Chris, you’ve worked on a bunch of games that have been cancelled (Van Buren, Torn) or had lots of content cut out (KOTOR2). How do you handle it when something you’ve worked on for months or years ends up being released in an imcomplete state or not released at all?
You drink, sigh, and move on. I actually got numb to it early on in my career (Monte Cook, an editor at Hero Games, would routinely reject my submissions I’d spent months or years on, and he was right to do so because they sucked – I also had ten module proposals to Dungeon all rejected one after the other), so it wasn’t too bad when it started happening at work. The only time it really hurt was Fallout 3, because that game felt like it had the potential to be better than Torment, and when I was working on it, I could feel the inner creativity “sing” because it felt like everything was clicking into place.
Also, as a consolation prize, you find you can usually transfer design elements from one game to the other in terms of systems or new uses for characters that you did for the “flushed” design that you can use later on.