G3 and game development in general (split from news thread)
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July 27th, 2007, 18:40
The above descirptions of "what happened" are pretty funny given that no one but he principles really know and neither is going to tell the full truth.
From 25 years of work in software development this is the usual scenario:
Guy with idea (gwi) meets guy with money (gwm)…
gwi: Hi! I have this great idea for this new software. (describes it)
gwm: Interesting. How much money and how long do you need?
gwi: Uhh, err, 5 years and, ummm, 5 million dollars?
gmm: That's too long and too much money. Do it in 3 years and 3 million and I'll pay.
(gwi and gwm go back and forth a bit)
gwm: OK, we've settled on 4 years and 4 million.
…4 years later…
gwm: Time's up! Where's the software?
gwi: Wait! Wait! We're not done yet. This is a lot harder than we thought!! We need 9 more months and another million.
gwm: Argh! You have 3 months and 1/2 million. Get it done.
gwi: Sigh. Ok.
…3 months later…
gwi: We're almost done. We just need another 3 months!
gwm: Time's up for real, ship what you have. We spent 3.5 million on this already.
The problem is that when doing something really new developers and publishers really have no idea how long it will take. Toward the end you run into Mythical Man Month problems (adding more people to a late software project tends to make things worse). The developers will always want more time. Years more. The publishers have sunk a lot of money into this thing and want some payback. Now. Neither one is more guilty than the other.
This is another reason that publishers like to milk an existing franchise. It's a lot easier to predict the cost (time and $$$) for something that you are already familiar with.
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