What We Can Learn From SWG Foolishness

June 12, 2007

by Onder Skall

Allen Varney, creator of the brilliant pen-and-paper game PARANOIA, wrote up a brilliant piece about the terrible handling of Star Wars Galaxies for The Escapist. Here are the bullet-points:

  • If your licensor wants you to launch your game before it’s ready, cancel it.
  • It’s the community, stupid.
  • Many players don’t experience a persistent online world as “a game.” They experience it as “my life.” An online world’s hardcore players view themselves as citizens. Some want to be good citizens, some bad, but the entire core wants to believe they belong to something permanent.
  • Big changes after launch drive away existing players and make newcomers mistrust you.
  • “Fix the bugs before release, or release now and fix later?” The NGE (among dozens of disastrous launches) confirms it beyond dispute: Fix the bugs. If you can’t fix them, cancel the launch.
  • Oh yeah – don’t launch before you’re ready

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