Larian Studios - Lessons From The Preview Tour
Swen "Lar" Vincke has written a new blog on his personal site about the lessons he has learned from their ongoing preview tour for Dragon Commander and Original Sin.
Finally, the third issue was that we were showing alpha code in an unfinished state and were letting the media play these builds code hands-on, in multiplayer, on 4 machines , with only three of us there to guide them, in situations where sometimes there were 8 journalists present. Because we couldn’t deal with everybody simultanously, inevitably the message of what is final in the game and what isn’t final was lost in translation. This undoubtedly will lead to inaccurate reporting but the only way we could’ve solved this would have been by either a) limiting the area where the journalists could play or b) ensuring that we never had more journalists than we had Larian team members present or c) not do a hands-on.
Since a) limiting the area in a RPG is a pretty bad idea, b) having more Larian members present would mean that nobody would be working on the game anymore and c) not doing a hands-on is a sure way of not getting the journalists to come to our events, I’m not sure how we could’ve solved this, so I’m definitely open to suggestions. I guess part of the problem is that for us, being developers, it’s pretty obvious what still needs to be done and what not, but that’s not always the case for the reporters – especially the younger and thus more inexperienced ones. I think that in the future we’ll literally mark the assets in the game that are stub with the text “stub” – this will probably avoid some confusion.