"If I forget about an idea after 4 or 5 months I know it was a good thing we never started it, but if after two years it's still there and you're still excited by it, then that's the time to start thinking about putting it into production."
- Game designer David Jones (Grand Theft Auto
) shares his internal test for whether a game idea is good enough in a video interview
for the Critical Path documentary.
A lot has changed over the years: as David points out, in the old days games could be turned around in under six months, with sparks of inspiration turned into playable products and quickly put onto store shelves to see if they worked. Today's designers have to think about the longevity of a product before committing valuable development time to it.
This raises an interesting question: are commercial games better now that the ideas behind them have to be so carefully scrutinized, or does real innovation come from throwing ideas at the wall and seeing which ones stick?