Monday, July 17, 2006

Ten Questions for Crafting System Designers

If I were a producer, and you came to me to ask for guidance in designing a crafting system for your MMORPG, here are some of the questions I might ask you:

  1. Who is the target market for the crafting part of your game? Do you think a market for crafting already exists and your features will satisfy it? Or do you think your crafting features have to be so good that they create a market for that kind of gameplay?

  2. What percentage of your subscription base do you want to encourage to try your crafting features? Just people who already enjoy crafting, or all players? (In other words, what level of development effort will you be putting into this portion of your game?)

  3. What do you think those potential crafting players want from a crafting system? How do you know that's what they want?

  4. Will your crafting system be very different from crafting in other popular MMORPGs, or very similar? Why might gamers think your crafting system is more fun?

  5. How will your crafting system help make your entire game more fun? How will it support your core gameplay experience? How does it tie into the game economy, storytelling, combat support, and other system(s)?

  6. Where does your planned crafting system fall on a graph of power vs. simplicity? Do either of those values change for a player over time?

  7. Will your crafting system satisfy both new players and veterans?

  8. Will your crafting system satisfy both casual players and hardcore gamers?

  9. Will your crafting system support both soloers and social gamers?

  10. Will your crafting system satisfy both those who want to craft as a creative act and those who want to produce items for economic competition?