Airtight Games is delighted with what Portal creator Kim Swift has brought to the team, and hope her influence spreads "like a pleasure virus" - a strong contender for quote of the week.
Speaking to Shack News, ex-Microsoft Games Studios staffer and Airtight Games co-founder Matt Brunner said he'd always believed in smaller teams, but Swift's influence had showed him ways of applying his philosophy to larger groups and projects.
"We've always believed that the most creative results come from teams that are totally invested, given the freedom to think creatively, and implement their ideas as friction-free as possible. This is easier with a team that is in the 15-25 range, of course," he said.
"As soon as you get into a team size of 50-100, the dynamic shifts, out of necessity, to a more organizational structure. We've learned a lot from Kim's totally democratic way of working and we hope it spreads, like a pleasure virus, through all our future development."
Brunner said the "most obvious side effect" of this approach is that individual staff members see their ideas in a finished game and feel valued.
"It's so simple, but hardly ever happens in this industry. The result is an amazing ecosystem for generating IP's," he said.
Quantum Condundrum, for example; Brunner said it grew out of Airtight's carte blanche to just let Swift make whatever she felt most strongly about.
"From the beginning, we tried to give her the space to create a team culture that supported her vision," he noted.
"Quantum Conundrum is a brainchild of her particular way of developing with a team where everyone has a creative voice. They found a mechanic and idea that began to sing for them and then went nuts with it."
The first-person puzzler is available on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Airtight Games' newest release is mobile effort Pixld.