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Portalus Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Historical | Status:Final  (rel 01/22/08)  | Pub:Portalus Games
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Dev Log

Posted by Jon Wood on Oct 11, 2006  | Comments

Dev Log - Pirates of the Burning Sea - MMORPG.com

There's a new Dev Log over at the Pirates of the Burning Sea . This one comes from Bert Harvey and talks about the ups and down of content design.

 

How do we make our content? Our content department has numerous approaches to how the various stories get made and end up in the game. Some of our key story lines come from our writers. Others the individual designers come up with and they take them from concept to completion by bouncing ideas off each other and off other departments.

My personal favorites are the ones we do ourselves. Finding the kernel of a good story arc in your head, rolling it around to figure out if it would be fun and if it would fit with the overall theme well, then sitting down and writing it out is both challenging and highly enjoyable. But the coming up with the start of the content is just part of the fun. The real fun starts with the brainstorming session.

For us, that generally means an off-site meeting. All of us pack up, loading up with soda, whiteboards, and notepads and set out for an undisclosed location. Once there, we set up and get things rolling. We pitch ideas, critique each in turn, form new ideas, re-write old ones, and generally have a blast. What may have been a cool idea that was a small side mission may end up becoming an epic chain after bouncing around and building between us all.

It’s much like an avalanche. A designer will start going through a pitch, putting out the various story ideas they’ve been spec’ing out. Along the way everyone starts pointing out cool twists, interesting locations, new personas to use. The ideas and suggestions start building in tempo, spawning new suggestions and spin-off ideas. Soon we’re all talking and whoever originally pitched the idea is generally scribbling as fast as possible, trying to catch everything that’s flying around fast and furiously. It’ll continue like this for a couple minutes before winding down and coming to a conclusion, where the designer is busily re-writing or adding to his or her original idea. Then it starts again as a different designer starts their pitch.

Read the whole log here.

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