Oh, To Be Free From the Shackles of Schedules

From an interview with Valve’s Gabe Newell:

Specialization and hierarchy are the norms in film production, and are antithetical to what needs to happen in the games industry. The reason for that distinction is that the game industry is more focused on invention than on repeatability/measurability.

That may be true at Valve where they can release whenever the hell they want, but here it’s all about measurability and specialization. I don’t know whether that is a sad fact about the rest of the industry or just a valueless distinction. Specialization helps measurability. If you know upgrades to System X take 100 hours because you’ve been doing upgrades of that type for the last six cycles, then that is valuable to reducing risk.

Not a particularly efficient or innovative way to run a company, but more realistic.

2 Comments

  1. This is particularly true for art assets here. We have a lot of assets of similar types in each game, and knowing how long each one takes to do helps a lot when scheduling. For football games especially, you want people who are really good at making 3D humans. Technical artists and other engineering-related positions have more flexibility in how things are done, of course.

    Also, what is up with game career guide’s terrible photoshop filters that they sprayed all over Gabe N?

  2. He really looks like that now. Resonance cascade and all that.

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