“Craft is part of the creative process.”
Does It Work
After spending years working for the Dance school at an Art College, I did my time in the studios and the theater. The school offered BFA and MFA degrees, with the under-grads focusing on dance technique and the graduate students focusing on choreography and producing.
All students took Composition class every year, every semester. This means that they created dance phrases and solos and trios and group pieces throughout their time in the college. Some got produced and performed, we did eight shows a semester. This means that I saw a lot of brand new stuff from brand new triers; in volume. This is why my hair is now gray and I have trouble remembering things!
Sitting in thousands of these sessions of showing early work I was very lucky to listen to some experts in the field and experts in feedback. Though it was said in many different ways; here was the process.
The first question after looking at a new thing was “does it work?” If it does “work” then we move on to improving the piece and making it more solid, strengthening the key concept.
If it does not work, then we go back to the beginning with some tough questions hoping to unravel the basic idea that got it all started.
There are three questions:
- What is your intention?
- Do you have something to say?
- Who is your audience?
Remembering that these questions have all been worded many different ways, these sort of sum it up.
When we look at the World of Warcraft as a piece, we know that it works. It has been a successful franchise for many years.
However, when some of the modules of the game are looked at, it is fair to want to ask these questions and we wish we could.
Let’s take Mythic Plus.
Mythic Plus is very successful. But, I think, the numbers may be skewed by folding in other things like professions into the dungeon runs. Blizzard could say, maybe, 100,000 mythic dungeons were run this week implying that everyone is happily playing. However, many people like myself are doing miserable pug runs of Mythic 0 for the weekly event.
The designers have said that they do not have the Invitationals in mind when they design a dungeon and I say that is a lie. One has to have it in mind, even on the side, when making choices — this is the “who is your audience” question. There has to be some imagination happening when picturing the dungeon run at high levels.
Your audience changes everything. If it is a fund raiser, then you “show the money” by putting on a lot of flash; if it is for family and kids, then it is nice and bright and easily digested; if it is for the hard-core crowd in some 60 seat theater on Hollywood Blvd, then every choice has intention as it will be weighed by people who know what they are looking at in the work.
Let’s take Professions
I want to argue that the profession design doesn’t “work”. One can not move on with the design without backing up to the beginning to answer some core questions. Chiefly, “what is your intention”? This question is asked because players are abandoning the process completely! So: why?
We don’t know and we can not ask. We sit here frustrated that pivotal materials are folded into the dungeon and raids. Even worse, we begin guessing at intention and concluding that the designers have no interest in making a good block of rewarding game play. Economy, time spent, success all come under our guessed at questions.
The blogging community for WoW are fans of the game. Usually the game works so well that we play at ideas to make it even better. We might write on bringing Baby Spice back or an Inscription toy like the Chef’s Hat to make Ink grinding faster and not see our characters go AfK.
Reading the round-robin of bloggers, I see people turning away from professions and many are avoiding Mythic Plus dungeons. While the game “works”, some of the modules within the game needs some scrutiny.