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October 6th, 2012, 03:16
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
No one claimed she was *the* lead designer. It was being questioned whether she even had any significant degree of involvement with Wiz 8. Being credited with all the things you mention only shows how wrong that was.
Yes she had many roles in the creation of Wizardry 8, some of the most demanding of which she was the sole person credited. For the design role though she shared credits with 7 others so, given that and her other more singular responsibilities, it does not serve as a very clear example of she can produce as the lead designer, a lead designer, or even necessarily much of her personal design skills at all. Pinning the collective work of 8 total designers as an example of her capacity in that role is unfair and unhelpful compared to available examples where she actually did serve as a lead or the lead designer and did not have sole responsibility over other portions of production.

Why is it unfair to overemphasize Wizardry 8 as an example of her work as a game-designer? Sure, some of the good aspects of the game design may have had something to do with her; it could very well have been one of the seven other designers working on the project. Perhaps more seriously though the same would be true what might be perceived as flaws introduced in the newer design compared to past wizardry games. If someone didn't like the hour long overland battles with swarms of the same generic mobs converging on the party, the easier puzzles, auto-scaling enemies (depending on whether or not it seemed unbalanced), or other new aspects then it would likewise be unfair to pin the blame on her.

Given her other duties and the large number of staff cited as designers, it is unclear verging on unlikely that any individual design decision could be illustrative of her performance - for good or ill. I'm sure she made some decisions as she did receive a design credit, but as things are it is impossible to determine which if any were due to her influence. That is why I have said it is a comparatively poor choice as an example of her work as a designer - not because she did not have a significant role in creating the game but because her contribution in that specific role is far from undiluted and attention to it hardly undivided.

It does, along with some of the Jagged Alliance games, serve as a demonstration of her writing work with respect to crafting overall plot as well as specific scene and dialog writing. The games which show her work in crafting plots and writing are critically very successful - though I suspect opinions differ on whether that element was a strong point or not. By comparison, the works which feature her less diluted and less divided work as designer are mostly not games one would mention in trying to excite people about this kickstarter.

So, if we go by the resumes they have been given the opportunity to build so far, there is evidence by which to judge her writing abilities. At the same time there is little evidence that is both illustrative and positive by which to judge her design skills. Her design role in Wizardry 8 was not especially illustrative of her design work while most of the games she worked on following that would either be not illustrative or not positive examples depending on whether one had faith that she was underutilized in that capacity. Given her resume, I would suspect that this may well be the case but would have to hold off on more details before I put my money on it. It is also why I would find blaming her for Sirtech's failures as someone else in this thread had to be similarly unfair.

I absolutely hated some of the design choices made in Wizardry 8 and found her attempts to work within the existing narrative passed to her from the previous titles to be rather good considering what she had to work with. So by not overemphasizing her design role in Wizardry 8 while recognizing her writing ability - in particular the challenge of continuing an existing narrative in the same tone and voice with all its cheese and strangeness - I am able to be optimistic that as more details come out about this game I could find it very appealing.
Last edited by jhwisner; October 6th, 2012 at 03:39.
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