Transcript of RuneScape Behind the Scenes #135 - The Dragonkin's Den

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[00:08] BEHIND THE SCENES

  1. 135: INTRODUCING RUNELABS

[00:11] This week on Behind The Scenes we welcome you to Dragonkin's Den.
[00:15] Choosing what update to work on is always a difficult process,
[00:19] especially when thousands of players are making their suggestions
[00:22] alongside the ones already being concepted within the Dragonkin's studio.
[00:27] It's the job of these Jagons to make daily decisions that determine the future of the game,
[00:31] choosing where and when to invest their development time.
[00:35] First up we have a familiar chap who thinks the RS team have the perfect solution to this problem.
[00:40] All whilst giving your ideas a chance to shine.
[00:43] But we know these Jagons aren't easily charmed, so let's see how he gets on.
[00:49] Hi, my name is Mod Mark.
[00:52] The team and I have a fantastic investment opportunity to share with you today.
[00:56] It's called RuneLabs. It's all about 4 words.
[00:59] Share, support, vote, and enjoy.
[01:02] I believe RuneLabs can change RuneScape, for the better, forever.
[01:07] Let's go through each of those words.
[01:09] Share.
[01:10] Firstly, we create a place for players
[01:13] to share their ideas on new RuneScape content,
[01:16] or improvements to existing content.
[01:18] Support.
[01:19] Players can look through the ideas and support their favourites.
[01:24] Vote.
[01:25] Each month there would be a different criteria
[01:28] for the type of project that Jagex is currently looking for.
[01:31] The most supported suggestions that meet that criteria will get selected
[01:35] for a Player Power poll, and then voted on.
[01:38] And lastly, Enjoy.
[01:40] The winning option goes into development,
[01:42] and sometime in the near future it will be made into the game for everybody to enjoy.
[01:48] Thanks for listening.
[01:49] Does anybody have any questions?
[01:51] An impassioned pitch from the former pirate and Father Christmas impersonator.
[01:55] Mod Dean is first to question the burly chap.
[01:59] We already have this though Mark, it's called the suggestion forums.
[02:02] Actually this is the natural evolution of the suggestions forum.
[02:06] It's a system designed specifically for the generation of quality ideas,
[02:10] and provides all the features you would need to keep track of those ideas,
[02:14] recognise support and be properly moderated.
[02:19] It is a good idea but with one big flaw.
[02:20] I think we're going to get inundated with rude and ridiculous ideas.
[02:24] Things like party hat vending machines or pigeon harpoons.
[02:27] What are we going to do about that?
[02:28] The simple answer is that we establish a clear but firm set of rules
[02:32] to avoid that from happening.
[02:33] For example, no idea would be able to fundamentally change the core of the game.
[02:38] No idea can break the game world, the economy or the lore of the game.
[02:42] Those rules will help ensure that RuneScape is safe and secure for another 14 years.
[02:47] Mark, you mentioned there would be different "criteria" for each project.
[02:51] Some might say "criteria" is a fairly abstract concept.
[02:55] Think of them like requirements for the ideas that could make it through to the voting phase.
[02:59] Whilst any idea can be suggested, it's only those that meet the criteria
[03:03] and have enough support that actually make it through to the poll.
[03:07] A good save from Mark, leaving the Jagons looking impressed.
[03:10] All, that is, except for Mod Ana, who has her own questions.
[03:14] So, is this just an excuse for running out of ideas?
[03:17] It's understandable after so long.
[03:19] No, no, not at all.
[03:20] We've got more ideas than we could ever possibly use even with another 14 years.
[03:25] RuneLabs won't provide all of the updates that we release into the game either.
[03:29] We'll still be producing lots of our own stuff too.
[03:31] This looks unrealistic Mark. Let's crunch numbers.
[03:35] I understand having rules to ensure
[03:37] that we're only getting workable ideas through,
[03:39] but surely we'll still have a huge number of suggestions,
