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Interview: Habbo's Sulka Haro talks design, social dynamics

Brandon Sheffield from Gamasutra writes:

"Habbo Hotel is immensely popular worldwide, with over 90 million Habbo characters created as of 2008. Sulka Haro is lead concept designer for the game/service, and helps guide facilitate user experience in both predictive and reactive ways. Haro is always thinking about the industry, other titles, and what can be done for the service, in a very deep level, almost academic way.

Atop the hotel Torni in Helsinki, one of the tallest buildings in Finland, we continued a discussion that began on a nature hike by his father's cabin (Haro is also an amateur nature photographer). It unfortunately leads to some rather baiting questions on my part, but which brings about a number of excellent points.

In this interview, we discuss social dynamics and style in MMOs, local markets versus foreign expansion, single- versus multiple-sharded environments, and how to predict where your game is to go, when all major play content is essentially player-driven."

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