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August 04, 2004


Tom Henderson

I've seen the exact same thing with external projects only instead of a producer getting fired it's usually the whole project getting canceled. SO I guess in that case everybody should get their resume ready.

I will say that SOMETIMES there is a third option: bringing in more resources. Of course this isn't always possible, it depends entirely on how far in you are and what the changes are demanded.


This is where the detailed schedule becomes your friend. Where you can show that additional work requires either additional time or additional resources. If the bosses can't see that, then it raises the question of whether they should be bosses.

However, if you look at it from the other side, perhaps they were at risk of being fired anyway for not delivering a good game in the agreed time and the additional suggestions are the bosses' way of offering a lifeline to the producers to pull the game around. So maybe they are actually very good and fair bosses after all. :)

Noel Llopis

Or you can apply agile methodologies. If your boss (assuming he's the true customer for the project) wants something else, you have a light process in place for prioritizing those changes and tackling them next if they're the highest priority.

It is not unreasonable to change your mind as you see how the game plays or you see some initial results. It is unreasonable to expect that changes are going to have no consequences, and it's unreasonable to ask for major changes at the very end. That's why it's so important to start getting feedback from the very beginning from the people with the ultimate responsibility for the game (usually the lead designer, but publisher/boss input is important too).

But yes, he needs to keep in mind the old triangle: features, time, resources, pick two. If he doesn't understand that, nod your way through and send off your resume ASAP.


I read your blog and costik's blog. I tend to read costik's first because he has a shorter URL to type, and he links to that league of extraordinary gamedevelopers thing, which in turn leads to your site. That's how I come here.

All this filler is basically only there to make it seem like I'm here saying something profound, so you'll read my comment. That's enough filler. Okay. Here's what I'm really trying to say to you. I could have done this a bit more subtle, but it's too late for that now. Here it is: Write more stuff!

There. That was my message. Now get to it. Write, write, write!


hmm...how can the boss says something like that unless he/she was never interested in the progress of the development in the first place.

In either case, it's never a good boss to work with anyway... >:)

Rich Bisso

I agree, Jamie. If they REALLY, REALLY want you to do something, do it. It is, after all, their money. If it's a bad enough decision that it might stick with you because of the credit, there's always Alan Smithee.

Although... Alan Smithee on a two-three-four year project not only blows, it blows HARD. Actually, I wonder if there has been an Alan Smithee in our industry yet...


I've never, ever, worked on a project where the design was constrained from day one to be engineered appropriately for the scale of production.

Ask someone to design a feature and they want to Do A Good Job, and this Leads to features that are 'the best', or 'innovative', or 'pushing the envelope'.

I suspect that this is the root of all evil - well, game development evil in any case - and I'm thinking of telling designers to produce two types of features from now on: 1) 'basic as hell', and 2) 'a little less basic than basic as hell'

I have two words and one number to say on the matter...bang, buck, and 4.

If it gets to the 'two producers' stage (and it does usualy, doesn't it 8) then the Business isn't taking due care regarding spending its development budget appropriatly, and the Heads will knee-jerk sporadically throughout development.


Alan Smithee:


Voice talent on NHL Hitz, it says there, and producer at Capcom Digital Studios on Ghosts'n'Goblins for Gameboy Colour.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game