Sunday, July 6, 2008

Need versus want

There was a big shift in strategy this week for our first demo, and I'm still of mixed feelings: disappointment, excitement, and resignation.

Since we started planning the first demo, we've been commited to incorporating animated avatars. This week, it became clear that it would takes us several weeks, if not months, longer to complete the demo and cost us tens of thousands more to do it, if we incorporated animations as opposed to video. In the interest of speed and cost, we switched our strategy to use video instead of avatars.

Ultimately, the goal of the demo is to show the strategy of the product, the storyline flow, and the user experience. All of these things can be shown using video. The problems with video in the actual product, though, are having to use the same talent over time, and the ongoing cost of video production.

Avatar animation has a big initial upfront investment, but over time is probably more cost effective. Plus, much easier to edit, and you don't have to keep hiring the same talent over time.

I'm thrilled that the demo will be done soon. I'm disappointed that we couldn't do the whole thing with avatars. I'm looking forward to signing our first contract for this product so the demo will just be another way of showing our capabilities, not the primary way we are exhibiting our virtual world expertise.

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