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Default Larian Studios - Crunch Time Thoughts

July 3rd, 2013, 05:22
Swen has a new blog update with various thoughts on the last two months, and the future of his company. Just a warning it's a wall of text but worth the read.
One of my best friends told me that I really should update my blog. I explained to him that I’m literally working from six in the morning until midnight trying to get Dragon Commander out of the door and that the last thing I want to do in my current schedule is spend what little free or sleeping time I have left writing about work. He shrugged, repeated three times that I should update my blog, and then proceeded on another topic.

Net result: I’m updating my blog. He can be convincing.

So, we’re in crunch. Not because we’re in panic mode or because a publisher is threatening us with whatever legal nonsense, but because we still have a ton of small things we want to finish before the game goes live *and * because we selected a release date we swore we wouldn’t miss (August 6th 2013 for those interested)

The current situation is that there’s still some stuff on our task list and there’s a whole bunch of stuff on our bug/suggested features list, but most of it still all feels possible.

To put that last statement in perspective – of course, the lists are getting longer now that we launched the beta, and of course, we find ourselves forced to be selective, and of course we’d prefer to put everything in that still makes sense, and of course realization is dawning that we won’t manage to do it all. Still, morale remains high, because we think that what’ll be in will be sufficient to please a significiant large enough part of our audience and I hope wholeheartedly that that indeed becomes the case.
Thanks go to Drithius for finding the news.

More information.
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July 3rd, 2013, 05:22
Nice to hear they are slowing it down a bit as the RTS bits did look a bit frenetic in the demos. Don't see why they shouldn't put a pause button in the single player campaign as long as the challenge isn't totally reliant on speedy reactions.
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July 3rd, 2013, 07:23
Interesting read; it gives a real sense of what game devs go through to get a product out, and the self publishing thing makes it that much harder. I really like Larian, both for their games, and their ethos.

I recently finished a project I've been working on flat out for months (work work, not fun work). It's an internal website with maybe 10 people using it - tiny tiny compared to a computer game, but still left me pretty drained. I just can't imagine the logistics of getting something as massive as this over the line. I never want to make games!

One thing these guys need to improve is the names of their games - they're embarrassingly bad!
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July 3rd, 2013, 07:38
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
Interesting read; it gives a real sense of what game devs go through to get a product out, and the self publishing thing makes it that much harder. I really like Larian, both for their games, and their ethos.

I recently finished a project I've been working on flat out for months (work work, not fun work). It's an internal website with maybe 10 people using it - tiny tiny compared to a computer game, but still left me pretty drained. I just can't imagine the logistics of getting something as massive as this over the line. I never want to make games!

One thing these guys need to improve is the names of their games - they're embarrassingly bad!
I agree. I made a few free RPGMaker games years ago, and even that was time consuming. As for the names I don't think there is anything they can do.

The games take place in the Divine Divinity setting hence the naming. Don't forget the dragons either they play a part in all the games also.

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July 3rd, 2013, 08:09
Oh man, I really sympathize for these guys having to work this hard.

And then I didn’t even talk about Original Sin yet whose gameworld is getting dangerously dense.
AW YEAH! The 3 Ds for an ideal RPG to me are density, depth and dynamism. D:OS has at least 2 of those covered
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July 3rd, 2013, 18:27
I explained to him that I’m literally working from six in the morning until midnight…
Hey Larian Studios, work smarter not harder!! (Zloth double checks to make sure there's a major ocean between him an Larian)

Really, though, that's just nuts. Has anyone actually done any studies to see if these crunch times even result in more useful work being done?
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July 3rd, 2013, 19:51
Without even finishing reading the "wall of text," I felt like posting that I am once again impressed by the quality of Swen's blogs. It's so great to have thoughtful and insightful info re Larian's development (and now publishing). Never a chore to read, either.
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July 4th, 2013, 06:12
crunch time sucks, I could never think clearly. I end up spending most of my time backtracking to fix mistakes that I made because I was tripping over myself to get something done.


oh god now I really hope Dragon Commander doesnt suck… I really hope it's playable… I hope this guys isnt sounding the warning that we should expect a train wreck…

edit- that comment was made before I saw this thread. My fears have been eased, this game is gonna rock!
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July 4th, 2013, 07:37
The best thing against going into crunch time mode at the end of projects is:

Use agile software developments methods and cooperate/test with your customer early. I do this myself for a couple of years now and my customers (and I) are almost relaxed at release date, because they know through the regular prototypes the exact state of the final product.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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July 5th, 2013, 16:29
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Hey Larian Studios, work smarter not harder!! (Zloth double checks to make sure there's a major ocean between him an Larian)

Really, though, that's just nuts. Has anyone actually done any studies to see if these crunch times even result in more useful work being done?
Salon did a piece on this a while back.
http://www.salon.com/2012/03/14/brin…our_work_week/

In my opinion, he's hurting himself and his game trying to work 18 hour days every day. A couple of long days here and there before release, absolutely, but doing it day in and day out is counter-productive. I'm a developer and in crunch time right now too but I always stop when I know my brain is done for the day. I've been doing this a long time now and I know when I've hit the wall. After that I just start making mistakes, writing spaghetti code and eating into tomorrow's productivity.
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