background preloader

Post-mortems

Facebook Twitter

Developer Q&A: The blessing and the curse of early buzz for Rime. In 2013, Rime captivated Gamescom attendees with its debut trailer. An atmospheric, understated adventure game by indie studio Tequila Softworks, Rime garnered comparisons to masterworks by Eiji Aonuma and Fumito Ueda. While those are flattering comparisons, they put enormous pressure on Rime’s developers, especially when people’s expectations were so distant from what Rime actually aspired to be. It was this pressure that would eventually cause Tequila Softworks to sink into a period of silence starting in 2014. They soldiered on with Rime's development, weathering bad buzz and grumbling that only increased when they switched publishers in 2016.

Gamasutra sat down with Raúl Rubio, CEO and Creative Director at Tequila Softworks, to talk about Rime’s development cycle, the uncertainty that can plague developers in the early stages of a game’s life, and the lessons the team learned in handling the pressure that comes with developing games in this age of transparency. The dev story of PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS by the general manager Jun Hyuk Choi. The speaker in this piece, Jun Hyuk Choi, is the general manager of Bluehole, who had been involved in Lineage 2, Blade & Souls, and other major MMORPG development at NCSOFT, along with TERA at Bluehole. He is one of the core development personnel of PUBG, the viral title that is loved globally. Recently ranked No. 1 after Dota 2 in the top games by concurrent players, and having sold 10 million copies, PUBG is rapidly reaching new heights. The game has become quite a phenomenon, providing players with tons of fun and an odd sense of pride. How did the company begin with the development of such a game in the first place?

On the last day of IGC 2017 hosted by Inven, Jun Hyuk Choi, the general manager of Bluehole, gave a presentation about the ‘PUBG development story’. In PUBG, a group of players is spread out across a vast field; everyone starts out with nothing, and the last one standing wins. Mr. Development History - the unverified potential that PUBG possessed Moreover, Mr. Mr. Inside the Making of “Mass Effect: Andromeda” – Darryn King. On Wednesday 22 February, there was a curious, disbelieving buzz in the studios of the video game developer BioWare in downtown Montreal. That morning, NASA had announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized, potentially life-harboring planets orbiting a dwarf star called Trappist-1, around 40 light years from Earth.

Many at BioWare – home to the beloved Mass Effect series of sci-fi role playing games – felt that the timing was a little too good to be true. Some employees suspected NASA was punking them. Others wondered if there was a BioWare-NASA cross-promotional campaign they didn’t know about. Ten years ago, the first Mass Effect was hailed as the game that “Does For Games What Star Wars Did For Films”.

It was that rare blockbuster event in gaming whose impact transcended the medium, a pop culture phenomenon in its own right: James Gunn, the director of the exotic planet-hopping Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy, has cited the series as among his “biggest inspirations.” Ken Levine on Zelda and the terrifying need to demolish the old to make way for the new. Breath of the Wild did something no Zelda game had ever really done before.

It changed. While the world setting and art style had shifted in the past (most notably in Ocarina of Time’s successful move to 3D), the fundamental nature of game flow in Zelda remained unaltered for more than 30 years. The narrative setup (often lengthy), overworld, underworld, a growing suite of tools earned by completing dungeons in a fixed order: You’ll see the same elements in A Link to the Past, Minish Cap or Wind Waker, although they look and feel nothing alike. And then you boot up Breath of the Wild. Compared to other games in the series, this one tosses you into the current console generation’s version of Hyrule without a lengthy narrative sequence. The weapons are no longer rare artifacts, unchanging for all time.

The underground experiences are plentiful yet minute. The pace is meandering, the next step not always entirely clear. It changed Zelda in a way I’m not certain they can change it back. Inside Inside | Kotaku UK. This article contains spoilers for Inside. Peter Buchardt is currently a game designer at Studio Gobo in Brighton, England. Growing up in Denmark, Peter’s entry into videogames was through countless hours of playing on the Commodore 64 and Amiga 500, and his parents later buying him his own PC when he started college.

Uninspired by his informatics course at Aalborg University, he and his classmates decided to make an adventure game together, a process that proved to be far more fun than optimising ticket ordering systems. As a result, he decided to focus his masters on game design, landing his first job in the industry a few years later at Guppyworks in Copenhagen. Soon enough, Buchardt joined Playdead on 2nd February 2008 as the studio's 8th employee. The studio has never grown especially large subsequently, with the maximum number of staff being around 25, and not an enormous amount is known about the creator of some of the modern age's most memorable games.

