[Seaside] Congrats to Dabble DB raising ~$2M

Brad Fuller brad at sonaural.com
Tue Jun 27 23:06:16 UTC 2006

tim Rowledge wrote:
> On 27-Jun-06, at 3:03 PM, Avi Bryant wrote:
>> I intend to write a blog post about this, but ultimately we look at
>> this as "make it work, make it right, make it fast".
> I'm so happy to see this meme cropping up more and more. I (to the
> best of my knowledge) first coined this way of explaining engineering
> in a nutshell for Smalltalk classes I taught 20 years ago. "Rowledge's
> Rule" is my little attempt on immortality :-)
I'll remember Rowledge's Rule. It's good. I like it.

We (myself and two others) coined a term at Atari for a new method to
develop successful games. In a nutshell, 1 in 10 arcade games really
made it to the market as a "hit." The particular problem was that it was
very difficult to tell if a game was going to be popular or not. You
never really knew until it was developed, built and put in an arcade.
Development of each game was expensive. At the lab, everyone certainly
had their ideas on the proper ingredients of a successful game. Some
indications of a popular game were the ones that were played often in
the lab. Developers that had track records were not always the ones with
the next big hit. We even instituted "walk abouts" where every month on
a Friday afternoon all labs were open to play games and critiqued in a
friendly, lively atmosphere - that info was fed back to the game team. 
However you must get the game developed, built and out there in the
arcade to gather statistics and watch people play.

On the premise that 1 out of 10 games made it, an expensive proposition,
we came up with a quick-develop method that we called "Find Failures
Fast" or "F-cubed." And that's just the idea: get the puppy developed
quickly so players can get the idea of the game. If they don't like it,
dump it and start over.

The Rowledge Rule reminds me of F-cubed.


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