Author Archives: Sandra

Who’s In Charge of Quality?

Who gets to say when an MMO patch is ‘done’? Does QA answer to the live producer? Can QA stop the launch of a patch or does the producer alone have that responsibility? Every live MMO team I’ve been on … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 3 Comments

Graphical Upgrades Are Dangerous

You are an older MMO. You don’t look sexy anymore. Your players think a graphical upgrade would help you recruit new players. They tell you how embarrassed they are to be seen playing you and how easily they could convince … Continue reading

Posted in Business | 13 Comments

Why We Need More Women Developers

When game developers have a conversation about women gamers, if often goes something like this: Women gamers are a vast untapped market. If we can tap into that market we can make lots of money. So we better hire some … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 12 Comments

Ready the Meat Sacrifices

Scott Jennings of Broken Toys (whom I still call Lum in my head) posted last week about the upcoming slate of 2011 MMOs. It’s a good post, and if you read this blog I expect that you have already read … Continue reading

Posted in Business | 3 Comments

Converting Players with Content is a Waste

The other day Eric posted about why There Shouldn’t Be A Signup Form. His post smacked me over the head with something I should have thought about a long time ago: the futility of converting through content. At some point or … Continue reading

Posted in Production | 13 Comments

New Year, New Method

Eric and I have a blog. Who knew, right? Well, you probably did – you are reading it after all. Anyway, we’ve been posting here for over three years now. Our posting rate has never been astronomical … and it’s … Continue reading

Posted in News | 11 Comments

Don’t Reverse Your Conventions After Six Years

I’ve been fascinated with Cataclysm, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, since I first heard about it. In many ways this expansion is a live team’s dream: an opportunity to fix the whole goddamned mess that the previous teams have … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 11 Comments

The Newbie Hose Continues to Spurt

Several sources that I read told me today that, during the Activision Blizzard Fourth Quarter Calendar 2009 Results Conference Call (whew!), Mike Morhaime (president of Blizzard) said the following about World of Warcraft: “Our research shows that trial players who … Continue reading

Posted in Business | 22 Comments

Think Like a Designer

“Learn to think like a designer, not a player.” You’ll hear this a lot from game developers giving advice to would-be designers. And it’s not wrong … but taken at face value, it leads to being a sub-par designer. There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 3 Comments

Okay! I Get It! Big World!

I’ve never been one to idolize world size or travel times in MMO games. I don’t really believe that ‘slow travel makes the world seem bigger’. But I put up with travel in MMO games because, however much it annoys … Continue reading

Posted in Design | 15 Comments