option.
When we go to the “Postal 3” tab on the Running with Scissors studio website, it takes us to the music video of the song “Never Gonna Give You Up”
In the case of the third installment of the series, most players, including the head of the studio, Vince Desi, chose the latter option. Postal 3 is really hard to like, even if you’re a fan of the series. As the creators later confessed, the terrible state of the game was the responsibility of an external Russian studio with a very telling name Trashmasters (“trash masters”). They called the game itself a “disaster” and a “mistake” and suggested not to treat it as a full-fledged continuation, but at most a spin-off that should never have been made. Less than a year after the premiere, they also decided to withdraw Postal 3 from stores.