I hope your weekend was well. I spent the weekend with visiting friends. We hung out in Venice, and then went to Anaheim to see the Angels play the White Sox. PLUS my Cowboys won, so I'm having a great Monday.
I wanted to give you guys a little information about Yuke's, our external developer. It's an interesting dynamic, and one that I wasn't used to at EA SPORTS.
As a development team, you have your Producers / Designers and Engineers. Producers / Designers come up with the vision for the game, and the Engineers physically build the game. (they understand code).
Since our developer, Yuke's, is external (and Japanese nonetheless), we have a MUCH different process. We, the production team are here at THQ. We come up with the vision for the game. We paint the picture for our engineers. So for the case of this blog, let's use WWE Universe, specifically cashing in the MITB briefcase in Universe mode as an example.
THQ: I would like to let the user in WWE Universe cash in the MITB briefcase if they won the MITB match at WrestleMania.
Yuke's (Translated): Ok, that seems doable. Submit your design.
THQ: (Super detailed design from the colors and buttons in the menu you see, to the cutscene direction) We would like to have a cutscene for when the user chooses to cash in their MITB briefcase. Here is the design document.
TRANSLATION (Full design document is translated)
Yuke's (Translated): Ok, this feature will take 14 days (14 engineering days if ONE engineer were working on this) to make because of new animations and art
That's a hint into our process, guys. It's designing through translation. It's a very rewarding experience, but it's also requires an insane attention to detail.
Now, I'm going to leave you with this thought:
Think about this process for EVERYTHING you see in the game. Consider how much time we have to make a game every year, and now how does this sound?
On most dev teams, we can't get to everything -- but in this case, we definitely can't get to everything.
Working with Yuke's is absolutely fantastic -- they are such hard workers. And I'm grateful to have this experience for my career. I just wanted you to get a little insight.
Not excuses, just facts.