Good morning, and I hope your Wednesday is off to an amazing start!
This week we’ll talk about something slightly less exciting but very real in all game development: the reality of production.
The Best Worst Thing
Recently, we had the first anniversary of our local IGDA chapter. We had a new crop of guests, primarily students, and we went around the room asking what role they currently – or aspire to – work in.
Artists and animators and programmers abounded, but no producers seemed to be present. I jokingly raise my hand and say, “Who wants to be a producer?!”
No one raised their hand, and then of course I have to say, “That makes sense. No one wants to tell people their dreams can’t make it into the game!”
Joke about it as I may, production, and the role of a producer, is tough work in game development. The producer’s job is to keep the project rolling and moving forward, mitigate obstacles and conflicts along the way.
In short, the producer has a key currency: time.
We initially set out to create a very concise, very specific kind of world in a very particular way. As it turns out, we found more people who could help bring that vision to life better than we imagined. Our 4-month project is now at month 9.
Faced with this, and also not wanting to work on a project for more than a year, we gave ourselves a hard deadline of January to launch the game. Now, we’re in the process of streamlining our vision to include the best, most engaging parts and cutting out the rest.
You may be wondering what this mean for us as developers, versus what it means for you as a player.
For us as developers, it’s painstaking. We have to cut down a vision we fell in love with in order to not be working on the game indefinitely. But, that’s what makes anything great: focusing on the core of what makes it an unforgettable experience.
It puts things in perspective, and teaches us about what to focus on the most in the future.
As a player, it may be seen as getting less content or getting a different version of the game. Out of context, those are both correct – you are getting a leaner, more concise version of our original vision. It’s a vastly improved version that you’ll enjoy far better than if it had been presented the way we originally imagined!
Production is tough.
It’s a balancing act of resources (time, money, energy, and people) versus creativity and the creative process.
At the end of it all, we trust each other to make the decisions that will result in the best possible game in the most reasonable timeframe.
Traiteur is coming on January 20th, 2017, and we can’t wait for you to play it! If you’ve enjoyed reading about it, please wishlist the game on Steam! :)
See you next week.