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October 22, 2006


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Every hardcore developer is a casual developer trying to break free, or not, there's definetly a place in the world for Splinter Cell and Elder Scrolls.

The key to lower budget/higher margin is twofold:

- emphasize highly modular art assets which relate empathetic feedback to the user (the empathetic part is what many unsuccesful casual games miss, but which the likes of Diner Dash don't)

- organize production around contracts with independent professionals based on material delivered, not time

With no regular burn rate and tight, mildly scale-able, iteratively evolving design goals, you can compact the budget of a game and deliver something that shines. That goes for really dark, hardcore games just as much as quirky, colorful "casual" games.

I also believe that model is scalable to AAA levels of production, but that hypothesis is as yet untested.

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