MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh recently sat down with a Free Realms designer to talk about what goes into making an MMO specifically for a young audience.
Carolyn Koh talks to M. Margaret A. Krohn, a Game Designer on SOE's Free Realms about the specific challenges that come up while making an MMORPG targetted at kids.
How does the design roadmap differ in designing for Free Realms as opposed to adult MMOs? Or does it?
M. Margaret A. Krohn:
There are some differences in the overall design process when designing for kids, especially for those of us who don't have kids. When designing Free Realms we had to go outside our comfort zone of developing conventional MMOs. It's sometimes hard to try to put yourself into an eight year olds' shoes, even though at one point in your life, you were there. This is why focus tests and speaking to parents is extremely important. With adults, we can easily speculate what they can understand. Where as, with kids, we can't assume they know how everything works or what certain things mean.
Read Making an MMO For Kids.