Remedy on how game developers can learn from their mistakes

Alan Wake

Naturally, many Train2Game students have dreams of working at a well known studio and using their Game Programming, Game Design, or Art & Animation skills to help bring a big title through to release.

Of course, as Train2Game students will know, bringing any game through development isn’t an easy process, and Alan Wake developer Remedy have told Edge magazine what they learned from developing the Xbox 360 exclusive title.

In an interesting insight into game development, the Finnish studio learned  “how to get faster from point A to point D without necessarily going through point B and C” said managing director Matias Myllyrinne

He added that mistakes are integral part of game development, and if they’re not being made then something isn’t right!

“We’ll continue to make mistakes, but I think we won’t make the same mistakes,” he said. “You’re supposed to fuck up every now and again, and if you’re not making mistakes, you’re pretty much not taking enough risks. I think that’s perfectly fine and we want to embrace that: everyone’s allowed to fail here at what they do, and I think that’s part of the safety net that allows people to try harder and push themselves…

“It would be very, very sad if we made the same mistakes again [as we did on Alan Wake with Remedy’s new project]. We’ll find new mistakes to make, but they’ll land us in a cool and interesting place once again!”

Myllyrinne added that “scaling down” was a key thing that Remedy had learned from producing Alan Wake – the game was originally supposed to be an open world title.

It’s a lesson to Train2Game students that while it’s good to be ambitious, even big game development studios can’t put everything they want into a game!

“We tried to combine a sandbox design with a tightly paced thriller,” he said. “We could have made [that] game, but it wasn’t the game we set out to build; those moments just don’t work. And with 20:20 hindsight it’s clear that we should have gone for more of a tightly-paced thrill ride to begin with, which I think we then delivered.”

“Those moments that we had in development when you’re supposed to have a dramatic moment, if you’re not controlling the pacing, the player’s turning up to a scene in a monster truck and you’re going: ‘Okay… it’s supposed to be a dramatic love scene, the characters are going through serious marital issues’, and yet the player comes jumping over logs with a frigging monster truck.”

As reported on the Train2Game blog earlier this month, Remedy believes the video games industry has an entirely digital future.

What are your thoughts on Myllyrinne’s comments? Is learning from mistakes the best way? And have you learned from mistakes at any point during your Train2Game course?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: CVG]

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