Blizzard's design process and the role of failures
11 innovation lessons from creators of World of Warcraft by Colin Stewart is a very interesting discussion. I don't agree with all of them but some are important. That one struck me as relevant:
"6. THE IMPORTANCE OF FREQUENT FAILURES “One of the mantras that a large software development company uses is ‘Fail Often, Fail Fast,’ ” Wartenberg said. “As Alan Mullaly said when he led Boeing Commercial Aircraft, ‘We celebrate mistakes; bring them into the open, because we can’t help fix what we don’t know about.’ ” To show Blizzard’s devotion to this principle, CEO Morhaime and other executives listed the titles of canceled games Blizzard had worked on: Nomad, Raiko, Warcraft Adventures, Games People Play, Crixa, Shattered Nations, Pax Imperia, and Denizen. “We don’t have a 100 percent hit rate. We just cancel all the ones that aren’t going well,” Morhaime said. “Failure begets success,” intellectual property attorney St. George said. “Many successful companies and CEOs have noted that their best successes have come from failures. The lessons learned from failures will provide the stepping stones for the next innovation.”"
Why do I blog this? gathering notes about failures for a personal project. It's also interesting to see that game companies are only reaching the stage where they figure out the lessons described in that paper ("GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD", "MAKE CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENTS").