So, in pinball debate, podcasting, commentary etc., there seems to raise a common understanding that “the software guy is designing the rules of the game”. Here and there you hear the software guy for a specific game be given a lot of praise, or, a lot of s*** for the game it turned out to be.
To me, this is ridiculous. Credit to where credit is due. But to express the lead designer is not responsible for the rules. Please, guys.
Speaking of the more recent era. Say the last 30-40 years. Surely, a lot of games are the result of a team effort. Including rules design. But on any developement team, the lead designer must have had the final saying.
However, I can easily imagine that some game developements have been more or less abandoned by the lead designer. And left off to the software guy to finish up. With the good and the bad the playfield had to offer. So you may say, that the final rules twists were the work of a single individual. But, if that turned out to be a poor design, I will not blame him. I will blame the developement leadership. For not seeing the product through to the end. So, ease off, please.
And in any case, think of how tight a budget pinball machines were generally made under. Speaking of both money and time. Poor rules may not always have been due to incompetence or bad will. Just the damn deadline ( - and other matters).