Well this is the week of the AGDC and my time is sure pressed, so this entry will be short.
A comment was made from Soulwynd on the previous blog entry and got me thinking, and that is about what I have come to believe (which I'm certain many of you have already known about).
Graphics sell the game, Game Mechanics provide replay value and New Content maintains user interests.
Those are the three factors, with each one being important for the success of an online game system. Ignore graphics and people are less likely to want to buy or join in with the game; but skimp out on the game mechanics, and people are then less likely wanting to keep playing. Repetition is the quickest way to loose players. And lastly, there is New Content. Without New Content, the game world becomes like a Disney Themepark. Standing in line for the same ride, is another way in which customers are not likely of coming back soon.
Of course, most teams and companies do not have the luxury of making all three top quality and have to figure out, which one has the highest priority. Of the three, I think Graphics is what most business entities push, hence quick sells; while measuring play value in a mater of hours.
Online MMORPG's are different, in which they are living game systems, able to evolve over time. So while one factor may be weak, it can be improved upon.
Now I know with the title I'm working on, lacks great graphics at this time. But it is improving and should be competitive when it goes live. As it is, we wouldn't want to release the game. May be decent and some people will look past the graphics, but overall the graphics will not aid in selling the game. We though like to show what we have and this is intentional to show others of signs of improvement. If improvements can be seen before releash, then hopefully the message that improvements will continue (hence New Content) will be understood by people.
Also new graphic artists have joined the team and bringing on board experience from the MMO industry. So over the next few months, the graphics will become better and actually become a strength.
Now that leaves Game Mechanics and New Content to talk about next time.
Enjoy and hope to meet some of you at the AGDC in the Expo Hall.