[GW2] It Takes a Village to Raise an MMO

The one thing that I will commend ArenaNet for in this pre-release hype-building phase is that they are illustrating the time, work, and love that is being poured in to each ounce of Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet could do the simple thing and just prop up the charismatic Colin Johanson with a video blog. Maybe ask him to wear sunglasses, only black shirts, and sport an English accent to make it seem like developers are all rock-stars, but that’s not real. What is real is hearing from all the people that it takes to make one small part of a video game. In the latest ArenaNet blog post they do just that.

This beautiful article goes through a complete process of creating a single PvP map from lore to design to programming. Even my man, Peter Fries, talks about the PvP announcer’s voice with his cohort, Scott McGough. It is readily apparent that each developer wrote their own portion. Habib Loew raises the banner for game programmers and gives an overview of the programming required for PvP within the engine designed for massive PvE. Shen-Ming Spurgeon goes pretty specific discussing one of the major visuals for the map: great balls of fire. I really like how in-depth Spurgeon went for the task.

It’s really a nice read, and I hope that the developers have more time to do this. A big challenge when the polite request is likely “how do I make my job interesting?” I think they did a great job. I think it really helped that these were all bounded in a focused part of the game rather than, “Yo, Chuck Knigge, tell us what you do.”

Like Rubi over at Massively says, there is serious information overload. So many interviews, articles, videos, etc. that it is nearly impossible to focus. For those wanting links I’d check out Guild Wars 2 Guru’s thread, Talk Tyria, and GuildMag for some great updates. For faster commentary than I can handle make sure to look up Hunter’s Insight. With PAX coming, it’s not going to stop for quite some time.


19 thoughts on “[GW2] It Takes a Village to Raise an MMO”

  1. Yup – haven’t been unable to keep up with the information! I’ve been holding off on releasing content onto my blog as it probably won’t even get read for the next couple of weeks! :D

  2. Arenanet has repeatedly down a great job of doing these sorts of behind the scenes looks, I personally really enjoy them.

    Convention overload is such a pain. Just trying to follow one game can be overwhelming.

  3. Serious overload. Too much to process, really, but I thought I saw somewhere that they said they’re about 65% complete. While that is disconcerting to some extent (as it suggests 4.5 years to get to 65%, ergo 6 years or so to release, which cannot be correct) it is also awe-inspiring to think that they intend to layer additional stuff on top of what could already be a best-selling game.

    Someone else said: “Hey, Anet! Release the PvP as a standalone intro for $9.99 and see how many you sell!” That would be one heck of a warmup and would get them some massive revenue – far more than costumes. In fact, they could probably charge $14.99 or maybe even $19.99 for the PvP only demo. Pass the word (heh, heh!).

    1. Not so easy, unfortunately. That would assume the classes and skills are locked down and ready for release when those are two areas that are usually in flux up until the day the game goes gold.

      1. The 65% unfortunately wasn’t a real assessment by ArenaNet, it was a rating given by a gamesite, without giving much context on how they got that number.

        Very likely it’s just a (un-)educated guess.

        1. Yeah, likely based on what has been available in the demos vs. what we know we would get… like asura/sylvari starting areas and 8 dungeons, etc.

  4. I am just overly wary of hype-machines now. Too often have we been let down by flashy developer videos and carefully constructed instruction manuals on why this is epic pwnfacelol. But then you get the actual product in hand, and it is all wrong.

    I think one of the best indicators will be the beta, and the first 3//6 month cycle. I will look into GW2 then, despite being coaxed and cajoled and partially convinced already to be an early adopter…

  5. I’m currently working on a GW2 ‘status quo’ post, but now I’m not sure I want to anymore, lol! :) right after PAX, it will be incomplete again. oh well…

    I wish they published an ETA already – the wait time is getting more painful by the minute.

  6. At first I thought it said, “It Takes a Villain to Raise an MMO.” I was disappointed when I finally read it correctly.

  7. withdrawals from an information saturation period like this can be painful. hope they keep the drip flowing.

    1. My guess is – September = digestion and follow-up, October = small articles, late November = beta news, then Holidays and silence around start of beta.

      1. I think you’re right, Ravious. In fact, barring some unforeseen issue, I’d guess they’re aiming to release early 2012, appropriate timing seeing as it’s the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

          1. Oh.my.gawd. indeed! I totally didn’t remember that next year is the year of Dragon! You just gave me so much hope!

  8. I’ve tried to keep in the dark with GW2, but with Gamescon and PAX Prime back to back, I gave in and started watching GW2 videos. I did it at a bad time because the more information I soak up, the more they throw down the pipeline.

  9. I only starting following GW2 a few months ago (having never been interested in the first game). I just have to say, I can’t imagine how hard it’s been for people who’ve been waiting years for this already!

    Call me a sucker, but I’m totally buying this on release. I just can’t help myself!

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