I discussed with one (non-game developer) guy who had got assignment to “be at this place at 10:00″. After getting this piece of information, the guy was also told “it would be good if you could come little earlier”.
“Little earlier”? What does that mean? Is it 5 minutes earlier? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? Why not simply say “be here at 9:45″, that would make the task more clear.
Same thing can happen in game production. Sometimes a programmer might ask “we can do this minimum quality, but do we need to do it with higher quality?”, to which game producer replies “Do the minimum level, but it would be nice to get higher quality.”
“Would be nice”?
In this situation, the programmer didn’t know what to do, and when he asks for help he gets confusing assignment and probably goes home to burn some ants with a magnifying glass to release stress.
If the producer is the one who makes decisions, then he is the guy who needs to say for example that “Do the minimum quality” or “Do the higher quality”. Or, if he needs to think about the resources he could say “Do the minimum quality, but if creating higher quality takes less than 3 days then proceed”.
Giving specific details is really important to avoid any confusion.
(And to help ants to survive.)