[MUD-Dev] Development and Live Team Dynamics
rkoster at soe.sony.com
Wed Jun 8 10:15:11 New Zealand Standard Time 2005
Chris Richards wrote:
> What are the dynamics between the development and live teams
> post-launch with respect to team cross-over, designer influence,
> maintenance, content updates, and architecture.
Alas, the answer is "depends" to most of the below, in all the shops
I have knowledge of.
> For instance, in a medium to large-scale production,
> - How long after post-launch do the core developers support the
Usually, the core developers BECOME the live team. Then you set up a
gradual transition plan and backfill over time.
> - How much of the live team consists of the core developers?
Depends on company finances.
> - Do members of the live team transition to core developers?
There is no distinction between core developers and live team, once
the game is launched.
> - Does the designer hand over the world with guidelines to a
> "live designer" or does the core designer stay tight within the
The transition works just like any other transition. The core
designer gets tired or burned out, gets an opportunity on another
team, and needs to be backfilled.
> - What level of new content requires development support as
> opposed to live team support? For example, in games with
> content patches that have new game dynamics (e.g., Castle Sieges
> of Lineage II, Battlegrounds of World of Warcraft), which team
> designs/implements these features? If the development team
> implements it, how long do they support this new feature?
Generally, you take your team of people and split some off to do
parallel development on the larger feature in a branch, while
everyone else continues the day to day live development. This is why
live team updates typically slow down a bit in the run up to an
> - If the support or game architecture need to be revamped
> post-launch, who has that responsibility? Do business
> necessities often require developers to be pulled from new
> titles or expansions?
The live team does it all.
> I expect the answers are much like those if asked of the
> non-gaming, corporate world, but I'm curious to see where they
> differ, if at all.
I wouldn't know what the answers are for the corporate world, but
your assumptions embedded in the question make me think that it's
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