The making of Sapienza, Hitman's best level. This article was originally published in PC Gamer issue 299. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the UK and the US. Sapienza, the second level of Hitman, began as two words: Coastal Town. “This was the only direction we got,” says Torbjørn Christensen, lead level designer. “So we really had a lot of freedom to be creative.” That coastal town would become the game’s standout level, against which subsequent Hitman episodes are compared.

For many, myself included, it was the level that proved IO knew what it was doing—that after Absolution, and despite a controversial episodic release plan, the studio was back to making quality assassination sandboxes. Sapienza was developed in parallel with Paris, Hitman’s first level, and in part as a response to it. “The level was created by an environment artist and myself,” says Christensen, who spent two weeks mocking up a rough version during IO’s summer holiday. Contrast can add depth to character, too. How Celeste Was Designed With Speedrunning in Mind. Ratchet & Clank (2016) postmortem. Shaun McCabe is the game director for Ratchet & Clank (PS4), and the production director at Insomniac Games’ studio in Durham, North Carolina.

Chad Dezern is the Creative Director for Ratchet & Clank (PS4), and the studio director of the North Carolina location. The two also co-directed Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (2011), Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (2012), Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (2013). Of course, we were thrilled when we heard that the film was a go. We’ve long felt that Ratchet, Clank, Qwark, and their Solana galaxy milieu had all of the action, humor, pathos, and just plain . . . bigness . . . to populate a feature.

Or six. Hey, it’s a big universe. But the prospect of making a film tie-in was especially daunting. First, we had the legacy of the series to consider. "We needed to make a big game that blew away our previous efforts. Second, there was the prospect of syncing up with film production. And finally, there was our second oldest arch-nemesis, time itself*. How A Small Studio's Chance At The Big Time Died At Microsoft's Doorstep. I see this purely in consulting terms (I’m a consultant). Microsoft here was the client, who outsourced their project to a consultant team (Darkside). They agreed on terms, budget, etc. and work started. Then, according to this, MSFT came back with a whole HELL of a lot of scope creep, while openly admitting they’d never change the budget.

This happens ALL THE TIME to consulting companies. However, that does NOT make it okay on behalf of the client. At all. Plus, the fact they were secretly getting other companies to do asset work and prep for things like surprise public reveals? In my world, this behavior would brand Microsoft as a distinctly terrible client to work for. To me, all the blame is squarely on Microsoft’s shoulders. Not to mention, how the hell did they expect to get a 30+ hour JRPG/multiplayer eSport hybrid on a $5 million budget these days? Flagged It is amazing to me how consistently stupid Microsoft has been since entering the console business.

Apparently not. Howard Tsao's Blog - Guns of Icarus Online Post-Mortem - Epilogue: How Youtube, Steam, and Our Players Got Us This Far. Guns of Icarus Online Post-Mortem - Epilogue: How Youtube, Steam, and Our Players Got Us This Far The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Heeding Christian's Call for blogs on youtube From launch on 10/29/12 through May, 2014, the game has generated over $4.3M with 430K units sold. Shots Fired: 2,349,358,397 Ships Exploded: 4,584,055 Matches Played: 749,470 Lines of Code Written: 442,173 Game sales wise, here’s a look at the journey it took: Game Sales: Cumulative Sales over Time The chart above illustrates how the game’s total sales progressed over time, and it is by no means a smooth trend. Game Sales: Monthly Sales The bigger sales spikes correspond to: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The underlying driving force of game sales during any event is undoubtedly the players. Ship Figurehead and Deck Theme Renders. Postmortem: Monolith Productions' Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Michael de Plater is design director at WB Games studio Monolith Productions. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor shipped worldwide beginning Sept. 30, 2014.

Shadow of Mordor was an ambitious game around which we built our current team here at Monolith Productions, and it was the first time many of us had worked together. For the majority of the team it was our first third person, open world action game not to mention our first “new gen” title. This combination of factors made it an enormously educational experience seeing how far we can improve. The benefit of hindsight and the fact that the end result turned out quite well makes some of these wins seem clearer and more obvious than they did at the time. 1. There were two main goals which drove our focus on the Nemesis System. We played to Monolith Productions’ strengths as a team and a studio in crafting innovative Artificial Intelligence, for example in F.E.A.R. 2.

