Raph Koster discusses the design history of SWG Jedi, which is a bit of an extended apology as well as a good story. Most people reading this like MMOs and Jedi, so you probably already clicked the link. Welcome back.
For me, given my work, the most interesting section of the post is “We’re out of time.”
We had to go through and make tough choices on cuts. As early as that Christmas I was already triaging the entire game design. My criteria was “can the game function without this.” Not “will it be good.” Will it work at all.
Being able to think this way is an amazingly important skill if you want to complete projects. I have had co-workers who experienced the need to prioritize as a personal insult that you were not giving them everything they wanted. Projects managed from that point of view do not spontaneously generate larger budgets or more programming staff, but they do lose features at random instead of according to a logical scheme of “required” versus “nice to have.” As the idiom would have it, when filling your bucket, put the big rocks in first; if you are tossing in handfuls of gravel, there won’t be room for all the big rocks by the end. You can probably fit some gravel in the bucket around the big rocks.
Jedi never really seemed a good fit for that bucket.