Another comment recycled because it works as a manifesto.
(context is from the developers perspective and about sticking with one project instead of bunny hopping from one to the other every few months or years)
Ah, but you are making two big assumptions here:
1 – that the setting of the world won’t eventually grow tiresome
Excuse me but from my point of view it’s way more tiring to work for three years or more on a project without having any kind of feedback, on something that noone can play yet. That’s terribly frustrating because you have to work for years on something where you cannot see the fruits of your work and are never absolutely sure that it won’t turn into a colossal failure.
Hey, it’s much more interesting, compelling and EXCITING to work on something and then see how people react to it. If it worked as expected, if it has some flaws, if it offers new idea to develop after it. The possibility to then expand it and reintegrate it with elements that were cut because of budget and time constraints. How can you have new ideas without that relationship with the players?
In the CURRENT mmorpg development a nearly INFINITE list of things aren’t possible because you have to prioritize things and select only the bare essential. And doing the “bare essential” is also what is driving these games to the ground. There are always MILLIONS of cool things possible, but that you have to put aside because they cannot be quickly finalized.
So you prefer to reset all that work every three years or so to restart right from the foundations? Or maybe it’s more interesting to realize that potential as an ongoing effort, when you can finally react and interact with the community and have a continued feedback about what you are working on, instead of discovering three years later that you fucked it all up?
I mean, I would be the FIRST to refresh a message board every five seconds to see what people think after a system I designed is patched in. I would BEG personally people to comment and criticize what I designed, like I’m doing here on this website with the work of others. That’s what I believe is rewarding, developing games that people can play and enjoy. See how they react to it, and, from that observation, draw new ideas or corrections for future development and potential. What you did yesterday is the very context of what you’ll work on tomorrow. Problems that arise, new ideas, new needs coming from the game.
It’s from those people who are paying you that you draw a motivation to drive things forward and to the next level.
Hell, I would enjoy much more to work for one of those games like DAoC or WoW or EQ that are solid already and work with a team of competent people on which you know you can rely, instead of having the occasion to develop the “game of your dreams”, enjoying the total freedom while going with a semi-suicidal, high-risk attempt to form and work for a brand new studio and try to develop that game from zero, with the remote hope that one day, maybe, some people will appreciate it (unlikely, and not because the design isn’t valid. But because the odds are against you).
I would be glad to put aside my ideas and help the dream of someone else. It makes sense for me to join the forces more than constantly dismantle what you have, quit jobs, start new companies and work new projects that won’t be real for many years ahead.
There are so many great programmers, artists, designers out there. So why not join the efforts and do something truly awesome instead of having them scattered all around? My dream *as a player* would be about seeing them together and making something GREAT. Doing one thing together. And if a “dream team” isn’t possible then let’s at least focus on a core that looks already solid and then start from there, join that one to make it great instead of choosing to be a lone gunner. SOE, EA, NCSoft, Blizzard, I don’t care. Just choose one and than try to do the best you can from that point.
How fun was to work on UO2? How fun was to work on Mythica? How fun was to see SWG crumbling like that?
How fun is to work on projects that you know won’t likely see the light of the day?
Hey, I’m sort of doing that already on this website. And it’s not fun at all.
2 – that the basic premises of the world will permit you to add whatever new features you are interested in
No, the real basic premise is that you can take any of the game worlds out there and see that there are MILLIONS of ABSOLUTELY EXCITING things that could be done. DAoC, EQ, WoW, Warhammer. I write as often about my “dream mmorpg” as I wrote ideas or critics about those games.
I’m not interested in a package of ideas I bring with me and that I want to sell to this or that game. It’s instead the game I play that influences me and suggests me new ideas that are possible in that context.
Running out of things to develop on a mmorpg? I think the idea is just absurd.
Moreover, I think it’s more rewarding to work on top of things already built and actually accomplish something, instead of building, demolishing, rebuilding, demolishing.