Larian Studios - Deadlines with Dragon Commander and Original Sin
Swen Vincke has made a posting on how things went with the hand-on sessions of Dragon Commander and Original Sin that are taking place these days.
First contact with the enemy yesterday after a little warm-up exercise at a Fragomatic during the weekend. Surprisingly or rather, reassuringly, the feedback we received from a journalist yesterday corresponded exactly with the feedback we gathered at the LAN party …
You expect me to say it was good.
But not without a lot of pointed and detailed criticism.
The gist of the above list is, there’s not enough feedback on what’s happening to the player in Dragon Commander (as in, you die but you don’t necessarily know why) – please fix it.
The list was compiled over the weekend so it was ready before my first presentation and lo and behold, what did the journalist tell me after playing … “I liked it, the only dark spot was that I didn’t know what was killing my dragon and why I died – you really need to do something about that”.
Here is a video of that LAN party:
And on the Divinity: Original Sin demo:
Of course (of course!), having had some success with the Dragon Commander presentation, things needed to balance themselves out, so the Divinity: Original Sin presentation turned out to be probably the worst we’d ever given (I say we because it was shown in multiplayer) We started out strong, even if we had one crash, but then ran into a situation I certainly didn’t expect us to have at this stage in our collective careers.
In short, it was a catastrophe.
To my relief, this particular journalist had some experience and so he told me I didn’t have to worry too much because what he had seen had convinced him already, but I can only imagine what his impression would have been had he seen all the stuff he was meant to see. He would have become a convert (or at least, there would’ve been some hope of that happening).
Concluding with this:
Therefore, a note to my (really tired) self : Like it or not, deadlines are part of your business and even if you can say that development is a marathon and not a sprint, and that you can only finish a marathon if you dose yourself, you still have to accelerate from time to time if you want to win the bloody marathon, and you still need to be able to run after that acceleration.
Or, you can settle for less. But that really shouldn’t be an option.