View Full Version : Curious about DDO Content Design & Development

12-12-2007, 03:21 PM
Dearest DDO Content Designers & Developers:

I’ve always been interested in the process of designing of content in DDO and in the MMO game industry in general. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make the DDO Dev Chat tonight (http://ddo.warcry.com/news/view/79614-DDO-Dev-Chat-12-12-2007), so I wanted to ask my questions here. I’m not in any hurry, just extremely curious – so feel free to answer questions out of order and as you will.

Thanks & Yours Truly,



How do you decide what goes into a new module for DDO? How long does this process take for pre-production content development? What about for designing a level?

Designing content is all about the creativity. What are the common kinds of limitations do you face during your creativity process? (Legal, tech, resources, etc) Feel free to use examples.

What was the most difficult restriction you had when you came up with an idea or story for a new Module? I would personally love to hear an example, with one of the past modules.

I find one of the most interesting aspects of MMOs is that the audience can be connected to the game for as long as they are awake. They can access the game almost 24/7 for long stretches of time. While some players can play as little as less than an hour, others will play over 24 hours. How do you keep up with the players in delivering content? What kind of ideas do you come up with to keep the players who invest high volumes of time interested in the game?

Players love drama, and some go to great lengths to create their own drama (we have many role-players in DDO). What are the most compelling reasons, personally and as a game designer, to create drama and tell dramatic stories in an MMO such as DDO? What are some of the difficulties in conveying drama in quests?

How do decide on what methods to emotionally involve people when you present content? What are the hooks you like to use? Again, I love examples.

As with most MMOs, stories are created by designers, not the consumers. Do you think there is away for players to influence a story line from one module to the next? If so, how would you do it?

Levels (quests) are stories within themselves, so when you design a level what story elements do you consider? Examples are always good.

I have found that DDO quests need to have high replay value for an audience with a relatively short attention span. How do you keep the players interested in the quest from one encounter to the next? What kind of interactive solutions have you come up with that keep a player engaged that aren’t obvious to the player?

What content detail is overlooked the most by players in the game? Was there any content put in as a passing thought, but had a bigger reaction then expected by the players?

What quest did you have the most fun in designing? If you play DDO, what quest did you have to most fun playing in because the content was compelling?

Have you ever considered revamping old quests? If so, how would you do it? If not, why not and are there any difficulties in updating the content in older quests? Examples!