Developer Memos: Introduction

This is the first in an occasional series of Memos to Developers: Things They Should and Shouldn’t Do … although I will warn you up front, these really are in the category of Things I Shouldn’t Have to Write Down. Common sense and all that, which curiously is more uncommon than one might think.

Like, “This coffee is scalding hot, do not place near your sensitive genital area while driving at speeds greater than three miles per hour” or “POISON – DO NOT EAT!!” … and yet we do have to write that stuff down, don’t we?

I get a chuckle from Game Rant sites that do a lot of numerical analysis about break-even points for box sales, subscription numbers to keep a game afloat, how to improve games’ replayability and multiplayer content levels. Honestly, is it the players’ jobs to tell developers what will be profitable and what is “fun”? Isn’t it obvious?

Well, it would be obvious for anyone that actually plays games. Consider that little tidbit the first common sense item. PLAY YOUR OWN GAME.

Play all the classes and races. PvP and PvE with almost no equipment. Level up a crafter. Collect loot and craft components. Try to make game money as a noob. Travel around.

And when you find out how mind-numbingly boring some of your game mechanics are, walk over to the responsible designer’s cubicle and beat him with his own severed limb.

It can be a very effective motivator.