Set a Limit For Quality

One of the mistakes in game production I’ve done is to require excellent quality for all the tiny details. This has happened years ago, and hopefully I’ve learned from the past. While the habit of making things work perfect can be fine in certain situations (polishing the core gameplay for example), that doesn’t mean you should follow the same guideline everywhere.

Here’s a practical example: Our Edoiki game characters. First when the characters were textured it was good to remind that they won’t be seen very close, and making very tiny details in the texture simply is not a good idea. While it might be cool to have detailed Japanese symbols, it doesn’t make much sense since nobody is going to see them anyway. Same goes with the animations that are currently in progress. There’s no point perfecting how the chin (for example) needs to move since the game camera won’t see it anyway. Making certain small details in the animations simply would be waste of time – some of them are good, some of them might be waste of resources.

That’s where you need to set a limit for the quality. For some artists who demand to create perfect characters this might be a tough issue, but it’s the producer’s job to explain that they won’t be seen anyway (don’t count on them to believe this – some people will continue doing the work anyway explaining “but I *know* it’s there”).

Some professionals simply won’t accept low level of quality, but it’s the producer’s job to set the limits. Even if it seems “low quality” for the team member, it might mean “the best possible quality” for the project.

Set the limits for quality, and you’ll do a favor for your project.

3 thoughts on “Set a Limit For Quality

  1. If we talk about quality, man… I wonder how this all new adplaces will impact your blog. Well, I’ll stop reading it from your domain and will stay with casualgameblogs.com.

  2. Just a comment: I think most of the games have tons of details most people usually don’t even notice during gameplay.
    Might be a FPS game where characters are running and you need to react fast, you really don’t notice most of the details.
    But these details come in to play when screenshots are taken.
    Remember that when you market your game your potential players will judge your game graphics according to the screenshots. And in the screenshots they will notice more details.

  3. I think this entry should be titled “be wary of perfectionism”. :) That’s essentially what you’re getting at, and I agree completely. You can (and should) make the less important things just “good enough”, since you can always improve them in a patch if necessary.