The tenth annual Game Developers Conference is in full swing in San Francisco, CA -- and yesterday included a panel by Rob Pardo, Executive Vice President of Game Design at Blizzard Entertainment. Pardo spoke about design philosophy and how Blizzard approaches it, sharing not only Blizzard's success stories, but where they failed along the way, and what they did to fix it. Blizzard's design philosophy follows some key elements:
Gameplay First: Before anything else, you want to concentrate the game on the fun. All aspects of the game -- the design, the mechanics of encounters, the quests and story are focused on making the game fun to play. Not only fun to play -- but fun to play for players, not developers. The challenge is to keep players jumping through the correct hoops, while making those hoops fun. Sometimes this involves making some changes -- for example, only night elf males could be druids in Warcraft III, but for the sake of making the druid class, something that sounded like all kinds of fun, they had to be made accessible to both genders, and both sides. So the lore was adjusted so that females and tauren could both be druids -- otherwise they couldn't have introduced the class at all. And that wouldn't be any fun.
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