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IMGDC - The Newbie Experience

Posted Apr 04, 2008 by Jon Wood

IMGDC - The Newbie Experience

While attending the 2008 Indie MMO Developer's Conference in Minneapolis, Community Manager Laura Genender sat in on a panle discussing the importance of the newbie experience. In this report, she brings the thoughs of the panelsts and those of her own tot he table as she discusses this important element of game design.

The first ten minutes of your experience in a new MMO world are pivotal. The fate of your character (and subscription) rests on the back of you enjoying and understanding gameplay in those first 10 minutes; your continued interest and intrigue depend on the challenge and distinctiveness of the world and game systems. An MMO must be revealing enough to gain your interest, but secretive enough to make you log back in. It’s like some cybernetic courting dance of man and program.

So why the heck do so many newbie experiences suck?

This past weekend at the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference, I attended a panel featuring Brian ‘Psychochild’ Green, Meridian 59 designer and founder of Near Death Studios; Scott Hartsman, previous EQ2 maven now gone indie; Kelly ‘Ophelea’ Heckman, game journalism diva and now running Gamersinfo.net; and Jason Murdick, Product Developer for Simutronics Inc. This panel dealt with the all important topic of “Designing the New Player Experience.

Read the whole thing here.

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