Ben Brode's Design Lessons from Improv
Ben Brode gave a talk at Blizzard's 2015 Design Summit in which he shared his experiences with improv and how it helped him become a better game designer. Thanks Ben for pulling this out of Blizzard's archives to share with everyone!
Cool Fact: The talk was given the week before they announced The Grand Tournament.
is this guy for real?
"We should totally like, print a spell that draws 5 cards, deals 5 damage, gains you 5 armor!"
*rationality tries to kick in*
*improv lesson overrides rationality*
"YES, AND IT SHOULD SUMMON A 5/5 AS WELL!"
Love how most of the negative posts about Brode are mostly 20/20 hindsight comments.
This is the type of presentation my teacher could do...
wonder if he does short or long form...
I wonder if B.Brode would do that speech as it is today.
Blizzard always made good games, and I think Hearthstone is a good game,they did a good job,but Starcraft fe. is also a good game and it’s basically dead. New content is fine,but more important in the long run are things like , how beginner friendly is HS? Are we making enough changes (new modes,patches) to keep the players entertained without mocking ppl away ? ( Kibler mentioned something that he played another cardgame were they did so many changes that he lost interest because a deck he created a month ago was nonfunctional cause of all the changes.) Can we improve our Organization? etc.
I know Team 5 ( B.Brode) doesn’t have influence on all these things,but they seem much more important than the next expansion.
I suppose you are referring to SC2, which is not really "dead" but compared to what its potential was, its player base shrunk way too much. IMO it's because they fucked up elements, that could really catch more than just the ladder players. In SC1 and WC3 you had lots of small communities who were interested in map making, clans, etc. That's also how we got DotA. SC2 messed these up. Fucked up custom gaming (why promote popular maps as developer?), no clan/guild system in the beginning, streamlined ladder experiences turned off lots of people from WC3 (including myself, though I enjoyed SC2 campaigns).
Fun Fact: This was right before he 'improvised' the worst expansion in Hearthstone's history.
Off the cuff
This guy is such an idiot. Just like Mike Donais. They are the real problem of this game.
I guess now we know how Ultimate Infestation got made: "yes, and?"
Love how people think they can place Ben Brode as to whether he is "worthy" of his position. There's a reason he's employed. Don't kid yourselves.
The team as a whole have a difficult job to do in terms of creating and maintaining appeal across a wide spectrum audience. Sat behind your computer, sprouting negativity about the guy, just shows how detached you are from the realities of being in his position under one of the largest entertainment companies on Earth.
Him and the team are aware of what they do. They live the game every single day, at work, when the majority of the HS community are at work doing something entirely different. I for one think he quite clearly lives the game, as I do and anything from there is just someone's perception of the decisions he and the team make in regard to the game and could never fully take into account all facets of that reality as we don't work on Hearthstone.
As for the subject of Wild and naga sea witch..there are plenty of players out there dominating wild without running the deck and against the deck. Look at its stats and you'll see that it isn't everything people portray it to be..
While Brode and team are doing a good job, they continue to fail to implement a sensible testing function. They've shown no ability to adequately test content. They really need to institute a testing function beyond the clearly inadequate testing they do internally. They need to institute a PTR or sorts where players can test new content in a PTR environment (just like they do with most of their other games). This would give them more design freedom to take chances and give them more freedom to make changes to cards while in the PTR environment. Many people don't remember there were 100+ card changes in Alpha and Beta version of the game. I know there are arguments against a PTR for a CCG but those arguments carry little weight compared to the benefits of testing the new content in a robust and comprehensive manner.
Ultra fanboy detected. We're in the worst Hearthstone scenario ever due to Blizzard's greed. Come on, boy, they haven't did anything well since Vanilla/Beta changes.
We're talking about a team that forget to play cards if they cost 0 mana.... and just after then they call stupid to all the player base. We're talking about a team that priorizes earnings to their own game. We're talking about a team who apply nerfs because there are only 3 +50% winrate decks in the meta, and after the nerfs still there only 3 +50% winrate decks.....
They're simply incompetent.
Have you seen most other card games before? Its next to near impossible to balance a card game without the masses developing the meta itself. Sure you can find some really overpowered cards before they are out and change them but you won't be able to find them all, if no one is given incentive to follow a meta. The main reason meta decks become meta is because fans will want to try it in masses if it works. Even if there is a PTR that ruins the point of online card collecting in the first place. Sure it may change some, but it'll do more harm financially then help.
A couple years ago, He posted a video of why they didnt buff cards. Kripp and him "argued" if it would be good or bad to do it, and Ben Brode was hard AGAINST buffing any cards. Now that the Naga Sea Witch has come to Wild, they buffed it, completely obliterated Wild mode with it, and what does Ben Brode do? Remove his anti-buff video from his Youtube account...
if you still wanna see Ben Brodes video against Buffing any cards it's still there: https://youtu.be/f1ioY1KO79A
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut Naga Sea Witch did not receive a buff. The rules of the game was changed which happened to change the circumstances of a few cards including Naga Sea Witch.
Also last time I checked the statistics for Naga Sea Witch Giant decks, they had below 50 % win rate in average. It might feel hopeless when the opponent lucks out but just know that he doesn't luck out more often than he fails.