Should your game have a Credits screen? Of the games I have handy, more than 50% have a credit screen. Yet some of the biggest names, such as Luxor 2, don’t. Instead, their credits are only in the readme.html file that comes with the game.
What’s the advantage of having credits in-game? It’s unlikely that people are going to be impressed by a list of names… and the people who ARE impressed by a list of names are the sort of people who read readme files anyway!
I removed the credits screen from Starcrossed, partially because it seemed unnecessary, and partially because it wasn’t very polished — and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time making it look cool. There are credits in the readme file, and that’s enough for me.
Am I missing something here? Is there a point to in-game credits aside from the vanity effect? I know in the brick-and-mortar games world, people really like having their names in the game’s documentation… getting your name in-game is cool too, but not as important. Presumably this is because the sorts of people who care (such as Moby Games) use the credits from the booklet, not the in-game credits. But even that is just vanity; it means nothing.
Especially in the casual games market, where brand names are irrelevant, let alone developer names, I think credits screens are an unnecessary detail. Unless your credits screen is awesome to behold, don’t bother.