Train2Game students will know that game development can take a significant amount of time, but even in this industry, L.A. Noire’s seven year development cycle was extensive. (Though only half as long as that of Duke Nukem Forever…)
Why was this? Well, partly because of the impressive Motionscan facial animation, and also because L.A. Noire creator Brendan McNamara believes his film noire title, published by Rockstar, was “too big”
“One [thing] is the size, it’s a huge game – probably too big. The map’s massive, and so that’s probably my fault. We had to build a new process to do that” he told OPM
“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…”
McNamara revealed that at least 18 months of L.A. Noire’s development was dedicated to research.
“The tech was pretty extensive, including MotionScan. I’d say the first year and a half – [maybe] even longer – was just research.” he said
“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.” McNamara concluded
Facial animation was a huge part of L.A. Noire, however, in an interview with the Train2Game blog last November, Brink Lead Writer Ed Stern told us it isn’t something that’s needed in order to enjoy video games.
As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, L.A. Noire broke records to take No.1 in the UK charts when it was released last year.
For more on L.A. Noire, see previous posts on The Train2Game Blog.
So Train2Game, what do you make of McNamara’s comments? Is it possible for a game to be too big? What lessons do you thinkcan be learned from the development of L.A. Noire?
Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.