Starting up a game development cycle involves a whole lot of talking. It’s not sexy, but it’s the truth. There’s two phases we went through today – the post-mortem (a term Zach hates) and the scheduling for the next project.
Post-mortems are probably one of the least fun parts about making games, because by the end of any project, teams are usually a little burned out, and the entire purpose of a post-mortem is to figure out what you’ve done right and what you’ve done wrong, which means looking at all of the decisions of the past months with a magnifying glass. That said, post-mortems are also one of the most important parts of making games – the point where you figure out how to do better next time, no matter how good or bad you did this time. Nothing is off the table, everything is up for discussion. This involves a lot of discussion, and there’s always the danger of going down a path further than is useful.
Scheduling often doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, but there’s a certain sense of excitement that comes with starting a new project. There’s lots of discussions and every door feels very open. But this is also a very fundamental part of building any game, because it’s the step where a mistake can be felt the hardest down the line. It’s impossible to estimate how long each and every task will take to perfection, but the team needs to make sure it gets in the right ballpark, otherwise the whole schedule will start to slip. It’s also important to have flexibility when baking the schedule, because game development, software development, is a very fluid thing, and things change all the time – needs, design, plans, etc.
We’re still in the early days of our next project and I can’t wait to tell you all more about it, but it’s far too early to talk about it yet. That said, once we get to the point where we can talk about it, we hope you’ll be as jazzed about it as we are!