Monday, June 22, 2015

Unleashing the power of small teams

For many years around the turn of the century, some of us (myself included) used to believe that the best games can only come from big teams. We were tricked into thinking this because it was the status quo. The gatekeepers, who back then largely controlled what gets released to market, only considered specific kinds of games that met certain criteria - a growing list of "back of the box" features that the publishers and their marketers decided the market wants. In addition to implementing those features, game development teams had to push constantly improving hardware to its limits, and they had to feature a large amount of content to justify the $50-$60 price tag. Naturally, those games need big teams to make them. For big AAA games, team size has kept increasing on each subsequent hardware generation.