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God of War II dev diary

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ApochPiQ

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Watch this video. Right now.

This is the most honest, brutally true-to-life, and transparent glimpse into the realities of the game development world that I've ever seen.

There's a vague sense of deja vu for me, watching this. The intense crunch pre-E3; the tense, half-pissed off meetings where everyone is picking stuff apart and getting their toes stepped on; broken and incomplete stuff in a demo, right at a critical moment; even the frank admission that game developers swear a lot.

I can't count the number of times I've heard things like "I thought we'd be much further along by now." The "it's a non-trivial matter" line cracked me up, because I say crap like that in our meetings all the time. Sleeping at the office, everyone being tense and stressed, that moment when you go from being human to being a code-producing, blood-filled robot that exists only to crunch it and hit deadline.

There's the glazed, dulled, exhausted look on the faces of the team; the pain of having stuff axed from demos - or, worse, from the final game - because it just wasn't ready to go; that final moment of utter relief and satisfaction when it's over and you've done it.

The closing comment is powerful, because ultimately we've all felt it: that knowledge that your career hangs in the balance, and that you will live or die in the industry by the quality of your work. When a studio tanks, it's gone; you don't get many chances to fuck up. And even when you're surrounded by extremely talented people, and you know you've done the best you can do, there's always that moment of doubt where you wonder if your best is really good enough.


I watch every "making of" documentaries from games that I can get ahold of, partly because they're rare, and partly because I find it fascinating to see how different - and, ultimately, how similar - other studios are.

They usually tend to be highly PR-polished, positive-note, touchy-feely crap. Frankly, most of them are lies. Game development is a real process with real people involved, and it's stressful. It isn't clean-cut and pretty. People aren't nice and polite and constantly happy. In all the stuff I've seen about deadline-stress and the desire to produce good work, nothing really has captured the truth of it like this video.

It's absolutely true that you reach a point where you want to "go home and punch something". It's completely realistic to have a big, important, high-stakes meeting where everyone is vaguely on edge and trying not to be blamed for whatever the big failure of the week is. The tension and half-rivalry and mutual encouragement and respect between team segments and individuals is completely true to life.

Watch the video. It's as close to experiencing a real game project as you can get without sleeping under a desk and eating cold pizza at 4AM.




Oh, and whoever has the model roller coaster toy, I want.
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Too damn awesome. I was expecting a puff piece like the Halo 2 "development diary" that focused mostly on the concept artists going "look at how pretty my gorilla is" and then talking to marketing about the plotline. [rolleyes]

It also appears game projects are just like other software projects, but with crunch and artists running around faffing up your shit.

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"It also appears game projects are just like other software projects, but with crunch and artists running around faffing up your shit."

LMAO [grin]

stoo

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Quote:
Original post by Ravuya
Too damn awesome. I was expecting a puff piece like the Halo 2 "development diary" that focused mostly on the concept artists going "look at how pretty my gorilla is" and then talking to marketing about the plotline. [rolleyes]


Do you mean the extra "Making of" disc that came with the H2 limited edition? Because apart from that, that GOW2 doc that I just watched have been the only ones that have seemed real to me (being uninitiated in the ways of the industry).

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