Sunday, October 2, 2011

[News Flash] Games Day 2011 - Down under!

Gotthammer from BoLs Lounge posted this excellent write up of GD Australia on this blog. I'd post it all here but I've not asked his permission, so here are some highlights:

Quote The Q&A was well populated and fairly interesting. Some points of note:

- In regards to new races they asked "raise your hand if you feel your army is laggin behind in attention?" and used the fair number of hands to illustrate the more pressing need to update the current crop of Codexes first.

- Adam did go on to mention Necrons and Dark Angels as two in need of help, but it didn't sound particularly to indicate any info on forthcoming releases.

- Phil commented he would change the Court of the Archon and Dias of Destruction if he could in Codex Dark Eldar. The Court was at one point planned for a boxed set so you'd have to buy one of each so it made sense to have it that way. The Dias was a last minute job, and needed more tweaking.
He also mentioned changing the Decapitator and making some units better and some worse, but no specifics on why.

- In regards to supplements like Cities of Death and Planetstrike they said the designers used tose as a change of pace or a reward "like desert", and they wanted to do more.

- This led into a discussion about global campaigns. They are limited as they can't have huge ones that change the universe as the results might mess up the story - Adam specifically mentioned that the results for Medusa V were not what they expected. The questioner brought up that it helps get gamers involved in the universe by having a shared goal. They did ask who would be interested and got a strong positve response.

- There was talk about the design process and how ideas come about. Phil said they are trying to change the process from "you will design this" coming from above to a constant stream of pitching ideas and having a more free-flowing creativity.
They have a giant whiteboard where the studio just put up ideas for anything and get feedback and response on it. Assignments are generally given to the most eager studio member as they'll put the most work in, "and lots of unpaid overtime". There is however competition, including knife fights in the carpark, for some jobs so they painted the studio as very free-flowing.

- Someone asked about FAQs, and the reply indicated there's an assistant designer who is chiefly responsible for them all.

- On playtesting, Adam used the example that for High Elves he personally played 40 games, recording the results, as well as other studio members, White Dwarf guys, "their external playtesting group", and other in-house team members.
There was no fixed amount done though, and it is an elastic amount.

- When asked what they thought on balance, the reply was having a tough but fun game where it could have gone either way at any point. They did acknowledge that they sometimes screwed up, and that they all find it terribly embarrasing.

- A question was asked about release schedules, with Dark Eldar getting more models while some armies are still waiting (this got a chorus of "Tyranids!" from the audience). The reply was that they were changing to try and do a single major release for as much as possible with only some Special Characters being delayed as they can be troublesome to get right.
Ogre Kingdoms was used as the example of this.

- Phil then went on to talk about how they won't be re-treading Forge World, and the Mournfang are distinct creatures from the Rhinox riders. Forge World is there to flesh out the fringes and add depth was they way it was put, and they do their own thing.

- Jervis reads every letter he gets sent, and tells everyone in the studio about them. Adam did a Jervis impersonation for effect.
Quote He further elaborated that they won't be discarding and races, as they learnt from their mistake with Squats (and he did specifically call it a mistake) and that they realise now that "they can't pretend like things didn't exist".
Go read the rest, it's very good. Sounds like GD Australia may have been better than GD UK. So add that to the list along with cricket.

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