Friday, February 17, 2006

IGDA Meeting Blitz "The League"

Hello everyone! This week we attended the IGDA meeting at Depaul University. Midway Games recently finished their title Blitz "The League" and came to share what went wrong and right during the production. I am here to share some of my thoughts on the meeting so that some of our team, who could not attend, may have some insight into the event. Autodesk "3dsmax" was on hand as well to give away some nice stuff and info on the latest 3dsmax 8 release. My old teacher was a beta tester for them prior to its release and I'm sure it will be well received.

Midway returned to the classic arcade feel that made the game fun in the first place. This required them to frontload gameplay to ensure this was a fun game. Gameplay over graphics once again holds true.

They maintained a shock factor that made you say "oh shit!" multiple times throughout the game. After watching the trailer I felt and said that on a few occassions myself. They went against the grain and the NFL. This made them answer to noone but themselves. I never knew that Midway dropped then NFL license 6 months before EA games bought exclusivity rights. They maintain that even though EA did that, it helped their campaign by becoming this anti - establishment underdog that people can rally behind. I believe it worked.

The game took 1 year to complete with a team of 40 people. Some of the pitfalls recognized by them are a need to write the story early before production. It will dictate what you'll need for production and any changes will slow you down significantly. Know the tools needed based on the writing. This will tell you how you want your scenes to be played out and what tools you will need to create them. The large team created a "hurry up and wait" scenario on various occassions. The production pipeline needed to perform more efficiently. They blamed frontloading gameplay as one of the factors in this. You can always tweak gameplay during production. They also said at the same time, that doing that, made the game more fun.

Games never are what you first invision them becoming. They evolve as they are created and will tell you what it needs to be.

Use of visuals to rally the team really helps. They used signs that told the establishment to, get bent! The theme they had from launch was also the theme the press was using for their articles covering the game.

They censored themelves to eradicate too many "F" bombs thus becoming more mature than juvenile. Adding LT to the staff may have helped credibility to the game as well.

A more specialized team base helped with production times but they were always searching for that go to renaissance man at crunch time to get things done. I will be locking our teams for the April meeting so that we have a clear vision of our recruitment goals in June.

Finally! Plan for failure early so that you can make that 1 great success. Expect failures and you can thwart it to your advantage.

After the meeting they held a raffle for some Blitz League hats and some Autodesk backpacks. Every attendee received a Blitz League cheerleader calender upon departure. See you next week as I finish the website and new splash page with our LOGO!

Attendees: Joe W. & Emil H.

Some tools used by Midway Games for this title:
Maya 6
3dsmax 7

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Welcome to Forever Interactive Times! Stay tuned! More to come.......