The text of Rob Pardo’s keynote from the Austin Game Conference got me thinking about core values and product teams. Rob is the lead designer at Blizzard, and is responsible for World of Warcraft’s experience, which is fantastic. The simple details that they got right make this game compelling, and frankly have also made it difficult for me to latch on to any other game recently. I’ve tried playing a bunch, including Saint’s Row and Dead Rising, and there always seems to be some simple detail that drives me nuts.
To get back to the matter at hand, as the head of a team of developers, and that team being as large as the largest one I have ever led, I started asking myself what our core values are. These wouldn’t map directly to Rob’s as “concentrated coolness” doesn’t really apply to Java code. I can’t decide whether these kind of core values are best left to organically develop or whether they should be something that I decide on and then attempt to instill into our efforts. It seems like they would be truer if I let them develop, then codify them. Regardless, I think this keynote text is something everyone should read, whether interested in things World of Warcraft or not.