Bugs or No Bugs

We have a choice between adding new content and features or consolidating what we have and adding new features later. I’ve written about this before, but I worry it’s a decision that too often is decided in favor of new features.

I’ve taken a stab at this topic before in “Frustration of Reasonable Desires“, bince since the topic has had some time to stew, I wanted to revisit it.

A lack of features is only frustrating when the features that are missing are pretty essential to the game experience. A feature that does not work cannot be truly considered a feature. If the core features of a game do not work well, and since to some degree every other feature depends upon those core features, one could conclude the game does not in fact consist of features, and to opine that more features need to be added at the expense of bug-fixing is to ignore the fact that it is not “features” that will be added, but rather ever more elaoborate bugs.

I’m trying to make the point that there comes a point where one must cosolidate that which one has created. Create, Consolidate, then create again, and then consolidate once more.

I read recently that it is merely a matter of opinion and preference whether or not one fixes bugs in existing features. If the existing bugs are not utter game-breakers then they can (even should) be left as-is in favor of new features and content. I’m reacting to that. I believe bug-free systems, elegant code, efficient production tools, happy customers, and a happy bottom line all go together.

Some good food for thought on the matter has been posted recently at Zen of Design: “Triage and Extrapolation“.