Second part of a GDC Online interview with three industry veterans.
Asked why she thought that was the case – and there’s little doubt it is – Massey went on to explain that she couldn’t be entirely sure but, “from where I sit there’s so many processes that bog things down like everybody has to vote on this and you have to have your SCRUM team and we didn’t get that through SCRUM sprint, so that’s going to have to wait.”
As the link between players and developers, this lag between the need for a feature and its implementation can be particularly trying for community management teams, as Massey explains “But as a community person we’re saying we have to have it now, the players want it now, players are going to quit the game if we don’t put it in now. “Well it’s going to be in the next sprint.” It’s one of the greatest frustrations as a community person.”
Massey then highlighted misconceptions that some players have regarding development teams when features are not released quickly, “Developers are hard working people, it’s not like they just sit there and play games all day. There’s a joke "Well it’s research for work," but you really need to know what is out there and get ideas it’s a legitimate part of their work from it but it’s not all they do. They don’t just sit around or shoot each other with Nerf guns, but I don’t understand why it takes so much longer now.”
To end the interview, Massey made a thought-provoking point about the relationship between the modern development cycle and whether it has actually improved the quality of games, “You don’t see it in the end result, yeah they look better, but that’s not really game design, are games more solid now, are they more fun than they used to be? I don’t necessarily think so.”
With the respect that Valerie has in the industry and as enjoyable as it was to talk to her, as well as Ian and Gordon, I’m sure her concern that “People are going to be bombing me with water balloons,” is completely misplaced.