The Mental and Social Health of Game Developers

The mental health of any human should always be taken seriously. Stress is a natural part of life. We’ve all gone through it, I’ve gone through it, you’ve probably gone through it, and game developers especially suffer from these types of problems.

The thought of trying to meet deadlines for any game or DLC is critical. While I have yet to step into the game development world, from my game design class alone, I understand how these creators feel. Trying to complete assignments and projects on time is nerve racking and there have even been a couple of times where in was gripping my hair in frustration and swearing up a storm at my computer. There was time where I couldn’t sleep because the thought of my uncompleted project was hanging over my head. Now taking my situation and step into the shoes of a fully experienced game developer working on the latest AAA title like Dark Souls or Assassin’s Creed.

These developers not only trying to meet and exceed the expectations of a franchise well known and trying to maintain a social connection with their coworkers or the community of their games. The popularity of a series can play a role in the issue facing developers.

One notable example is Masahiro Sakurai, creator of Kirby and director of the Super Smash Bros. series. Since its debut in 1999 on the Nintendo 64, Smash has become a worldwide hit and is played both casually and competitively. Ever since the second installation in the series, Melee was considered the sharpest in the series by critic, fans, and by the creator himself, the expectations of making a sequel like Melee is high. Sakurai himself admit that because of this as well just want to make a good game, he worked from early morning to late nights and even working on weekends and holidays. His social life and free time were heavily affected by the work cycle of the games.

It important to know that when criticizing a game, be very reasonable about it. We are the consumers so we do what the right to comment about something we are putting our money to, but at the same time, we must also consider that game development is painstakingly long process and we should commend these developers for putting time and effort in their games (except when they don’t, but that for another time.)

The following is an article describing the life of a game developer with a chronic illness and how it inspired both the name of his studio and the game they created and how he lives with it.





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