Mantra / Focus Statement

by Darius Kazemi on October 2, 2006

in Uncategorized

Jurie posted some comments on Rob Pardo’s keynote at AGC (write-up of the keynote here). For those of you who don’t know, Pardo is Blizzard’s lead game designer for WoW.

Blizzard builds a design culture at their company exactly the way I want to. You have core mantras that outline your style, and you stick to those mantras. This is related to the Getting Real philosophy of running a software company. It’s also how Harvey Smith and Richard Rouse III work, as I’ve written about before (Importance of Having a Focus Statement).

I swear that the first thing I’m going to do when I’m running a game company is figure out our corporate mantras, and the mantra for each of our projects, and put them up on the wall. Again, whenever anybody is having an argument about anything, they should be able to look at the wall and say, “Oh. We’re trying to invoke X and Y, but our corporate philosophy is ‘Simpler is Better.’ I guess choice A is the right move here.”

Finally, having a well-defined corporate mantra or ethos can help create a strong, unique sense of style unifying all of a company’s products. Blizzard definitely has this going on. For a startling non-games example, check out 37Signalsmany excellent simple software services.

(In the same post, Jurie also has a lot of great stuff to say about the process of polish, too. Particularly, he notes that while unpolished prototypes are excellent internal communication tools, a polished prototype can win over external parties.)

{ 1 comment }

Anonymous October 2, 2006 at 7:54 pm

Mine is “Ride the Tornado to Play”.

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