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General Discussion 

The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do We Need An "MMO By Commitee"?

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82 posts found
  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2919

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

 
OP  9/26/13 5:02:35 PM#21


Originally posted by Sheritsuki
"COMMITEE - A group of people who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done. Ideally suited to just 3 people, 2 of whom are absent"

HA! Great definition :)

As for the rest of the posts, I am NOT for this type game :) I just see this kind of process with every MMO announced. MMORPG.com makes a forum for the new upcoming MMO. Soon, there are lots of "POLL: XXX" threads going around before anything is really known about the MMO and speculation abounds.

I am not suggesting this needs to be done in MMO making :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4379

9/26/13 5:03:20 PM#22

Players think because they can figure our how to log into a game and log into the forums they are experts at game design. Their highly trained hind sight is all that is required to tell devs how it is.

Forums are probably a worse place to get feedback than random people on the street that have never even heard of the game.

People are like cats. When they die, you get a new one.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13164

9/26/13 6:59:17 PM#23

Game design is more about filling in many thousands of little details than the few high-level things that we mostly argue about here.  For a committee to argue about every little detail would paralyze game development.  For a committee to mandate big picture things without understanding the little details wouldn't end well.  They'd probably end up mandating various contradictory things.

Given any game design document that isn't self-contradictory, a good game design team could create a highly polished game following every meaningful instruction to the letter that the author of the design document hates, simply by making a ton of unspecified details not what he wanted.  And the "highly polished" part of that is by far the hardest part.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19248

9/26/13 7:45:53 PM#24
Originally posted by DamonVile

Players think because they can figure our how to log into a game and log into the forums they are experts at game design. Their highly trained hind sight is all that is required to tell devs how it is.

Forums are probably a worse place to get feedback than random people on the street that have never even heard of the game.

Yeah .. and based on all the ranting about devs not catering to their precious needs, i doubt devs are actually listening to these forums.

They have better methods, like marketing research, or actually look at data in their games to see what is popular and what is not.

Do you think WOW took away world pvp just because? Or expand the use of LFR just because?

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2919

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

 
OP  9/27/13 1:58:33 AM#25


Originally posted by Quizzical
Game design is more about filling in many thousands of little details than the few high-level things that we mostly argue about here.  For a committee to argue about every little detail would paralyze game development.  For a committee to mandate big picture things without understanding the little details wouldn't end well.  They'd probably end up mandating various contradictory things.

Given any game design document that isn't self-contradictory, a good game design team could create a highly polished game following every meaningful instruction to the letter that the author of the design document hates, simply by making a ton of unspecified details not what he wanted.  And the "highly polished" part of that is by far the hardest part.



Good points, but I was thinking the "pollsters" would be the "idea people" and the devs would "make it work." Some details would be needed to be specified, for sure, and would bog down the process.

This would just reinforce my premise that this MMO would not be very good, if it ever reached a point where it could be launched :)

Yet some players seem to think that many polls and similar posts on game forums should be taken seriously and seem to get upset when ideas are ignored.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

9/27/13 4:29:20 AM#26


Originally posted by AlBQuirky
How do you think an MMO like this would fair? Would an MMO by the popular numbers interest you?


How would it fair? Or how would it fare?
I do not think a poll-driven development process would be feasible in the first place.

I feel that the best games are done by the Dev's that have a clear vision of their game AND stick to it, crowd be damned.
For example, the Wing Commander series wasn't for me as it was much too shooting-minded.
Yet, when Privateer (and especially later Freelancer) was released, it was more to my liking. Still, Wing Commander was a good game/series in their own right, just not for me.

With MMO's i feel, it should be the same.
Like Wing Commander had it's following (and many of those didn't much like Privateer, at least in my peer group), so do games like STO which i feel has failed horribly.

If a Dev-Team sticks to it's idea/vision, the crowd of potential players might be smaller, but in the end more satisfied and loyal i bet than if they had tried to please everybody or "the majority" (and in doing so alienate some group of players that voted differently than the majority on one poll or the other).

And really, if the general concept were "open" (and robust) enough, there's nothing in the way to make "spinoff's" to suit different groups' tastes, just like with the Wing Commander Series.

  User Deleted
9/27/13 8:15:32 AM#27

There are open source MMOs in ScourceForge that people could work from and one way people could do this would be to get people working together both on what the game should entail and then on the actual development itself.

With an open source MMO, worked on by volunteers, the costs would be connected to hosting and supporting the game.

However, due to the various committee effects discussed previously in this thread, such a project would have serious challenges when it comes to creating a playable MMO sufficiently distinct from the software/graphical base.

