Re:Free =/= Fun (Score:5, Interesting)
by gman003 (1693318) writes: on Thursday May 06, @12:41PM (#32112602)
Too true. Game design is one of the things open source does not do well. Open-source clones are often superior, purely on technical grounds, but fully original open-source games tend to be less fun than commercial ones.
Why is this? Simple. Game design is an art, and a complex one at that. Open-source works well for technical tasks. The Linux kernel is one of the most stable ever, Apache is the best web server I know of, and Firefox is my preferred browser. Open-source fails at artistic tasks simply because the end result is designed by a committee, not a single vision.
I'm working on a game myself right now, and I fully plan to release the engine code as open-source. I will not, however, be making it an open-source project, because then, instead of one unified artistic direction, there will be dozens, pulling the game in different ways.
Game design is not, as most people imagine, a simple task. It takes experience and judgment, knowing not only what to add but what NOT to add. When making Wolfenstein 3D, they originally implemented things like dragging corpses into corners and searching through pockets. These were cut not because they were themselves bad, but because they conflicted with the other elements of the game. If you were to open-source a game without a strong player base with strict ideas of what belongs in the game and what does not, you will end up with a jumbled mess of ideas.
Perhaps, however, an MMO could be made to work. If you limit most contributors to only making new quests and dungeons, it might work. Large-scale balancing and other major changes should be limited to a few people, less than a hundred.