McNamara: L.A. Noire is “probably too big”

Wednesday, 4th January 2012 01:29 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara said L.A. Noire’s ambitious scale and proprietary tech blew development out to seven years.

“It’s a huge game – probably too big. The map’s massive, and so that’s probably my fault,” McNamara told OPM when asked why the game spent so long in the works.

“We had to build a new process to do that. We were a brand-new studio – we had brand-new tools, new technology. We have tools that allow you to build cities now, but we had to build that kind of stuff and make it work.

“Everything from the road network, where all the trolley cars go, all the cables connecting automatically to all of the buildings. The tech was pretty extensive, including MotionScan.”

As well as sheer scope, L.A. Noire’s pace was hindered by the team’s devotion to getting the feel -if not all the details – of 1940′s Los Angeles just right.

“I’d say the first year and a half – [maybe] even longer – was just research,” McNamara commented.

“Newspaper research, guys going over to LA and doing research on the buildings, taking photos, getting all the resources together… We were quite a small studio – 16 people or something – and we had to have all this material so we could start building stuff.”

Team Bondi dissolved in the wake of its debut title, L.A. Noire, amid scandal pertaining to employee complaints.



  1. xxJPRACERxx

    I really like that game. I hope we’ll see a #2

    #1 3 years ago
  2. TD_Monstrous69

    @2 Ditto on that thought. Though I’d wonder on where exactly they’d take it with the ending being as conclusive as it was. As far as on his game being too big, I disagree with that notion. Because there have been games that’ve come out with worlds larger than Bondi’s late 1940′s Los Angeles, and even in less time. Though I believe tech and the obsessively compulsive level of detail that went into creating late 1940′s Los Angeles that made the game take as long as it did, though I’m not complaining too much, because LA Noire was a great game. Though as a fan, I can’t help but think what could’ve been from Team Bondi if they had not closed, and still had funding for whatever it was they were working on after LA Noire. Here’s hoping KMM Interactive can make something as great with McNamara, as McNamara did when he controlled his own studio (I also hope he doesn’t work people to death with whatever “Whore of the Orient” may turn out to be).

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    It felt completely unfocused to me. I could definitely see McNamara as being one of those ADD designers that’s just hopping back and forth between features without ever considering the whole.

    I don’t think it was too big, I just think it’s a case of poor management leading to poor design. If there was any genuine priority made in that game from a design point of view, I didn’t spot it.

    The sheer fact that they felt they needed an open world to do an adventure game with a few action parts thrown in, being the example of that.

    The interrogations don’t work, the models don’t work, the driving felt like 2005, and it generally didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t as embarressing as Deus Ex:HR could be at times, but it was definiely still speaking it’s own language.

    The writing was often pretty good and the acting ditto, but the interrogations and the weird facial features just tore it apart.

    It was pretty much a game where every good thing you can say about it is flanked by some ruinous flaw.

    #3 3 years ago

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