[MUD-Dev] DAoC dev team (was: MMORPG Comparison (UO, EQ, AC, AO, DAoC))

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Mon Oct 15 19:18:04 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Eli Stevens <listsub at wickedgrey.com>
>----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dave Rickey" <daver at mythicentertainment.com>

>> Actually, the process was somewhate unique, different both from
>> what I've seen of other game shops and from my experience with
>> business software (both commercial and in-house projects).

> What you describe sounds a lot like Extreme Programming (XP).  I
> just picked up the first book in the XP series a few weeks ago,
> and the similarities between the process described in your post
> and the book are significant.  You didn't mention XP, however, and
> I was wondering if any of the team / management had taken a gander
> at the book(s).

> If the team's process was based off of XP, I (and the list as
> well, I would bet ;) would be interested in how you used the XP
> ideas, and how you differed.

> If no one had been exposed to XP, I (and again, the list) would
> like to know how the team came up with the process (what spurred
> you to think "hey, this might work") and what might be
> incorporated from XP into the team's hypothetical "next project,"
> assuming you take a look at it.  :)

I haven't heard the term before, and don't recall seeing those books
on any shelves around here, but I can't say with any certainty
whether they were an influence.  My impression was that it was a
scaled up version of how Mythic had functioned for years, making
online games contracted to other companies.

> By my count:
>     1 sever programmer
>     2 client / sever programmers
>     1 client programmer
>     3 tools programmers
>     1 customer service programmer
>   + 1 QA manager
>   ---
>     9

> You said that about 30 people worked on the project.  Who were the
> other 21?  I would assume a lot of content production, but hard
> humbers would be really interesting.  I find it very encouraging
> when smaller teams can pull off a game as well recieved as DAoC.
> :)

  1 Producer
  2 Network/Infrastructure Specialists (including Darrin Hyrup from
    this list)
  1 World Dev Lead
  3 Full-time Quest Developers
  3 Part-time Quest Developers
  5 World Developers (terrain, building placement, mob placement,
    itemization, etc.)
  2 Art Co-Leads
  1 Technical Art Specialist
  3 Artists
  1 Animator

And that accounts for everyone at the company except for Mark Jacobs
and CS.  Almost all of those wore multiple hats.  If I drew a table
of organization, it would look like a plate of spaghetti (at one
point, I had 3 "direct" bosses and one "trainee" who was
simulataneously my subordinate and that of two of my bosses).  If it
didn't work so well, it would be insane.

> In reference to the first paragraph, how was the weekend?  :)

Thankfully uneventful.  Customer service is just getting *slammed*,
but fortunately that's not biting us too badly.  However, Vivendi
has already scheduled a second run (bigger than the first) for next
week, and a third (larger yet) for November.  We hit our original 3
month target in 3 days, and the only reason we don't have more on is
that there aren't any more boxes out there.  Still to be seen what
our retention rate will be, of course.

--Dave Rickey

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