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Do launched games need a Creative Director?

ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

Do launched games need a Creative Director?

Whenever they leave, like in TSW and SWTOR recently, it is big news. But we all know how little new content you get after a MMO is launched compared to creating and designing the MMO before launch. So is it not natural for them to leave?

Large scale reductions in staff are another matter, that does indicate less new content and basic work being done on a launched MMO. But all this fuss about CD’s leaving does seem odd to me.

Comments

  • BigAndShinyBigAndShiny LondonPosts: 176Member

    I think so.  There is this myth that because you only see one new zone a year, a few quests, raids and dungeons that game development slows down after launch.   That is wrong because actually they just put all the new zones and features into expansions and then sell them seperately after a year.

    So yes the Creative Director has a very important job after launch, but it is working with all the good developers on expansion content rather than with the bad ones on the endless raids, dungeons and PvP battlegrounds that fill in the gap between them.

    SW:TOR for example, has already recorded for all of Makeb and Chapter 4 of the class stories, despite their release being months away.  The creative director needs to be there to plan all of this in advance.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by BigAndShiny

    I think so.  There is this myth that because you only see one new zone a year, a few quests, raids and dungeons that game development slows down after launch.   That is wrong because actually they just put all the new zones and features into expansions and then sell them seperately after a year.

    So yes the Creative Director has a very important job after launch, but it is working with all the good developers on expansion content rather than with the bad ones on the endless raids, dungeons and PvP battlegrounds that fill in the gap between them.

    SW:TOR for example, has already recorded for all of Makeb and Chapter 4 of the class stories, despite their release being months away.  The creative director needs to be there to plan all of this in advance.

    Good developers, bad developers?

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,585Member Uncommon

    If there's not much new content being created, then the creative director can also handle other responsibilities, but someone needs to do the job of creative director or it's going to be a big mess.

     

     

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    There is no way that one big dvd update a year is going to need as much work as creating the game did. And as I am sure you know, most games do not get that. They get a few big patch updates a year at best. In the case of TSW it seems they just gave the job to one of the other leads. That makes perfect sense to me as long as that person has a creative background, but would they need that to be their only job? CD post launch seems to be a candidate for double-hatting. (one guys does two jobs)

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Scot

    Do launched games need a Creative Director?

    Whenever they leave, like in TSW and SWTOR recently, it is big news. But we all know how little new content you get after a MMO is launched compared to creating and designing the MMO before launch. So is it not natural for them to leave?

    Large scale reductions in staff are another matter, that does indicate less new content and basic work being done on a launched MMO. But all this fuss about CD’s leaving does seem odd to me.

    It really depends.

    The short / easy answer is 'yes'. Any time you have a complex creative project. You need a creative director. There's just no other way to really ensure that the content being created is coherent to a single vision. Without a creative director you tend to have projects that seem very fragmented and all over the place.

    If, after a game has launched, they already have a creative plan set in place, and haven't really thought about future content releases passed a certain point, then you don't really need to have the main creative director on board anymore. He's done the groundwork, and there's usually a creative lead that understands the plan well enough to see it through for the next few updates.

    However, in the case of SWTOR / TSW, I'm not sure it's really that big of a deal. The vision is clearly inplace, and there's no indication of an expansion coming for either game anytime soon. Neither game is really doing much in terms of updates, and in both cases the focus seems to be more on financials than creative issues. So in those cases, I'd say the creative director role is fairly unimportant until the games start going in a new direction again.

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