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When It's Done

David North Posted:
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I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was a normal work day and I had completed a few illustrations.  I was taking a break to check and see what was going on in the world and that's when I saw the news, Guild Wars 2 was announced!  I was super excited and so was the rest of the guild, as we discussed it during that same night while playing the first game.  It was truly awesome news.  As time went on, no news was given on the sequel.  We waited and waited, when it seemed that we wouldn't hear any news at all, the gates of hope began to open.  For the next couple of years we received news on gameplay mechanics, playable professions and races, but when we ask about a release date we only get one answer, when it's done. 

When it's done, is that a good enough answer?  Hell yes it is!  As a person who plays games, the one thing that really makes or breaks a game, is if the game is put together in a way that feels whole.  It seems these days that developers are forced to pump out games in a very short amount of time.   We end up buying a product that isn't worth the money.  Graphics and animation end up looking terrible, glitches often plague a game to a point of it being unplayable or broken, poorly executed “features” are added in just so that the game can have multiplayer, and the core gameplay is given less attention.   

Every genre has been plagued with this curse and I am tired of paying money for incomplete products.  I admit, when I first heard about the Guild Wars 2 announcement I thought the same would happen again.  I really enjoyed the first Guild Wars campaigns, as they offered a unique style of gameplay that I felt was well executed, and ArenaNet truly gave the game the attention it deserved to keep the title up to the high standards we players held.  I wanted the same care to be given to the sequel.    In my opinion, a true sequel must expand on what the game before it accomplished.  I believe new goals should be set, and the developer must do everything to bring new life to the franchise, not just throw a clone of the last game together and hope everyone buys it, such as Call of Duty. 

ArenaNet has a very unique opportunity, and they are not wasting it.  I always felt that the first Guild Wars games were meant to try and fix the online RPG genre.  In a way they succeeded, but technology has taken a huge leap, and it's time for a new generation to arise.  ArenaNet has actually created a whole new experience.  The gameplay is new and exciting, offering a new way of playing an MMORPG.  They saw that the art direction in the first game was well accepted by their players, so they kept doing it.  By letting the artist have the time to try and create the visuals for the world to mix in with the writing, and allowing designers and writers to create its lore, we are given a world that is interesting and full of things for players to explore.  This is all thanks to time

This piece was an awesome learning piece. I spent 3 days on this to learn new techniques. Time can also be used to learn from mistakes, and to try new things.

The fact that ArenaNet has been given the time to truly create a game that is worth playing is a real blessing.  As a person who works on games, I hate it when things become rushed due to super tight deadlines.  The creative process is shortened, preventing characters and environments from becoming the best they can be.  I have seen the same with graphics, as modelers and texture artists are forced to create high quality graphics within a short amount of time.  With these people being only human, mistakes will happen.  Flaws in programming will cause glitches, and the lore of the game becomes contradicting.  Everything about the game suffers.   All because a publisher wants to see some more money in their pockets, when they could let the developers take the time to make a game that is truly worthy of our money, and they would make even more money.  ArenaNet is in a truly lucky position. 

I once had to do some very tiny thumbnail sketches of a space ship for a project within 5 minutes. A programmer liked one of them, and that's how the ship design was chosen. No awesome discussion about the ship was, or how the player would interact with it. What a waste.

Let ArenaNet take their time.  They have begun to show us that the wait is well worth it.  They are given the opportunity to make the best game they can truly make, something all game developers wish they had.   I understand the few of you that are complaining that it's taking too long.  I want to play this game just as bad as you do, but we need to wait.  It will be more than worth it in the end.

Here is a sheet of paper that I kept sketching one to get ideas out of my head for a creature.  If I had stopped and settles for the first thing I did, look at how much I would have missed out on!

Here is a sheet of paper that I kept sketching one to get ideas out of my head for a creature. If I had stopped and settles for the first thing I did, look at how much I would have missed out on!


David North