RE: Do I have to understand the material?

Subject: RE: Do I have to understand the material?
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 14:38:38 +0100

Allen wrote:
ILM gets end users in to test their games and see if odd-ball key strokes
cause failure or if there are confusing parts of the game that the end user
just doesn't get. If they can do this, why can't the rest of the tech

Sean Hower:
The gaming industry is known for its GREAT manuals and online help,
combining both creativity and really useful info. I've read dozens of post
mortems for many different games. The most successful went through rigerous
user testing, the least successful were laden with problems and never saw a
user until the product hit the market....mmmmm you'd think that would be
enough evidence......

It kind of proves that it's not evidence that's needed, it's willpower. The
gaming industry has to provide great manuals/online help/rigorous
user-testing, because people play games for fun. If it's not fun to play a
game, word gets around and people don't buy it.

Whereas most other software, people buy it WITHOUT the expectation that
it'll be fun to use - they buy it because they need it (or think they do).
Because the software industry CAN get away without providing manuals, online
help, and user testing of the quality required by the games market, it does.
This is not an attack on my fellow technical writers - I think most of us
would LOVE to be able to provide that level of quality.

My cynical two cents...

Jane Carnall
The word stifle is an anagram of itself.
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone. Apologies
for the long additional sig: it is added automatically and outwith my
control. Home: hj -dot- carnall -at- virgin -dot- net


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RE: Do I have to understand the material?: From: Sean Hower

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