MMO Development Lesson #39

Be mindful of where you set your quality bar. If you set your quality bar too high, it’s going to make production difficult and inefficient. This goes for all aspects of game development, not just design.

To give an example, let’s use art. Let’s say you can create a very good looking crate in one work day. To the untrained eye, it’s an amazing crate. To the eye of an artist, its fine, but it could use some tweaks to get it just right. Those tweaks take two or three more days to complete before everyone is happy and the crate is itself a work of art.

Guess what you just did: You wasted two days. The vast majority of players are not going to see that crate and examine its intricacies, they’re just going to see it as part of a scene. The time would have been better spent on an important landmark prop rather than the crate.

This is true of design as well. Don’t spend 8 hours writing flowery dialogue and quest text when you’re just sending a player on a mission to kill a named boss. That time could be better spent improving the boss encounter, adding an optional objective, or creating another quest entirely. The player is going to remember the experience, not the perfectly-crafted dialogue.

Find your baseline quality bar and make that realistic, then create moments of extreme quality that the players will remember.

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