Some projects like this are surely underway already - the closure of CoX has spawned two, I believe.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2919

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

 
OP  9/27/13 1:47:30 PM#28


Originally posted by Morrok

Originally posted by AlBQuirky
How do you think an MMO like this would fair? Would an MMO by the popular numbers interest you?

How would it fair? Or how would it fare?
I do not think a poll-driven development process would be feasible in the first place.

I feel that the best games are done by the Dev's that have a clear vision of their game AND stick to it, crowd be damned.
For example, the Wing Commander series wasn't for me as it was much too shooting-minded.
Yet, when Privateer (and especially later Freelancer) was released, it was more to my liking. Still, Wing Commander was a good game/series in their own right, just not for me.

With MMO's i feel, it should be the same.
Like Wing Commander had it's following (and many of those didn't much like Privateer, at least in my peer group), so do games like STO which i feel has failed horribly.

If a Dev-Team sticks to it's idea/vision, the crowd of potential players might be smaller, but in the end more satisfied and loyal i bet than if they had tried to please everybody or "the majority" (and in doing so alienate some group of players that voted differently than the majority on one poll or the other).

And really, if the general concept were "open" (and robust) enough, there's nothing in the way to make "spinoff's" to suit different groups' tastes, just like with the Wing Commander Series.



I agree. A prime example is Zenimax Online with TES:O. I did not agree with their idea that the factions' lands should be cut off from the rest of the world, but when they "caved in" to player complaints and opened them up to max level characters. I lost respect for them as a development team after that.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  laserit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/24/10
Posts: 1368

Confusius say: Man who go to bed with itchy bum wake up with stinky finger

9/27/13 1:53:02 PM#29
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by DamonVile

Players think because they can figure our how to log into a game and log into the forums they are experts at game design. Their highly trained hind sight is all that is required to tell devs how it is.

Forums are probably a worse place to get feedback than random people on the street that have never even heard of the game.

Yeah .. and based on all the ranting about devs not catering to their precious needs, i doubt devs are actually listening to these forums.

They have better methods, like marketing research, or actually look at data in their games to see what is popular and what is not.

Do you think WOW took away world pvp just because? Or expand the use of LFR just because?

I believe WoW took away world pvp because they're server's/engine or what ever it was or is, couldn't deal with it. There was a hell of a lot of server crash's back in the day, brought to you by world pvp

Zenimax kicked my dog

  Mendel

Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 610

9/27/13 2:26:28 PM#30

I don't know that a committee approach to game design would work.  I feel it would fall into factions that accomplished nothing more substantial than argue with one another.

I think a game needs strong leadership in three basic areas -- creative (the driving ideas), financial (project and business management) and operations (product development and support).   The leaders in these three areas do not need to be single individuals, but a single individual could fill all roles in a small company.   I'd envision that Creative would design the game, hand it over to Operations for development with Financial providing project management with Creative and Operations jointly providing internal testing.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  MMOman101

Novice Member

Joined: 2/05/08
Posts: 1192

9/27/13 2:52:41 PM#31

No.

People, especially here, confuse idea with implementation all the time.  MMOs are more about implementation than ideas.  Full loot PvP does not make a game good or bad.  The trinity does not make a game good or bad.  People like to think it does, but it is just not true.  A game is good or bad based on how ideas are developed. 

The problem is that people look back on playing a game and see the enjoyment of an idea.  What they enjoyed was the implementation of that idea. 

It is much easier to talk in broad sweeping terms about overarching ideas than it is to talk about the specifics or details that make up the implementation. 

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/27/13 2:59:50 PM#32
Originally posted by WhiteLantern
We get along so well here. What could go wrong with this idea?

The group decision-making process has plenty of weaknesses without "us" being involved at all.

"The defining characteristics of “design by committee” are needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision."

Yep, that kind of does sound like us.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/27/13 3:13:59 PM#33
Originally posted by MMOman101

 

Full loot PvP does not make a game good or bad. 

I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 2919

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

 
OP  9/27/13 3:22:52 PM#34


Originally posted by MMOman101
No.

People, especially here, confuse idea with implementation all the time.  MMOs are more about implementation than ideas.  Full loot PvP does not make a game good or bad.  The trinity does not make a game good or bad.  People like to think it does, but it is just not true.  A game is good or bad based on how ideas are developed. 

The problem is that people look back on playing a game and see the enjoyment of an idea.  What they enjoyed was the implementation of that idea. 

It is much easier to talk in broad sweeping terms about overarching ideas than it is to talk about the specifics or details that make up the implementation.



