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Old 01-22-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
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Default Ask the Developers feature

In celebration of the new groovy site design of AG I'm am honored to introduce a new exciting feature series called Ask the Developers. The masterminds behind it all are AGs own Laura MacDonald and industry veteran Steve Ince.

Basically a group of adventure game developers are going to come together once a month to discuss a hot topic or question regarding the genre. The question might very well be yours if you send one to [email protected].

For more info go to the feature.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:39 PM   #2
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And though he is well known for his indominatable plans to take over the whole globe, what is not known is that AG's very own Mattsie was a key component in the very first ATD.

((((MATTSIE))))

He rousted the Guests, kept everyone noticed, mailed and in the know as to times and dates and sign ups. Then he took the huge stream of chatting including all our aimless banter and proofed up a storm. So I got something that was quite fun to prune and nip into proper shape.

Then of course the unsung hero of all us writers work is our very own Editor "Smiling Jack Allin". Without his careful tweaking and expert hand - well let's just say none of us would look the way we do at the publishing end of it all.

So thanks Jack - you may not write the first draft - but you sure do make it shine in the end.
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Old 01-22-2005, 01:43 PM   #3
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I can't wait to read this guys--what a great feature. Terrific job.
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:01 PM   #4
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Cool stuff! Just read it and sent in my suggestions as well.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:10 PM   #5
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Nice article. And I mean that. I'll be careful to read the future ones...
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:33 PM   #6
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Awesome! 8-)
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:55 PM   #7
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Laura and Steve (and Mattsius! and Jack!)--

I just read the article and it was really fascinating. I have a question, though, and I'm going to have a hard time articulating it, so bear with me.

I was interested in the way in which the developers' discussion mirrored a lot of the debates that have been going on in the forum. Do you think that this is because: 1) gamers and developers are thinking about similar issues or 2) you are asking developers about issues of interest to gamers?

Looking down the road to what you want to do with the feature, is the best approach for developers to discuss GAMERS' questions, or their own interests? Or do you think there's a difference at all? In other words, if we are having arguments here over the best gameplay methods, does that mean that's exactly what designers are thinking about? Or could it be that they are thinking about issues that would never even occur to us to ask about?

Of course, there's nothing that would keep these issues from coming up in the "conversation," and I'm sure that as moderators you two will be alert to topics that I, for example, would never think to ask. Just a question about what perspective you think we'll get and should hope for from the feature--and maybe a very premature question, at that!
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:14 PM   #8
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Well to be honest the whole thing began as a mutually shared thought about how much fun certain developer types had romping and chatting at a related forum based developer chat.

I took it further and thought about the format and manner of how to have some sort of private yet ultimately publically accesible discussion. I felt some level of public involvement was essential, hence the public source for the topics. Yet I wanted a private arena where developers could feel free to speak candidly and amongst other experts in their field. Then Steve and I worked out the finer points from there.

As to where it goes, that really is determined by what comes up. I personally have no goal of this topic or that. The intent is to have gamer or market involvement on the what the topic end of things is. There are many groups and forums where developers discuss the art, science and design of games. What they are interested in is what Gamers want to know. What concerns do they have?

We will also favor questions or topics that are topical or seem likely to generate discussion past the ATD chat. The monthly ATD discussion is also intended to be a spring board for more discussion not the end of the matter.

The guests themselves will be selected based upon the topic and the particular expertise and background it seems to call for.

But, yes the first level of interest IS what you and I or the gamers out there want to know about. What issues and concerns are most important. What aspects of gaming really count the most? In the process of thinking about and discussing a gamer driven topic, the developers gain insight into perhaps where their scant resources should best be employed.

Even better there is the potential to learn a bit more about making games, that they creatively believe in -- and that gamers also want to play.
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:39 PM   #9
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Thanks--both for the explanation and for the behind-the-scenes, "making of" look at how you came up with the idea. It's very promising and will certainly provide even more fodder for us when we argue about what these folks think (and maybe vice versa?!?).
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:43 PM   #10
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Wow, that's neat.
I'm looking forward to seeing more of these...
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Old 01-22-2005, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
It's very promising and will certainly provide even more fodder for us when we argue about what these folks think (and maybe vice versa?!?).
Well hope so , not that logic ever got in the way of some people's posts heh

Thanks Ninth ... I do hope it will be fun and even provocative from time to time 8-)
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:00 PM   #12
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Great job, guys. This is an awesome addition to the site.

-emily

ps I like how Martin grins a lot.
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:18 PM   #13
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Thanks fov, One of the best things about having an able co-host like Steve is the wide range of experience and talent he brings to the table during the chats.

And Martin, well he's the whole package too; talented, smart as hell, disarmingly funny and what's really awesome is he brings the beer.

Last edited by LauraMac; 01-23-2005 at 04:33 PM. Reason: don't know an equal sign fm. a hyphen :D
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMac
And Martin, well he's the whole package too; talented, smart as hell, disarmingly funny and what's really awesome is he brings the beer.
Mmm... German beer...
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:18 AM   #15
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Hey! Why hasn't anyone told me before that "Nancy Drew" is "Kitty" in Swedish? Or why didn't I figure that out it on my own?

I think that a great deal of Swedes, aged from early teens to at least their fifties would recognize that brand!

Maybe I could get my wife, mother and sister into adventure gaming with a Nancy Drew title?

Shall I start a company that localizes the Nancy Drew games for Sweden, sell them at "mid-price" at the supermarket and share the profit with Her Interactive? Too bad we're only 9 million people living here.

\David
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:22 AM   #16
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Really nice feature.
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:21 AM   #17
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Default A Sincere Pat on the Back

Hello, Laura, and all those involved in the first "Ask the Developers"--

Though I know I don't write much on the boards anymore, I do need to spend time to tell you what a solid article this is.

Truly, this is a step in the right direction.

I remember when Evan first told me that you were jumping on board, Laura. Had I known you would be bringing with you such great ideas, I would have sent you flowers or something.

And a HUGE thanks to all the developers who participated in the first Ask the Developers and to those developers who WILL participate in the near future.

Nothing shows how much we adore our adventure gaming community like providing it with such credible and entertaining stuff. Chow down, everyone!

Best,
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraMac
Well hope so , not that logic ever got in the way of some people's posts heh
Now I'm curious. Too bad this is Site Feedback, else I'll be harassing you to get names. Which in turn would cause an internal war, and... :eek:
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:31 PM   #19
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Great feature article, great idea! Thanks to everyone involved!
More, pleeeeeease.

I understand the developers are interested in the gamers's views.
What's funny though, is that I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of how the developers/publishers think like...

It's a bit like this paradoxon EasiliyConfused mentioned in the Flirtation thread (in Chit Chat), which arises due to the mutual interest in talking about the other.

Anyway, keep up the good work. 8-)
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Old 01-24-2005, 01:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov
Great job, guys. This is an awesome addition to the site.

-emily

ps I like how Martin grins a lot.
I think this feature will attract more readers, as it's a very unique one - it's like something that would normally only be seen on places like GamesIndustry.biz or GamaSutra. As a big enthusiast about the industry in general I give this feature my highest praise and look forward to seeing more of them.

There is lots of room for little nuggets like these - articles and columns that give insight into the minds of developers and their thoughts about the general flow of things. They are, after all, the people behind the games.
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