Cryptic's Jack Emmert has posted a new entry in the Cryptic dev blog detailing their new processes for ensuring a quality game experience, including shutting down development on Champions Online for two weeks to take an intensive look at a single zone.
Cryptic was founded way back in July 2000 and has developed and released two MMORPG products and we are currently working on three projects right now. Champions Online is the closest to release and has the largest team by far. But what's changed over the years? What have we learned from developing and maintaining City of Heroes?
I was inspired to write this short entry because we just got done with something internally that we'd never, never done before. We finished a zone and were just about to head into working on something new. But we felt that the zone needed some attention. Sure, QA had identified some bugs in it, but the zone did "work." But the one thing we weren't entirely sure about was whether the zone was fun.
So we shut down the Champions team for two weeks. And everyone played the game. Each person was required to play for at least an hour each day, and a goal for the whole team was set for at-home play hours. As a reward, if the team played for 600 total hours for the month of June, the company directors would hold a BBQ for them. As people played, we expected them to use an in-game tool to log bugs, comments, suggestions and criticisms.
Read more here.