Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Some game aspects get designed, get developed, and get implemented smooth as glass, gliding into place with the grace of an Olympic-ranked ice skater in a triple lutz. Every twist and turn is seamless and beautifully executed; each aspect of the performance is a joy to behold. The costumes are perfect; the music is absolutely right. The crowd goes wild, the applause is deafening, and the medals stack up galore.

What the crowd doesn't see are the years of 6:00 AM rink sessions and after-school practices that stretch out into the evening dark. They don't hear the harsh yelps of the $150/hour coach dragging his Olympic hopefuls through repetition after repetition of routines, alternately begging and scolding, pleading and cajoling until his preteen victims collapse in tears of frustration and hapless tantrums. They don't bear witness to the wrenched ankles, bruised behinds and taped knees.

Routines are never perfect the first time they are executed. Even a seasoned pro has to spend quite a bit of time working on a new dance.

An immense amount of redesign has gone into styles, from the inside out, the bottom up, the core to the surface. Virtually nothing of the first attempt will remain when this new approach gets into place. Tarn, with his incredibly detailed design and plan - and Falknor, with his incredibly detailed code and implementations - are taking this aspect of combat to an entirely new level.

I'm willing to bet that this new dance will be an amazing joy to behold.

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