GDC Austin: BioWare talks about the challenge of having a big team

By Stephany Nunneley
19 September 2009 16:45 GMT


During his keynote at GDC Austin, BioWare technical director Bill Dalton chatted about how “interdependencies can lead to problems in development on games”, and used The Old Republic MMO as an example, reports Gamasutra.

These “interdependencies” can lead to issues where the team gets frantic trying to do too much at once, and you just have to relax and realize that “things that are important early on in the project may not be important later on.”

“For any game these days, we have very large teams,” he said. “For MMOs, in particular, we have a lot of stuff going on. Everything everybody does is challenging. Producing the art, source code… So what do we do? I think it helps to understand what the different customers you have, as a technical worker on the game, are.

“It’s great in the early days to run wild and free. You need to avoid getting panic-stricken over the fact that you’re not generating game content, however, at some point, you really do need to say ‘This is it, this is how the game’s going to get delivered and we can’t be messing around with that stuff anymore’.”

Dalton showed case studies from the development of the game to demonstrate his problem-solving methodology when managing large teams, and if you are interested in how things work from a development standpoint on an MMO, it’s a rather interesting read.

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