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December 28, 2007



Wow. That's VERY interesting. I strongly suspect that if you plotted BloodSpell on a graph you'd get about the same curve. Could it be we might have an accurate way to predict schedules?

Really looking forward to the next in this series.

Also - damn, those power-law curves get everywhere.

Evan Weeks

That's amazing, Jamie. I suspect you could plot my current project almost exactly the same way. We're about halfway done and the beast is starting to get hairy, that projected alpha date far too close for comfort.

Definitely looking forward to the next post!


That graph may show why prototyping works well: you're only working during the initial part of the curve, where velocity is high. That's where you get a lot done in a short time, so it's the best time to try things out.

Jake Simpson

Just done a blog update on this information - see the web page link -


Jamie, you've just proved something I've been saying for a while now and it's nice to have someone independent prove rather than just have me wittering on about it.

Patrick Hughews

I see that curve as showing the side effect of the complexity of interaction of components within the project itself. I think it is a 2nd order effect based on the acceleration of interconnects that arise naturally during development. I may be seeing ghosts, too =P

During prototyping and early in development there are few interdependencies and this curve stays flat and work is as fast as it can be.

I see the nasty spike during the first integration pass before entering production, this is where the prototyped parts all start to work together and the initial hit as the number of complex interactions rise rapidly.

Then production goes smoothly, the complexity is not increasing at all and work is as fast as it can be.

At the final third tunes and tweaks arise, causing more and more change and the curve you see is affecting the velocity in a smoother, but accelerating fashion.

In a theory of drag, you could say it looks similar to wind tunnel test curves of drag vs. velocity.



Jamie, when I heard your talk I had an ah ha moment as well. Despite any skeptics, I think you are onto something real here that at the very least teams should debate on to use the concept as a sort of tool to test out difficult times they might be having. At best it becomes fully adopted. I know I'm going to be having this conversation with my team when the time is right. Thanks again for the revelation.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
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    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