Interview med MGS Lead Producer Chris Wynn

Can you tell us a little more about how Microsoft, as a game publisher, supports a developer during the production of a triple-A title like Gears of War 3?

Our objective is to align all of our resources to ensure that the game is great and delivered to our fans on time. The production team is the hub of the wheel because we coordinate all of the other groups around that one objective. The producers also drive the business side of game development for Microsoft, working with marketing to look at things like pricing, DLC plans, and so on.

Every day, our test team gets a new version of the game and dives into each area to look for problems and report them for fixing. It goes quite a bit deeper than that, of course, and our testers have a specialized skill set that makes them great at what they do: for example, trying to figure out how to reliably reproduce a bug that happens only once a week!

Our writers and editors read over the story, in-game text, and any other supporting text to ensure that it all makes sense and reads well. Our localization team translates the text to a number of different languages for audiences worldwide. They also cast foreign-language speakers to play the game?s characters, and we get all of that dialogue edited and prepped for use in the game.

Our user-research labs are absolutely state of the art for the industry. They let us do focus-group testing on all of the different game modes to ensure that we are hitting the quality bar that we set for ourselves. Getting real consumer feedback is necessary to see how people play the game so we can make adjustments before the game ships.

Marketing is the last big component. All of the shirts, posters, ads?everything the fans see?are a result of our marketing and PR teams. They put together a detailed plan that covers up to a year before the game?s release and all the way past the game?s launch. This plan outlines what we want to talk about and when to build awareness for Gears, and get all of you excited to play it.

We also work with a whole host of other groups and agencies to further offer support. IT to support game servers; PR agencies to produce shirts, videos, and other cool stuff; sales teams to sell the game to retailers; an audio team; an art team?there?s a whole list of groups that work to make Gears a great game and a big success.

Epic is such an awesome partner who really understands how to develop a great game, and they make our job easier. As a producer, I can say this is the best team that I have worked with in over a decade of experience in the industry.

What does it take to support a show like E3 for a title as huge as Gears of War 3?

 

 

E3 is a massively important deal for everyone in the industry, and we love participating in it, but it?s a tremendous amount of work for everyone on the team.

In April, we started regular review sessions at Microsoft to choose which games would be part of the Microsoft press briefing, including Gears. As we narrowed down the games, these sessions eventually turned into rehearsals at Microsoft?s own TV studios in Seattle. The closer we got to E3, the frequency and number of people involved increased to the point where it seemed like all I was doing in a given day was setting up equipment, doing a demo, or tearing down equipment.

We worked with Epic to decide what is important to show at E3. Our goal was simple: Make people walk away talking about Gears, saying things like ?Wow, that was awesome!? or ?I can?t believe how great that looks, I want to play it right now!? We had to choose what to show on the press conference stage, in an enclosed theater experience, behind closed doors for press interviews, on the show floor, and at a special event to showcase the title. We wanted to wow people with a snippet of the campaign and really wow people with Horde 2.0.

Once we got to Los Angeles, we had more setup and more rehearsals. We must have rehearsed seven or eight times over the weekend leading up to the show on Monday morning. In addition to all of the rehearsals, reviews, setups, tear-downs, writing, practicing, and everything else, we had exclusive t-shirts made, posters printed, stickers designed, and interview schedules locked down. 

As I look back on it, it was one crazy whirlwind of all sorts of different things, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat?it was just awesome. And, let?s face it, everyone could use a bit more awesome in their lives.

 

 

 

 

Chris Wynn is the lead producer on Gears of War 3. Before joining Microsoft in 2010 he worked with EA as a development director working on a variety of games that spanned many platforms including PC and the PSP. In a past life Chris was an artist generating content for racing games on the PC.

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gears3

gears3

12, Ålesund

Hei,hei! Dette er min blogg om Gears of war 3 og dei andre gears spillene :D Jeg håper du liker den ! Og jeg blir alltid glad for kommentarer.. -Gears3

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