Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hire WTF Guys

I was talking to a friend in Ventrillo the other night while playing Alien Versus Predator and was reminded of my long standing belief every game needs a WTF guy. Every developer and producer take note, hire one person who is not in the game development industry but is passionate about games. Have them sit in on meetings with the sole purpose of asking WTF are you thinking when you come up with arsine ideas.

You know why Blizzard is so good at making games? They have a WTF person, his name is Tigole. Blizzard plucked Tigole out of Legacy of Steel from EverQuest and had him help develop World of Warcraft. Tigole has now moved on to Blizzard’s new MMO project. For the record I knew OF Tigole before he was with Blizzard. My EQ guild had fairly good relations with LoS back in the day.

But Epiny you say, Blizzard’s games were great before World of Warcraft! I know but Blizzard North, the creator of Diablo, was a small development company who were all WTF guys. They were NEW to the gaming industry. Blizzard proper had some experience with the Lost Vikings but Blizzard struck gold with the Warcraft series before they had a chance to be corrupted by success. After the huge success of Warcraft and Diablo Blizzard only needed to add onto what they had already accomplished. They didn’t have to rebuild anything from the ground up, only make sequels.

Think about that; not counting the Lost Vikings Blizzard has only ever created 3 types games and only 3 IPs, intellectual properties. That actually isn’t very much. Think hard on how many other companies have only created and survived on two IPs. For those wondering the 3 types are RTS, Hack and Slash RPG and a MMO.

I think I’m losing focus, it happens on these wandering rants. Hire WTF guys. It isn’t hard to pick out who has solid logical ideas for game development in the gaming community. Tobold has posted many times different ideas for what would make game encounters more interesting. If you can handle the static to noise ratio you can even find good gems in random gaming forums.

I don’t think it boils down to any one thing why games have been coming out with obviously BAD game features. I do think a contributing factor is that the developers have been in the industry to long and are looking at games from a creator’s view rather than a gamer’s view.

It’s a long time joke any time I start working on a new construction project. Everyone who is labeled as an expert in their field sits down for the first meeting, looks at the project blue prints, and wonders WTF the engineer was thinking when they drew up the plans.

People who constantly create these games often become out of touch with what a good game really is.

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