September 29th, 2012
Contrary to the heavy hitters of the industry, we have taken a ‘less is more’ approach with our feature set. Yes, it’s partly to keep the financial requirements to a minimum, but there is .. more to it (pun intended) than just the money. Lots more.
First, it allows us to give greater focus on each feature, making it as polished and bug free as possible. As a developer for some time now, I can attest to what happens when you get spread too thin across too many features or projects. It’s quality or quantity. We are firmly on the side of quality.
In addition to the above, many features are in today’s game for the sake of convenience. What most people may not realize is the cost of these conveniences in the way of development and processing power. Take global chat. Did you know that global chat can consume a huge amount of your server and bandwidth budgets? I’ve seen cases where it has consumed up to 1/3 of the resources. With that in mind, wouldn’t you rather have those processing cycles and bandwidth dedicated to something more core to the game like AI, rendering, combat calculations, and so on? If you’re curious, we didn’t decide to nix global chat for resource reasons but we’re happy to have the extra horse power due to its absence!
Also, a lot of companies will pack their features with options. This is usually in an attempt to reach a wide spectrum of market segements as possible. How many times have we seen a game tout that their designs are just as friendly to PvP as it is PvE? Or how the design allows a casual gamer to keep pace with a hard-core gamer? When you want to cater to all these audiences, you have to code accordingly. You’ll need to make PvP areas, PvE only areas, dueling systems and give the users options on who/how they wish to duel. You need to buff this area a bit more with stronger creatures because it is a PvE only area. You’ll need to create PvP dungeons as well as PvE only dungeons. The list goes on and on…
Finally, it allows us to deliver a base set of features that we’re very transparent about in a timely manner and let the game grow organically from there based on input of the ones playing it.