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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Jul 17th 2008 12:30AM (Unverified) said

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Maybe SOE thinks this is an impressive statement, but really it just makes me think that DCUO is sort of slap-dashed together, and isn't a project that a lot of time has been spent on.

Also, consider how their big announcement focuses on all of the characters of the DCU that players will interact with, but says very little about actual game play, or character design, etc. We do see what appear to be Player Characters in a few of the screenshots, but they are so bland, especially compared to what City of Heroes was able to show off a year or two before its release. But that was a game where the player experience was always first (to the point where CoH had the opposite problem... arguably weak/shallow "lore"). DCUO has lore up the wazoo, but thus far, the player experience seems to be an afterthought.

Posted: Jul 17th 2008 11:12AM starka1 said

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Go to Comic Con or wait for the writeups after Comic Con on the playable demo before making any rash decisions based on the little info here.

Posted: Jul 17th 2008 3:01PM Ayenn said

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You know, this is a really good idea. In most English departments at universities across the globe one of the most important aspects of working on papers is the peer review process. What is being discussed here is that very process applied to MMORPG development. They are not saying they have actually “launched” the game. What they are saying is that there has been a decision to launch it internally so everyone can look over the work of other departments and provide constructive criticism to those other departments.

I would hazard a guess that there is probably a plan to distribute it like this into the “friend and family” phase in the same manner.

It gives the dev team the opportunity to begin practicing larger scale deployment in controlled increments and to get critical assessment from a variety of individuals associated with the development process.

An interesting byproduct would be in house “competition”. When one dev group sees what another has done over a week, month, or even a year they are encouraged to kind of amp up their work in such a way that they can match the progress of other dev teams.

I’m looking at getting my IP to the walk-and-talk phase in about a year to a year and a half. Looking at how SOE is doing this I have decided to adopt the same method.

It makes a lot of sense from a development perspective. You get the product to the walk-and-talk phase (which is some basic to advanced graphic asset implementation, movement implementation, and communication infrastructure implementation… kind of like a VR social network similar to Lively but, in this case, DC themed) and do a controlled distribution to a small group for peer assessment. That assessment is them distributed to the appropriate department leads. Those leads then have an understanding of where they are and what they need to do. Over time the distribution is widened and so is the breadth of review. This then leads to tweaking and adjustment according to the wants and desires of the increasing player base. This then evolves to alpha, closed beta, open beta, and then launch.

It sets up a situation where the dev staff and the deployment and maintenance staff gain better insight into what they need to do and practice with launch as well as an incremental stress test.

No one is saying the game is ready to hit full deployment. Even watching the demo video I can see problems, especially with animation. Those problems will be fixed over time and long before even closed beta launch. All they are saying is they are trying a new style of development that could lead to a more economic and effective method of polishing.

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