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January 22, 2008



I have a question:

What's taking so long? I'm serious. Maybe I have wrong info but wasn't Schizoid supposed to be a quicker, small budget, small team game?

Am I wrong? Is there any things you can point to? Did C# help (faster prototype) or hurt (harder to coerce into a shippable state?) Did TDD increase your speed or slow it down? Did you think you were making a small game but it turned out big? Is it that this is your first network game?

I guess I'm wondering if you could write a pre postmortem :-p (or if you're giving one a GDC)

Jamie Fristrom

I've been asking myself that very question every day for the last nine months or so. I had a game at the end of a week! How'd it take another year and a half to finally ship? It *was* supposed to be a quick, small budget, small team game. Well, we got two out of three.

I'll write a full postpartum after we finally give birth, but the biggest thing was TCR. TCR, with its sign-ins and sign-outs (two players co-op with any controllers which may or may not be signed in create an endless stream of corner cases for us), achievements, leaderboards, quickmatch, custom match, and a set of extra xbla-only requirements...might account for half of our coder time when all is said and done, but I'll have to do a more rigorous analysis to be sure. That I dramatically underestimated.
The amount of time we spent optimizing I dramatically underestimated also.

It's embarrassing because you hear about the guys who made, say, Fate, and how they got it done in nine months with a team just as small as ours. And we're taking twice that! But I'll say this - if we'd shipped a game without network play for the PC, we would have been done in under nine months also.

BTW, Bill's going to give a talk at the indy games summit at GDC, talking about both the game and getting the studio off the ground, but I can't make it.

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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