Friday, February 02, 2007

"Making Of"

A few months ago I started keeping a personal blog (didn't publish it online) of everything that was going on in my project. Every day before heading home I would take a few minutes to jot down the notes from the day -- what we accomplished, what roadblocks we ran up against, who I felt like murdering, etc.

The entertainment industry (like many, I guess) has to be careful about the public image it projects when describing the creation of its products. The fear is that if people were to find out too much about the making of a movie, game, album (etc) they might feel the magic had been ruined, or become disillusioned with some element of the creation process they found to be unjust or distasteful. The video game industry is certainly no different -- we carefully select what material makes it out to the public and strive to ensure that even the 'uncensored inside peeks' into the development process can still serve as a PR and marketing machine.

This is not a bad thing, necessarily, but I've always wondered whether there would be a public interest in a really honest description of the production process with no punches pulled. I think yes, and, additionally, I think that those people who would be interested in such a thing would not likely find their appreciation for the product adversely affected.

Of course, whether the company producing the product (and all of the partners that a production can touch) would approve is another matter entirely. There would certainly have to be limits and _some_ self restraint, if only to ensure that no trade secrets were being disclosed.

Unfortunately I fell out of the habit of maintaining this development diary and have had little motivation to start it up again, as I'm not sure it could find an audience (and I have this blog when I just feel like writing). However, a few days ago I saw a developer diary for God Of War 2 that motivated me to think about picking it up again.

If you haven't already seen it you should really do yourself a favor. In David Jaffe, it would seem, Sony has realised they don't have to tip-toe around every sensitive issue relating to game development -- that in the hands (or minds and mouths) of smart and professional people, the gloves can come off a little, giving a deeper look into the development process without upsetting "the suits" (is that the Pot calling the Kettle black?). This developer diary is really a documentary style look into the lives of the GOW2 developers, and it does our industry a service, I believe, by treating the consumer with maturity, knowing that exposing some of the tensions behind the scenes will not necessarily lead to less sales come launch day.

Update: I'm not sure why, but the gametrailers embedded video was wrecking havok on the already poor layout of my site, so I've had to delete it and replace it with a link to the video in question. Please don't let this prevent you from watching -- it really is worth seeing.

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Blogger Darius Kazemi said...

That is definitely an awesome, honest behind-the-scenes. (And I gotta say I'm jealous of their office!)

10:35 AM  

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