Should The Credits Rules Be Drastically Shortened
International Game Developers Association
One viewpoint held by some IGDA members is that the most recent (April 2007) version of the proposed Game Crediting guide goes way overboard, "killing ants with nuclear weapons" in a well-meaning but misguided tactic, smothering developers with rules when, instead, a couple of sentences' worth of rules would solve 90% of the claimed problems with the current lack of credits standards.
This page is a place to present and debate related arguments.
Proposed drastically shortened alternative
One proposed alternative to the current 15-page draft is the following policy:
- This gives teams total flexibility yet ensures fairness for the individual in all but a few corner cases
- Omitting credits for an entire studio - obviously not "appropriate" to not credit them, so that's solved
- Prevents runaway credits for things like the legal department and the publisher's CEO and his baby daughter with the "content" statement
- The only weakness identified to date is the arguing over whether a particular person's lack of inclusion is "appropriate" if he worked on the game for, say, three weeks. This short standard leaves the "appropriateness" standard up to the conscience of the producer, true; but this is not a common problem - and it has been argued the 'victim' in this case will add the game to his resume anyway, which is what employers read before Mobygames
Arguments against a large, authoritarian set of credits rules
- A rules-heavy dictate will stomp on a developer's legitimate choice to present themselves in the way that is appropriate for the team. Valve comes to mind - "all for one and one for all", with no job titles. Other developers have used this approach, as well.
- Any strict set of rules will be gamed. Developers should always have the right to, for example, not give credit to some weasel who makes sure to work on their project for the minimum prescribed time in order to get a credit and then get transferred to another group.
- Evaluating the contributions made by individuals and trying to recognize them appropriately is a nuanced pain in the ass, and surely one of the objectives of a heavy-handed credits standard is to try to eliminate some of that pain for the producer; but no set of rules will be able to capture all the nuances. On small games, in particular, everyone has a hand in everything, and any heavy-handed list of credits rules will, inevitably, inappropriately credit people.