Friday 11 July 2008

A damage control problem

I read a lot of game design blogs. I also happen to be in the middle of writing an article based around designing special abilities for games. And I also saw that Team Fortress 2 had started up a blog.

Perfect storm?

No - I turned up at the TF2 blog, saw that they hadn't got an RSS feed, and walked away.

As a result, I missed Robin Walker publicly soliciting advice for the Heavy's new power ups. No other game designer blog I read mentioned a thing. And now, a week plus change later, they've had so many responses, they're overwhelmed.


The good news is that they've had such a good response, Valve will keep doing this in the future. But shame on my fellow game designer bloggers for not mentioning this great challenge and/or shame on me for missing out this time.

[Edit: looks like Valve is still taking suggestions. This is really a challenge about how to pace a fight. Ideas and discussion in the comments thread. As Robin puts it:

What other goals should we have for the Heavy update? Half the battle of good design is choosing the right goals and the right constraints. In A Heavy Problem, we specified a goal for you, and the constraints that had to be kept in mind. Try taking a shot at defining the overall set of goals that the Heavy unlockables should be trying to achieve. Watch out for the common circular logic trap of finding an idea you like and then trying to extract goals from it. We find it's best to not think about ideas at all at this point, and to focus entirely on more abstract goals. What are the biggest problems in the Heavy class? In what situations is it the least fun? Like idea evaluation, goal generation is a big topic in itself, and one we'll go into in a later post.
[Edit 2: Fifty pages of web fora discussing the problem for you to read here.]


Enne Walker said...

I have the same aversion to any site without an RSS feed, but the TF2 blog happens to have one:

Andrew Doull said...

They have one now... they didn't at the time of the original announcement of the blog.