Lessons

I got my start in the industry back in 2001. Since then, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about game design and development in general. For the past few years, I’ve jotted a few of these lessons down. You can see them all in the MMO Lessons category, but I’ve gone ahead and started to list the one-liners on this page as well for easier scanning. If you have an idea for a lesson I can add or have further questions about any of them, feel free to contact me at .

MMO Development Lessons

  1. Do not launch an unfinished product
  2. Launch dates matter
  3. No feature creep
  4. Design the game for your audience, not for yourself
  5. Your company’s reputation matters
  6. Resist the desire to make frequent, minor tweaks
  7. No MMO that came before yours was perfect
  8. Quality is paramount
  9. Technology doesn’t sell
  10. Be careful when “planning ahead” technologically
  11. Technological accessibility means making your game work well for a broad range of systems
  12. Soloing is not an abomination
  13. Don’t half-ass anything
  14. Add features because they are fun; don’t add features if they aren’t
  15. Make a great game first
  16. Don’t be different for the sake of being different
  17. Every feature demands a sacrifice
  18. Quality assurance is not a four letter word
  19. Make decisions
  20. It’s better to start with a great shell than a jumbled mass of crap
  21. A good idea stands on its own
  22. Just because you have a good idea doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to implement it
  23. Inconvenience doesn’t make a game challenging, it makes it less convenient
  24. Know when to stop adding features
  25. A game is only as strong as its weakest feature
  26. Make cancellation easy
  27. Make it easy to come back
  28. Perception is reality
  29. Play your game
  30. A “required feature” for your genre may not be required for your game
  31. Too many options are too many
  32. Players should be making informed decisions
  33. If a decision can logically be altered, let the player change their decision
  34. Finish your game before launch
  35. Players are the x factor of MMOs; if a player can do it, they will do it
  36. Without the risk of failure there is no risk of success
  37. Create memorable moments
  38. There’s still room for kill quests in your game
  39. Be mindful of where you set your quality bar
  40. Passion and talent on your development team can take you far, but business and management are just as vital
  41. Don’t sacrifice fun for the sake of story
  42. Do not violate the narrative of your world
  43. Know when to stop
  44. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  45. Remember than an MMO is multiplayer
  46. Remember than an MMO is social
  47. Time is a player’s most precious resource


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