Rob Pardo on Game Design

Rob Pardo, Blizzard’s Vice President of design, discussed Blizzard’s approach to designing World of Warcraft (WoW) at last week’s Austin Game Conference. His speech is very interesting and offers some insight into why WoW has been so successful.

We also spent a lot of time on the newbie experience. First and foremost, it’s not overwhelming. We generally shy away from tutorials. I enjoy games like Prince of Persia and God of War, which ease you into the game. That’s the approach we take as well. We drop you right into a newbie zone, and it’s not overwhelming. You’re not in a huge confusing city. The newbie experience is not finding your way out of the starting town.

The newbie zone also gets you right into the action. Everywhere you look, there’s a building or two, a couple of NPCs, and monsters. Within five minutes of starting up, you can fight monsters.

Raph Koster has posted his notes of Mr. Pardo's speech on his website here.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016