Over the next few months I will describe the features that will be added to WordPop and the rationalization behind them. Most companies do not share why they add or not add certain features and some of the reasons might surprise you. There are many reasons why features are added. For us they fall into the following areas.
- Was the feature requested by several players? Requesting a feature alone is not enough to get it in. The team discusses the feature. How will it add to the game? Does it enhance game play? Does it affect difficulty? Can it be added safely? How much time is involved adding it? Do we have the expertise to add it? Can we support the feature? Does it need to be explained to the player or is it intuitive? Does it differentiate the game or make it more like an existing game? But the bottom line is — IS THE REQUESTED FEATURE FUN?!
- Is there a bug in the game? With so many different devices the game may work 100% on a Treo 700 but have problems on a 750. I catalog all bugs reported into a bug database. The team tries to repeat the bug. If we can repeat it, we can usually fix it. Typically if a bug impedes game play we will fix it in a timely manner. The bottom line is — IS THE BUG KEEPING THE GAME FROM BEING FUN?!
- Is the game still competitive? As time goes by, competition will no doubt come out with similar games with more features. This is good as it forces us to rethink our game. The bottom line is — IS THE COMPETITION’S GAME MORE FUN?!
- Can the game be more fun? We play our games a lot. And being designers we are always looking for something to add. If the team finds the game not keeping their interest we’ll add a new feature, such as a new level or new art, to keep the game fresh. The bottom line — CAN THE GAME BE MORE FUN?!
In my next post on features I will describe the several new features being added. I’d love to hear your feedback on some of these features.