[03:42] more than we can hope to handle.
[03:43] How do you propose to deal with this?
[03:45] The most genius part of RuneLabs is that it self-governs.
[03:49] We only come in to pick out the top few results
[03:52] that the community has decided on at the end of the process.
[03:55] Of course we'll have to assess the top ideas against the resources available for each project.
[04:00] We'll go in and leave comments and moderate where appropriate.
[04:05] It looks like Mark is winning the Jagons over with his sharp responses and natural charisma,
[04:09] but Osborne wants to scratch further beneath the surface.
[04:12] I like what you're saying Mark, I do, I do.
[04:14] But I worry about the weekly schedule.
[04:17] Are we going to lose focus? Are we going to have fewer updates?
[04:19] No, we plan our resources carefully and intelligently.
[04:23] Not every idea we work on will be massive.
[04:25] There will be plenty of small and medium ideas,
[04:27] slotted in to complement our planning, not override it.
[04:31] As I mentioned before, the criteria set for each phase will include things like available development time.
[04:37] There's lots of us, so we will be able to work on multiple things at the same time,
[04:41] just like we always have.
[04:42] For example, I wouldn't expect the first RuneLabs created idea to come out for maybe six months.
[04:48] After all, we've got plenty of awesome content already in development!
[04:51] Ultimately it will be about careful planning and solid communications to our players.
[04:56] OK, Mark but won't we need full design documents, artwork, and character dialogue for this to work?
[05:03] No, no, no, not at all. In fact, we'll need exactly the opposite.
[05:07] Ideas will need to be kept short,
[05:09] mainly because people don't like to read huge amounts of pointless text. Right, Dave?
[05:14] You don't need to be a great designer to come up with awesome ideas.
[05:17] We'll take the bare bones of a winning concept
[05:19] and we'll do all the hard work.
[05:21] I like this idea but I've got an important question.
[05:25] Does this finally mean we're getting sailing?
[05:27] There's no doubt that a vast number of suggestions will be big ideas, like new skills,
[05:33] and we shouldn't ignore or dismiss these.
[05:35] Instead, we should give our player the opportunity to look into our development times and processes
[05:40] and have a greater level of input to what goes into their game.
[05:45] Besides, if we decide that we should work on a new skill,
[05:48] who's to say we wouldn't use RuneLabs to help make it?
[05:52] Excuse me, are you paying attention?
[05:55] I'm in. I'm getting my concepts ready. I don't want to miss out.
[05:57] This system is for the players, not for the J-Mods!
[06:01] Anyway, there's really no rush.
[06:02] This is the beginning of a new way of making content
[06:05] and we're going to start off by not going too big with the first criteria.
[06:10] It will be going on for a while,
[06:12] so people won't have to rush with their ideas or with their support.
[06:15] In fact, it's best for people to really take their time and think about what they want.
[06:20] It looks like he's got one of the Jagons on board straight away.
[06:23] But what do the others think?
[06:29] Well, if it helps, I'm in.
[06:31] Great!
[06:32] Yeah. Congratulations, Mark. I'm on board.
[06:34] Awesome!
[06:36] Alright. I'm in.
[06:37] Yes! Right! Let's do this!
[06:39] Come on! Yeah, boy!
[06:48] Congratulations, Mark.
[06:49] Thank you.
[06:50] You succeeded in wooing the Jagons with your fantastic RuneLabs proposal.
[06:53] How are you feeling now?
[06:54] I'm feeling absolutely over the moon.
[06:56] In fact, I've got some even better news.
[06:58] From the 20th of January you'll be able to start submitting your ideas into RuneLabs.
[07:04] For the first set of criteria we're going to look for a medium-sized project.
[07:08] But, rather than theme it, we're going to say anything goes.
[07:11] I'm absolutely fired up about RuneLabs
[07:14] and I just can't wait for the 20th to see the kind of ideas you're all going to come up with.
[07:18] Excellent.
[07:19] Congratulations.
[07:20] No worries.
[07:21] And next week, ports.