Edward Castronova reveals lessons learned from Arden

As you may recall, Edward Castronova, professor at Indiana University and researcher of virtual world economics, had been developing a Shakespeare-based MMO, only to close it down because, in his words, 'It's no fun. We failed to design a gripping experience.'

In the current issue of Wired, Castronova offers his '5 tips for making games that don't suck', based on his experience. To summarize:
  1. Don't assume it's easy, even if you have a great idea
  2. Start small -- you don't need a huge development studio to flesh out your basic gameplay concepts
  3. Know your audience -- apparently the game-playing world isn't ready for an MMO where the strongest attack is a triple-level pun
  4. Hire developers who can focus on the job, not students who had educational deadlines to pursue
  5. Admit when it's going south
And Castronova did that last, at least, though the project may not be entirely scuttled. 'Arden II will be more of a hack-and-slash Dungeons and Dragons type of game.' Is he kidding? We'll wait and see!

[Via Wired (print edition)]
This article was originally published on Massively.