Another patching mechanism that we make use of at Taldren is to externalize as much of the game data as possible to facilitate user extensibility. Your fans will be able to generate far more ideas than you will be able to handle. It would be far better if you simply allow them to make their own changes to the game. I find it useful to think of it as their game. For example, in the SFC series all of the ship data has always been easily modifiable in the format of a simple spreadsheet readable by Excel.
There are many subtle benefits to user extensibility; one is that it gives your game legs without your continued effort. Half-Life and, by heritage, Quake are probably the most user-extended games in the history of games. Clearly an activity (providing for user extensibility in their games) that the highly successful Valve and id Software perform is an activity that any company should emulate. Too many companies think user extensibility robs sales from their own future sales. I am not going to proselytize further on this issue; for those of you who resist user extensibility, good, stay that way more for Taldren!
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Game Developing Tutorial
What Does This Book Cover?
Why Make Games?
What Makes Game Development Hard?
Game Project Survival Test
What Is A Game Made Of?
Business Context First
Key Design Elements
Game Design Document
The Technical Design Document
The Project Plan
Shipping Your Game
The Design Document
Unified Modeling Language Survival Guide
Putting It All Together Into A Plan
Controlling Feature Creep
Alpha, Beta, Go Final!
Point Releases Vs. Patches
Garage Development Spans The Internet
Getting A Job In The Game Industry
Starting A Game Development Company
Outsourcing Sound Effects
Outsourcing Cinematics And Models
Outsourcing Motion Capture And Animation
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