Spellborn developers channel a little Crichton.
The guys over at The Chronicles of Spellborn have a new developer tech journal up which talks about chaos theory and how it fits into MMOGs. An excerpt:
The community of every MMORPG I've known has a substantial lobby for changing the game in this way or that. I believe I have illustrated in my previous journal that Spellborn is no exception. In other genres this user interest finds its way in the MOD community. This gamer involvement can be a great boon for those developers who know how to deal with it. Sometimes a MOD becomes a spin off game or increases the lifetime of your product. For an MMORPG it is great feedback on what your users like or don't like. From a business perspective it could be seen as free market research, but that is not entirely correct. It's only the raw data needed for market research. Interpreting the data correctly is the hardest part of research. To only listen to a vocal minority might hurt your game in the long run. For example listening to your PvP predators might chase away their victims. After the 'prey' leaves no one is happy. Someone needs to look at the big picture.
Read the whole thing over at the TCOS site.
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