[MUD-Dev] Dilemmas in a (game) designer's life ?

John Buehler johnbue at msn.com
Sat Apr 20 23:37:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

Brandon J. Van Every writes: 
> John Buehler:

>> The important thing here is that we keep our eyes on the prize:
>> happy use of our product by a customer.  Deriving primary
>> satisfaction from any other step along the way will mean that you
>> may very well pause and never go beyond that step.

> But as far as I'm concerned, that's not the prize.  The prize is
> ongoing financial support for doing whatever the heck makes you
> happy.  Happy customers is only a means to an end.  You have to
> take the risk of enjoying yourself too much because that's the
> reason you're doing games and not accounting software.  I agree
> that one should manage the risk, but it's a mistake to think it's
> "secondary" to look to your own enjoyment.  People are way, way,
> way too concerned with the power of the audience.  They'd do
> better to consider the power of the marketers and distributors.
> If you can avoid being self-absorbed enough to kick a decent
> product out the door, then the bottleneck is getting people aware
> of the product so that they can buy it.

You misunderstand.  I personally derive great enjoyment from people
happily using what I build.  That is an end unto itself.  The fact
that I could make a living from building software made software a
viable career for me.  But if not software, it would have been
something else.  Now that I have the option to choose anything at
all, I'm choosing furniture-making.  Again, I'm looking forward to
crafting something that people will enjoy having in their home for
years to come.  The fact that I derive happiness from others'
happiness means that I'll work for their benefit.  I won't 'build'
drugs because that's not to the benefit of my 'customers'.  If you
look back at my posts, you'll see lots that talk about ethics and
morality of games.  I want to build games that work to the benefit
of the customers.  Avoiding addictive features, etc.  These are
things that someone uninterested in the customer's benefit would
include if there was a good monetary return over the long haul.

So I'm not attempting to diminish the pursuit of happiness for one's
self in the making of game software.  I'm attempting to link it to
that which will make it possible to actually enjoy the entire
process of building, testing, shipping, maintaining and supporting a
product - because it results in a great experience for the
customers.  If the only reason that somebody is developing a game is
for their own enjoyment of development, then when it comes time to
test, document, maintain and support the product, the developer will
become bored and let the project fade.


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