Just finished off an interview with Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games on the subject of Demigod. I don’t do a huge amount of games writing these days, but this was a favour for James over at Gamerzines. It went Gold on Monday and is looking like a lot of fun – although a bit spoiled for me that only one character is a giant man-fort with ballistas on his shoulders.
The interesting part of the interview was where Chris explained a bit about the development cycle. He said they’d had a team of just three people working on the core mechanics for a long time, so when they went into full development it took just a year to produce the whole game. An interesting alternative for those who were holding their heads in their hands at GDC about the cost of producing games these days, and a far better vision of the future than tosh like SAAS gaming OnLive.
Here’s the choice bit, the full article is out next week I think.
With a small development team over a longer period of time you have the ability to test gameplay mechanics and make sure they are delivering gameplay that is entertaining before spending a lot of money. More often than not what I’ve witnessed in this industry is the Lead Designer being forced to design the game in his imagination and it being halfway through production where that set of ideas manifests itself in the game in a meaningful way… at which point you’ve got to hope that whatever was written is actually entertaining because there’s little to no time to change it.
That ‘more often than not’ comment is very telling…