Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quality Confusion

I find the concept of "quality" to be among the more abused components of game developmen and maybe even for artistic expression in general. The problem is that different people consider different things to be quality. The main stances towards quality which I am familiar with are something like this.

Engineering: Quality is when it works technically elegant.

Business: Quality is when it has obvious sellable features.

Art: Quality is making an impression.

Perfection: Quality is meeting established goals.

The more common among ordinary people is the perspective of business quality. People talk about the obvious sellable features when they talk about a product. They often and faulty equate a small number of features as a poor quality product. This flawed reasoning is the core motivator for me writing this post.

To start correcting the problem we have to change a little bit of what describes business quality. We have to replace the word “features” with “advantages”. After we have made this correction I will easily argue the stance that to reach high quality you have to nail all four of these perspectives.

Next problem is that the reasoning above really does not talk about quality the way I consider quality. I would call the above statements for “needs” which are base requirements for reaching ROI with anything. If losing money is desired then compromise on one or more of the perspectives.

Real quality is meeting all of the product needs without the existence of defects.

Quality is not a creation or induced by adding things, rather a result of a well balanced methodology. An arch enemy of quality is the misstake of associating ambition level with quality. This leads to the common problem of people claiming that small simple products are having “low quality” which is a fundamentally flawed argument. Those simple products are, when successful, rather reducing ambition for increasing quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment