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Thursday, February 14, 2008

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A Q&A With Epic's Mike Capps
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

A new interview with Epic's Mike Capps is now available from Wired. In the Q&A Capps discusses the online gaming press, the importance of efficiency in game design, and the prevalence of first person shooters in the marketplace.

One of the main themes I'm seeing at this DICE is the idea that it's in a company's best interests to keep the suits, the corporate owners, away from the talent, the development teams. What do you think about that?
I think it's crazy. Because talent without focus on business is a really, really dangerous thing. Blizzard is a great example. I don't know how they've been so successful and as huge as they have. But to throw away a game three times. That's not necessarily something to be proud of in perhaps your methodology so much as that somebody somewhere up high has the willingness to say, "You know, it's not working." That's very different from saying you're producing efficiently. Does that make sense?

And you're talking specifically about?
Like Starcraft, I guess they threw away three engines, or something. I think they could've gotten it done quicker and faster through an iterative process that wasn't quite so... "Work forever, throw it away." And I think that's the thing that the CFO serves such a great purpose, there's somebody who's putting a control on the other side. At our office, it used to be me, and now it's Rod [Fergusson], who fights with Cliff[y B].

And it's a purposeful tension, because Cliff wants more, badder, cooler, stuff, and Rod says, this is all you can have and if you want cake, you're going to have to not eat pizza for dinner. And that tension is really important, and if you get into the "design is law," you lose your tension and then God knows what you end up with or how long it takes to get there.

Check out the full interview at the website linked below.

Wired: Talent Without Business Is Dangerous
Epic Games

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Archives  News  A Q&A With Epic's Mike Capps