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Postmortems from Game Developer

Book Description

The popular Postmortem column in Game Developer magazine features firsthand accounts of how some of the most important and successful games of recent years have been made. This book offers the opportunity to harvest this expertise with one volume. The editor has organized the articles by theme and added previously unpublished analysis to reveal successful management techniques. Readers learn how superstars of the game industry like Peter Molyneux and Warren Spector have dealt with the development challenges such as managing complexity, software and game design issues, schedule challenges, and changing staff needs.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Introduction: Tales from the Front Line
  6. SECTION I STARTUPS
    1. Irrational Games’ SYSTEM SHOCK 2
      1. It’s the Engine, Stupid
      2. What Went Right
      3. What Went Wrong
    2. Bohemia Interactive Studios’ OPERATION FLASHPOINT
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. Future Dreaming
    3. Surreal Software’s DRAKAN: ORDER OF THE FLAME
      1. Origins of the Team
      2. Origins of the Beast
      3. What Went Right
      4. What Went Wrong
      5. Onward to the Next Project
    4. Pseudo Interactive’s CEL DAMAGE
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. Damage Control
    5. Nihilistic Software’s VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE—REDEMPTION
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. At Last, Redemption
    6. Ensemble’s AGE OF EMPIRES
      1. Designing the Past Perfect
      2. Blazing the Multiplayer Path
      3. Painting the Scene
      4. Going for Speed
      5. Things That Worked Out (S)well
      6. Things That Went Wrong Or We Could Have Done Better
      7. Patching It All Up
  7. SECTION II SEQUELS AND SOPHOMORE OUTINGS
    1. Blizzard Entertainment’s DIABLO II
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. The Final Word
    2. Epic Games’ UNREAL TOURNAMENT
      1. Early Development
      2. A Game Takes Shape
      3. New Code, New Features
      4. In the End, It All Worked Out
      5. What Went Right
      6. What Went Wrong
      7. Where We Go from Here
    3. Westwood Studios’ TIBERIAN SUN
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. Overall Tips
    4. Ensemble Studios’ AGE OF EMPIRES II: THE AGE OF KINGS
      1. Catching Up
      2. Designing a Sequel
      3. What Went Right
      4. What Went Wrong
      5. The Show Goes On
    5. Presto Studios’ MYST III: EXILE
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. Closing Thoughts
    6. Poptop Software’s TROPICO
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. In Hindsight
  8. SECTION III MANAGING INNOVATION
    1. Lionhead Studios’ BLACK & WHITE
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. “Just More”
    2. Bungie Software’s MYTH: THE FALLEN LORDS
      1. The Making of a Legend, er, Myth
      2. What Went Right
      3. What Went Wrong
      4. Post-Release Reactions
    3. Looking Glass’s THIEF: THE DARK PROJECT
      1. The Concept
      2. What Went Right
      3. What Went Wrong
      4. Stepping Back from the Project
    4. DreamWorks Interactive’s TRESPASSER
      1. An Ambitious Project
      2. The Concept
      3. What Went Right
      4. What Went Wrong
      5. Lessons Learned
    5. Ion Storm’s DEUS EX
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. The Bottom Line
    6. Naughty Dog’s JAK & DAXTER: THE PRECURSOR LEGACY
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. The Legacy
  9. SECTION IV BUILDING ON A LICENSE
    1. LucasArts’ STAR WARS™ STARFIGHTER
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. Back to Earth
    2. Raven Software’s STAR TREK™: VOYAGER—ELITE FORCE
      1. What Went Right
      2. Final Thoughts
    3. Red Storm Entertainment’s RAINBOW SIX
      1. The Concept
      2. The Production
      3. What Went Right
      4. What Went Wrong
      5. In the End…
    4. Raven Software’s SOLDIER OF FORTUNE
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. A Direct Hit
  10. SECTION V THE ONLINE FRONTIER
    1. Mythic Entertainment’s DARK AGE OF CAMELOT
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. For the Ages
    2. Multitude’s FIRETEAM
      1. Brief History
      2. FIRETEAM’s Components
      3. Who Worked on FIRETEAM
      4. What Went Right
      5. What Went Wrong
      6. Evolving Right Along
    3. Turbine’s ASHERON’S CALL
      1. What Went Right
      2. What Went Wrong
      3. A Unique Company Résumé
  11. Afterword Independent Game Development
  12. Appendix A Game Development Team Roles
    1. Artist
    2. Audio
    3. Designer
    4. Producer
    5. Programmer
    6. Quality Assurance
  13. Glossary
  14. Index of Game Titles & Developers
  15. Index