Friends all playing Game Dev Story on their iPhones? Bitter because it was originally a sodding PC game that only got translated out of the original Japanese for Apple’s fancypants lifestyle accessory? Nevermind all that. I’ve got something better for you. Games Journo Story (made in RPG Maker by aspiring UK games journalist Brendan Caldwell) is better than Game Dev Story for three reasons. (1) It’s funnier. (2) It’s only 15-20 minutes long, thus showing respect for your precious time. (3) It’s overloaded with all of young gun Brendan’s angst and desires, which pour into you like beer drunk from a wellington boot. (4) I’m in it. And so’s Kieron. (5) POP MUSIC!
The story of Games Journo Story is a comprehensively bent and exaggerated retelling of Brendan’s trip (via Megabus) to the Eurogamer Expo last year, where he (apparently) met a collection of games journalists, played some games and drank too much. That might not sound like much (and it basically isn’t) (and yet as anyone who’s ever drunk too much will tell you, OF COURSE IT IS) but the game ramps up all of its dialogue and symbolism to unreal levels in order to give these events the same amount of weight and importance that they had for Brendan.
There are plenty of injokes you won’t get and even some politics you might not agree with, but Brendan- or rather, protagonist Arthur McStension’s heart beams out over it all. He hates games. He loves the journalists. He hates the journalists. He loves games. He loves music. He loves booze. He hates booze.
Tell you what- I’m quite often asked by aspiring games journalists how to break into the industry. I now have an answer. A good start would be to create something as entertaining and uncomfortably honest as this. Not necessarily because it’ll help you get a job as a games journalist, but because it’ll let everybody know, yourself included, that you’re not kidding yourself; that your reserves of passion and talent are sufficient to make this career happen.
Go play! I guarantee you’ll be smiling the whole way through it.