We were determined to innovate our systems and AI. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Postmortem: Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. [Naughty Dog calls Uncharted their 'biggest and most complex' challenge yet, and shares successes and stumbles in this fascinating postmortem, originally printed in Game Developer magazine.] At the end of 2004, some of the developers at Naughty Dog (Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot), began work on the studio's first-ever game for the PlayStation 3. Cryptically assigned the working title Big, the project would prove to be Naughty Dog's biggest and most complex game yet.

This postmortem discusses some of the things that we Dogs struggled with, some of our successes and failures, and what we plan to do differently next time. 1. Strong up-front design -- that we can ditch when we need to. As we began to build our new PS3 technology, we also started to formulate a design and direction for what would eventually become Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. A great example of this is our aiming mechanic. Even with the free aiming in a rough form, the game instantly became more visceral and fun. 2. 3. Exclusive | Grounded: The making of The Last of Us. The Confessional: It took two years to cancel Singularity, and ten months to fix it. The Confessional is an irregularly appearing column where we invite a developer into the booth to explain the flaws behind a game, and to give their thoughts on why they occurred. We can't absolve participating developers of their sins, but we can try to understand them.

For a day, the game was cancelled. Dates had been missed, and the project was nowhere near complete. So when the VP from Activision visited the studio and saw the true state of affairs, her assessment – while a shock – wasn’t overly surprising. Perhaps the most painful realization was that we had brought this on ourselves. The decision to can the game wasn't complicated. This wasn't the end of the story The game did eventually ship, and earned a respectable 76 Metacritic score, so what turned it around? Only a hint of our earlier intentions made it into the shipping version of the game Complete control of the project was handed to the Marvel team, and there was a hard deadline of ten months.

Welcome to game development. Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Written primarily by writer and director John Garvin, the following incredibly detailed postmortem follows the ins and outs of Sony Bend's development of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, the PlayStation Vita launch title and premier game. Somehow, we managed to pull it off. Not only did we ship on schedule with the hardware, but we were able to hit all of our milestones, including key demos for the 2011 PlayStation Meeting hardware reveal (when the PS Vita was still being called NGP) and the 2011 E3 press conference, where Bend Studio co-director and technical director Chris Reese and I demoed the game live on stage. Uncharted: Golden Abyss became the PS Vita showcase title, acting as Sony's ambassador to third party developers, media and gamers.

It was our job to show what could be done with a next-generation handheld and we delivered. We also think we managed to build a pretty darn good Uncharted game... but it wasn't easy. 1. (Note: Interestingly enough, "Story" is also in What Went Wrong. 2. Prince Of Persia: Sand Of Time. In 2001, a small team within Ubisoft’s Montreal studio led by producer Yannis Mallat began concept development on the project that would become Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Initially a consultant, I later joined the team as writer and game designer. Being part of this project was a great experience and I’m glad to revisit it for this book. By its nature, video game writing is inextricably bound up with game design, level design, and the other aspects of production. A film screenplay is a clean, written blueprint that serves as a starting point and reference for the director, actors, and the rest of the creative team.

It’s also a document that film scholars and critics can later read and discuss as a work distinct from the film itself. Video games have no such blueprint. The game design script created at the start of a production is often quickly rendered obsolete, its functions assumed by new tools created to fit the project’s specific needs. Rule #1: Do It, Don’t View It. 1. 2.

Crash Bandicoot

Homefront. It was a holiday party, but it hardly felt like a happy occasion for many of the Kaos developers and their partners. Mid-December of 2010 was a fleeting break in the middle of a brutal crunch as the studio tried desperately to finish Homefront, publisher THQ's most ambitious stab at breaking into the alluringly lucrative AAA military shooter market. The work schedule was so all-consuming that one developer likened it to exile in Siberia, and relationships inside and outside the studio were also fracturing under the pressure.

Now, at the holiday party, all those people and all those tensions were gathered under one roof to celebrate the close of a lousy year and prepare for uncertainties of the next. Tradition dictates that the head of the studio give a speech and a toast at the company holiday party, and creative director / general manager Dave Votypka had his work cut out for him this night. Votypka got up to the front of the room and looked over the crowd. The room went dead. Upselling. Spore. World of Darkness - the inside story on the death of a game | Technology.