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Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Humor: Life on the Other Side

What is life like for a game designer? Probably long hours, but besides that. Here's my look behind the curtain...

Forums: Why can't I solo? This game promised soloing.

GD *adds more solo content*

Forums: Argh! There's no group mobs in this game!

GD *adds more group mobs*

Forums: We burned through the raid content in 4 days - what a rip off!

GD *adds more raid content*

Forums: Why do you hate casual players? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyy?

GD *takes gun from drawer and stares at it lovingly*

Forums: OMG Samurai are so overpowered!!! This game is the suxxor. Pay2play beta lol.

GD: Hmm. Maybe Samurai are overpowered. Let me run some numbers. Yes, it does look like they have a slight edge in certain situations. Let's correct that.

Forums: OMG why U nerf Samurai?!! Account CANCELED.

GD: ...
Hmm. Maybe that's unfair. Perhaps it's something more like this:

Forums: There is an exploit with certain spells stacking.

GD1: Hmm. Sounds complicated.

GD2: I'm about to get lunch, this one is all you.

GD1: I'm not touching it. We have a release date in one week. It could screw everything up.

GD2: So say it's working as intended.

GD1: Hmm. We've been using that a lot lately.

GD2: Okay, then call it an "emergent system."

GD1: Genius. What's for lunch?

Ever wonder why so many upcoming games are generic fantasy MMO's? Maybe this scene will shed some light as Idealistic Designer meets with Mr. Money to try to pitch his dream game.

ID: Okay, you're going to love this. The setting is Victorian London with mystical overtones. The game really relies on social interaction.

MM: Hmm, yeah. Have you ever heard of World of Warcraft? It has over five million subscribers. We want to go with a sure thing.

ID: But this idea could really set us apart and-

MM: Listen, focus groups have told us that people like elves. Love 'em. Ever hear of Orlando Bloom? Get with the program here. Double the elves equals double the subscribers.

ID: Okay, I guess we could revamp. Let's take the general gameplay and move it into a fantasy setting. We certainly have some unique ideas-

MM: Speaking of ideas what are your views on character customization?

ID: Ah, well, I'm glad you asked. You see, we believe in a high detail of character customization so players can feel unique and connected to the game.

MM: Ah, good. So you're in favor of breast sliders?

ID: Uh, I'm sorry?

MM: Breast sliders, you know. Can you control the breast size of female characters in your game?

ID: I suppose that is one element of character customization...

MM: Good, good. I'll just assume it is a slider with a high maximum point. Now how sexy are these female characters?

ID: Well, they will portray a heroic feminine form.

MM: By heroic do you mean sexy?

ID: Er, I guess.

MM: And the clothing? What is its SQ?


MM: Come on, get with the times. Sexiness Quotient!

ID: Um, a ten?

MM: Great! Are there dragons?

ID: Yes, big dragons.

MM: Hmm. What about PvP?

ID: Well, we were going for a more cooperative experience.

MM: Cooperating on the ganking, eh? Great we love PvP. So does our market research team. Okay, let's get serious. What are you views on real money transfer?

ID: Oh, don't worry, we're strongly against it. We have many safeguards planned.

MM: Sure, sure, we don't want anyone else making money on our game. But you will let us sell special items and stuff to players for cash, right?

ID: That wasn't our intention. You see the integrity of competitive gameplay dictates that-

MM: Let me stop you there. Do you know how big real money transfer is in Asia?

ID: Yes, it's big. But I've played a lot of Asian MMO's and frankly I don't like them. I don't think that model is the way to go.

MM: So you're a racist?

ID: I'm sorry?

MM: You hate Asians is that it?

ID: Of course not. My wife is-

MM: Good, good then we're agreed. We'll use real money transfer. I can see it now...WoW plus RMT equals profits. Sweet profits. Do we have a deal?

ID: Sure.

And a game is born....

But maybe that's a little unfair. Let's take a look at a different pitch from a different point of view.

MM: So, what is your game about?

ID: Yes, exactly. What is it "about"?

MM: Yes, I'm asking you. What is it about?

ID: That all depends on your perception.

MM: Right. But what is it basically about?

ID: It's not about classes. Or levels. Or combat. Or competition. Or items. Or what the uninformed would call "games."

MM: Let's try this from another angle. What does a player do when he or she logs on?

ID: What can't they do? With restrictions removed there are no limits!

MM: I'm just not getting this.

ID: Ludology. Puppies. Mudflation. Rainbows.

MM: Now you're just saying random words.

ID: Are they? Typical stuffy businessman with no Vision.

MM: Listen, I'm willing to take risks. But you have to give me something to go on.

ID: Metacommunication. Tulips. Magic Circle. Cheddar.

MM: Ah, now I see.


Blogger Mr.X said...

What ? You can't just have a breast slider. Butts, Hips, and Legs are a must too.

And how many breast sliders? There's cup size and, um, circumference to worry about here !

(worries about what the gals will want to see)

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Poofe said...

Well, started off slow, but the second half was hilarious!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Grouchy Gnome said...

Maybe I should stop pitching ideas in that last format you mentioned. I guess reading it from this side, it makes no sense when I tell them that it has "everything one could ever want and more. Mostly the more part." Or, when the entire pitch consists of cool phrases like, "Think the letter X, the number infinity, spelunking, treasure, fire, waterfall, clouds, grass, trees, mountains, massive, immersive, innovative." They never go for that one.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous MineForFish said...

Hehe. With regards to that last one, after reading just a bit too much acadmic work and theory this last week, I have to admit that you begin to picture developers pitching their game in just that way.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Ethan Ross said...

You and Radar-X are pretty much the stupidest people to post at the EQ2 forums. Niether of you are funny, niether of you are particularly good at the Internet at all, really. I just thought I'd mention that you're a vapid putz.

3:39 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

If you're referring to me, I don't post on the EQII forums.

4:05 PM  
Blogger MrTact said...

Breast sliders? No, breast handles, like zbrush. There's your whole damn game, right there!

6:58 PM  

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