Welcome to the Saga Developers Journal.

Silverlode Interactive has released the worlds first “Collectible MMORTS” game, SAGA. This developers' blog is here to give you a never-too-serious behind the scenes look at the company.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cutting features

Our brave leader NOT choosing which features to cut.

One of the hardest parts of producing a game you are passionate about is cutting features. Often players feel that the process is handled like throwing darts at a dartboard or that decisions are made solely based on financial reasons.

While for many companies budget is a huge factor, in the end it comes down to balancing players' expectations and their desire to have the product on time. Some of the most successful companies such as Blizzard are well known for their stance on not releasing a game before they feel it is ready; however internally there is a producer who decides what features he is comfortable pushing into post release.

Inevitably every game experiences feature creep, where lessons learned during development and from player feedback reveal exciting new features that everyone wants to add to the game. It is the job of the producer to decide which of these features to add and which features to push off until after release to allow a game to ever go gold.

For MMO development these decisions are often based on what the producer feels the player progression rate will be. So for example if players will take on average 1 month to attain level 20 in Saga, then it is a wise decision to push off the creation of a level 20 boss encounter till after release in favor of a better chat system that players can benefit from right away.

For Saga we have learned so much and received so much great feedback that the release date had to be pushed back a bit to put in the features we felt were vital and worth the wait; however there are so many more features on the schedule down the road that we can’t wait to begin work on after release.

We thank everyone who has stuck with us, through the difficult testing process and those who are anxiously awaiting each new patch to return. We can assure you that the end result will be well worth the wait.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I try to visit the artists at least once a day. Often by sneaking a peak at their white board I can get an idea of what new art is going into the game. The maiden is surely a design for a new boss or unit, but why why the squid is in love with the Burger King bird, and how it will fit into the game is beyond my comprehension.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Its big, really really BIG

After hearing some excitement from the coding floor I had to run over to investigate. Everyone was crowded around two of the development machines where very large models were battling entire armies. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen, the goddess which is the only way I could describe her was casting various spells on the attacking armies. I turned to Monk to try to make sense of the situation. Why I asked would anyone want to face such a monstrosity? Rewards he answered me with a smile, players will do it for the rewards.
What could be cooler then a 60 foot tall goddess, except a 60 foot tall goddess who drops Phat Loot!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A large tree lives here

I've been walking around the office taking pictures of everything. A lot fewer however were taken at the desks of the developers then anywhere else. The reason is not that our art team is prettier, which I will leave you to debate, it is simply that art is more fun to look at then 80 lines of code, plus all my dev pictures were taken at 2am and no one really wants to see much of that.
Oh look a tree, nothing unremarkable here.

Hey why is this tree 3 times the size of a tower when you place it into the game world? Could there be plans to implement it in one of the story line quests?