Re: Hero Wars: the Criticism

From: Simon Hibbs (
Date: Fri 05 Jun 1998 - 19:50:02 EEST

TTrotsky :

> Good grief, I think most of us here are adult enough to realise
that the
>game is unfinished and that they can deal with it responsibly and in a
>constructive fashion.

That's a matter for Robin to decide. I can only speak from experience -
some people at the german con (a minority tank goodness) came to wholy
unwarranted conclusions about the game. I talked to someone who was in
the playtest and he said that he didn't like the game because it didn't
have 'X' in it. In the real world, that's the sort of pre-judging and
misconception that happens.

I have not said there should be no disclosure of information, nor have I
said that there should be no discussion. What I have said is that it
should be in the context of the evolving nature of the game. I do not
believe that wide availability of the current playtest draft would be
constructive. A ballance needs to be met, and I object to being
characterised as a reactionary censor for saying so.

>Are you (all those who've made such comments,
>not Simon specifically) seriously claiming that nobody can discuss
>things intelligently outside of a playtest session and that the game
>somehow be sabotaged if they do?

Are you saying that nobody can possibly come to an inaccurate and
unjustified opinion about the game from an incomplete draft?

I've already seen it happen.

>The only argument I've seen is that people
>might object to the game because it does or does not include specific
>they like/dislike. Well, if that's true isn't this just the sort of
>Issaries should know?

That's what playtest groups and feedback forms are for.

>Restricting the number of people permitted to register
>their views hardly seems likely to encourage this!

Game development by mob vote is hardly going to get anyone anywhere. The
game designers have a right to privacy, a right to develop the game in
their own way and on their own terms. I respect that, and I hope you do

The purpose of playtesting is to test those aspects of a game which have
been written so far so as to see how well they work in practice, and
what adjustments may be necessery. Playtesting is not an opportunity to
write up vast swathes of the game that are still in development and
expect to get co-designer credits. That may seem obvious, but believe me
it has happened in every single playtest I've ever participated in.

Robin seems to be very open about the game and I appreciate that. I do
not feel that he owes any of us anything. It's his baby and the level of
disclosure and debate he enters into is his choice - not yours or mine.

Simon Hibbs


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