Some features I agree with you. There are a lot of features, though, where it does not matter how it is implemented, I will not like them, personally.

One of those features you mentioned that matters not how it is implemented is full loot PvP. For me, no matter how it is woven into the game, I will not enjoy it. I am not a PvP player, so the only implementation of PvP I like is a system where I do not have to PvP, especially at some other player's whim.

Now, a feature that DOES depend upon on how it is implemented would be crafting. Simply having crafting in an MMO does not mean it is good.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15272

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

9/27/13 3:35:06 PM#35
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by MMOman101

 

Full loot PvP does not make a game good or bad. 

I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one.

I'm going to have to disagree with your disagreement. Unless of course my personal taste reflects the quality  in everything. It doesn't so yeah I will have to disagree. :) There's a difference between liking something and that something being well designed or not.

BTW chess is essentially full loot PVP.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13164

9/27/13 6:12:30 PM#36
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by Quizzical
Game design is more about filling in many thousands of little details than the few high-level things that we mostly argue about here.  For a committee to argue about every little detail would paralyze game development.  For a committee to mandate big picture things without understanding the little details wouldn't end well.  They'd probably end up mandating various contradictory things.

 

Given any game design document that isn't self-contradictory, a good game design team could create a highly polished game following every meaningful instruction to the letter that the author of the design document hates, simply by making a ton of unspecified details not what he wanted.  And the "highly polished" part of that is by far the hardest part.



Good points, but I was thinking the "pollsters" would be the "idea people" and the devs would "make it work." Some details would be needed to be specified, for sure, and would bog down the process.

 

This would just reinforce my premise that this MMO would not be very good, if it ever reached a point where it could be launched :)

Yet some players seem to think that many polls and similar posts on game forums should be taken seriously and seem to get upset when ideas are ignored.

The people coding the game need to have, at minimum, major input into the details, because they're the only ones with any clue on how hard things would be to implement.  Sometimes when you're working on something, you might realize, this feature would be really cool, and I can add it in ten lines of code, because much of the structure it needs is already present for other purposes.  But if things were structured differently in a very similar game, implementing exactly the same feature might require redoing thousands of lines of code and probably breaking a ton of other things in the process.

If two features would be equally cool, but one would be a hundred times as much work to implement as the other, that's a pretty good reason to prioritize the easier feature over the harder one.  But apart from things that are intrinsically hard, you can't really know how hard a new feature would be to implement in an given game unless you've worked with the code extensively.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

9/27/13 9:07:55 PM#37
Originally posted by Distopia

There's a difference between liking something and that something being well designed or not.

If your customers have asked for a fridge, there is no design of oven that will be good.

( what I'm trying to point out here is that there is a difference between "build it and they will come" views of whether a design is good or bad and "the game is a service" views of whether a design is good or bad ... and, in the service model, if you ignore what your customers like/dislike, you're going to end up with a bad design, no matter how much it appeals to some artistic sensibility )

  Shadanwolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1867

9/27/13 9:10:11 PM#38
MMO's by committee is a major reason why we have all the blood on the floor from  MMOG failures.
  kkarrabbass

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/17/08
Posts: 160

I was a smart man once...

9/27/13 10:35:32 PM#39
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 

Are some players expecting too much from a developer? Should developers listen to the players and their hundreds of polls?

It seems we cannot let it go. I mean wheel reinventing.

First thing first. According to extensive studies of historians and philosophers, democracy is not a most effective way of doing things.

Secondly. Would you even consider drivers poll to decide which way automobile industry should go? Or clothe design? Would you consider to use a poll to tell couture artist which way to go? You need to be a specialist (or at least professional) for your opinion even to count. Lately (starting from Darwin theory public discussion), we all start to believe that we do not need to have some specific education to have a valuable opinion in such a professional areas.

So, let us not overestimate ourselves. Or we will end up voting which Law of Nature is true, and which one is not.

It seems that some of MMO crowd especially delusional in this matter. Is it because virtual world requires competency less and less? Some of us used to find there an alternative life. Nowadays people are looking there for La-Z-Boy – Remote combo.

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2748

9/28/13 3:10:17 AM#40

Do We Need An "MMO By Commitee"?

No, we don't !

 

Anyone who's spent time on a variety of ad-hoc committees will tell you that.

 

Besides, pedantically speaking, you're not suggesting "design by committee" as much as "design by democratic vote". In your model, it sounds like the committee only gets to make design suggestions, the forum voting public makes the actual decisions. That is arguably an even worse way of trying to do it 

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