CoG 2011: Credit Where Credit is Due

By Richard Horsefield

Endgame

Game credits are quite long aren’t they? Or they can be. Some indie games’ credits might have a handful of people. But take a top-end triple A-grade title and there are potentially hundreds of people involved, and its only fair they should get a mention. After all, these people have probably worked some hellish hours and slaved over this experience for you. Fair’s fair.

That being said, I do wonder: How many people actually watch game credits? Why aren’t some credit sequences a bit more interesting? And are all the names mentioned completely necessary?

How Many People Actually Watch Game Credits?

This is more me idly wondering than anything else. Because I’ll quite happily sit through credits sequences, just in case there’s some little tidbit or bonus at the end of it. An extra bit of story or a cliffhanger, you know? Like the movies.

This is even if I know damn well the option to watch them has been on my main menu the entire time and I’m probably not going to have any joy.

But still, sometimes they have little bits and pieces like funny quips or…well…I do feel kind of indebted to some of these people (assuming I enjoyed the game).

Though thinking of quips…

Why Aren’t Some Credit Sequences a Bit More Interesting?

Despite the crazy laser fire, you should definitely know who this guy is!

Fallout: New Vegas’ credits are long. Really long. But at least there’s some amusement to be had in the mottos/one-liners attached to some of the names. And I guess this is down to a technical point really – if you’re going to have a game as huge as New Vegas, then there’s probaly not much space on the disc left to have a credit sequence that’s more than a scrolling list of names.

But then I think of Super Smash Bros. Melee that turned the credit sequence into a little lightning-quick on-rails shooter. Shoot the names as they blitz past. Simple but effective.

Or so you’d think. Because I can remember the sequence and ‘playing’ through it, but can I remember any of the names? Hell no – I was much more concerned with shooting as many blocks of text as possible rather than having a moment of post-game quiet reverence for the people who crafted it.

So everyone involved with New Vegas may have felt a little along the lines of ‘No, sod it. I worked hard on this and I want people to know it.’

And I can hardly blame them for that. Because a lot of people do work hard on these things for you and I, but you do still have to wonder…

Are All the Names Mentioned Completely Necessary?

I appreciate the work all the AI programmers, writers, sound engineers, artists, level designers and so on put in. I even have a healthy respect for the poor schmucks who have to translate the huge amounts of text/dialogue in games now. But do I need to know about the publisher’s-legal-department’s-tea-lady-you-know-the-one-who-works-out-of-that-little-cupboard-down-the-hall-on-the-right-that-smells-oddly-of-Garibaldis-even-though-we-havn’t-had-them-in-months-slash-P.A? I’m sure she did a sterling job, but some of the departments/names seem sometimes to be glory hunting a little. Does she know she’s on the credits? Does she even care?

We raise our mugs to you, Tea Lady/P.A. Doris!

It goes both ways though I guess. Remember that whole thing about names being left off of L.A Noire’s credits? The game had a long development cycle that many people were a part of at some point, so a huge list of names is to be expected. But I can’t help feeling that other, potentially less deserving names might have been left in.

But in this week of celebration for the gaming medium, let’s all take a moment to give a nod towards all the people who make it possible.

Even Doris the Publisher’s legal department’s tea lady/P.A.

Because tea’s important too, you know?


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