Today’s post isn’t specific to MMOs, but is so tremendously true – and useful – that we’re featuring it anyway.
There’s a saying in software development that “The first 80% of development takes 80% of the time, and the last 20% of development takes the other 80% of the time.”
As more and more games – often very ambitious games – get funded on Kickstarter, an increasingly large number of them will look like they’re slowing down, falling apart, or failing. Some of them will be.
Others will just be going through a perfectly normal process of game development.
Rampant Coyote explains more:
“In my experience, one of the main things that causes indie game development projects to fail is the incredible gulf between prototype and product. This is actually not a problem limited to indies, or even to game development. I’ve had uncomfortably close views of this phenomenon with spectacular, expensive failures outside of gaming.
In fact, let’s talk about one incredible failure at a non-gaming company. The previous management of the software department had been sacked because, IMO, they were too willing to speak frankly to technologically illiterate executives – and often told them things they didn’t want to hear, like how long a project would really take. So new management was brought in, and they selected a “silver bullet” system (which, incidentally, the previous management had considered and rejected). The sales team and techs from this third party were able to throw together a very pretty prototype of new software using our existing data inside of two weeks. On the surface, it looked like it was halfway to completion!
If halfway there, they reasoned, the rest of the software should really only take two more weeks to complete! They generously gave us eight weeks, just to be on the safe side. We needed training on the new framework, after all. They signed papers, spent a lot of money, and patted themselves on the back for finding such a brilliant, easy solution.”