Next week I'll take a small team with me to France to meet the executive management of Ubisoft and show them what we've spent the last 22 months working on. The meeting is called an 'FPP' (or First Playable Prototype) and is meant to showcase a 'vertical slice' of the final game. Final graphics, sound, gameplay, etc. It is the single most important intermediary milestone in a project's production (second only to the Gold Master) and has consumed my team for months.
I know I'm supposed to look at the fact that we're still here so late as a failure of planning or of improper management. There is an increasing number of developers who will say that making a AAA game doesn't require overtime crunch but rather an intelligent management of internal and external expectations coupled with smart (agile) project management at every level. I don't debate the truth of this, and yet when I look out at my team, joking together while they sprint towards the 'final' finish line of this important milestone, I can't help but feel pride. Pride in them and pride in what we're working towards.
I honestly feel like the demo we'll take to France next week will make us all proud, rekindle some waining passions within the team and serve to maintain the respect that my team and my studio have worked so hard to earn within the company and the industry as a whole.
Is that wrong?