NetDevil - Interview @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun talks with NetDevil about their failed MMO Auto Assault and their upcoming space MMO Jumpagte Evolution:
RPS: How did the team feel in the aftermath of Auto Assault? What was learned from that project?
A lot! Honestly it could fill a book! Obviously after the game didn’t do as well as expected and was eventually turned off, that’s a very difficult thing to get through. As a team you end up spending years of your life working very long hours and when that doesn’t pay off the way you expect, then that’s certainly a painful thing. We ended up spending a lot of time thinking and evaluating why things didn’t go better and learned a lot of lessons from that which we are applying across the board. There’s probably a million things that contribute the success of a product but on a high level there’s a few big lessons which I think are important for MMO development. The first is to polish early, and not at the end. Numerous high profile game failures result directly from breaking this rule. The idea is that at the end of development you will always be in chaos, fire fighting mode - and if performance optimizations are thrown in with that as well, it’s not a very good scenario. The other problem is that if you don’t have a great looking, well running game early, then it’s really hard to evaluate how good the game really is. The “law,” if you will, is there’s no such thing as a good game with a bad frame rate.