Think random development thoughts!

I was talking to someone yesterday via IM about an addon for Garry's Mod (though it's a generic thing I'm going to address). He proposed something, and we talked about whether it's possible, the complications involved, the complications in making it accessible to players and not a risk for people using it, and finally whether the end product would be worth the effort involved.

Doing this allowed me to make a few observations about discussing development with someone who isn't a developer:

  • They'll make a lot of valid points, especially some good ones relating to the accessibility/method of use of something, but they can easily misjudge how big a concern their points are, especially in early development. For example, the person I was speaking to thought that keeping players from ruining other's fun, or crashing the game for themselves or others, was a serious consideration for a tool right from the start of development. In reality, restrictions and limits are easy to implement compared to the main bulk of the features.
  • For obvious reasons, they can't know whether something is possible. Therefore, you spend an inordinate amount of time exploring the realms of impossibility unless you want to prevent them contributing at all, which is of course wrong. I had the peron I was talking to attempt to persuade me I was wrong in saying somehing was impossible at one point, which was REALLY awkward.
  • They severely undervalue random spontaneous combustion of any entity.
I may sound a bit of a prat, but I'm really just typing some of my thoughtstream. I've got some of my best ideas from talking with people who couldn't make their ideas into reality themselves, but these ideas always need so much refinement they become all but incomparable to the original proposal. If anyone actually reads this blog and everthinks a developer, big or small, should do this or that, just think: if I were discussing my issue with them, would my concet be bulletproof against physical or practical objections?