Gamasutra interview with Habbo Hotel designer

In Uncategorized on 2009-07-28 by Kyle Maxwell

Gamasutra has an interesting interview with Sulka Haro, lead concept designer for the virtual world Habbo Hotel.

Interesting points:

  • Players recognize characters’ social status by clothing or appearance, but in ways not immediately obvious to outsiders / new members. This happens in other games, too: certain clothing combinations in Star Wars Galaxies might appear aesthetically pleasing but generally denote new characters, so more experienced ones avoid them.
  • The topology of a world can provide a driver for sharding. EVE Online works in a single-server environment because it has a topology; thus, characters not only have locations in different areas, they have to traverse the topology (fly from one star to another) and thus the game doesn’t have to deal with all players existing in the same place at once. Habbo Hotel doesn’t have that sort of topology; Haro says they don’t have any topology, but I think we should say more accurately that it has a very simple topology.
  • Haro sees a delineation between usability and immersion: the more usable the developer makes a particular feature, the less immersive it may seem to players. This largely results from the fact that developers want players to spend lots of time on immersive things rather than complete them quickly and move to other tasks.

Lots to chew on here. I intend to read Sulka Haro’s blog more regularly based on this, even though I don’t play Habbo Hotel.

via The Daily GameDev.Net


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