In the very early stages of making skate 3, we announced the release date for our game. This was surprising to me for two reasons. First, for the previous games, we waited much later on in the schedule before announcing a ship date. We usually get a fairly confident feeling about when the game could go out the door before letting the public know when it would be out. For our third game, we announced our ship date well before we knew how things were coming along with the game. This meant that we would have to avoid any major delays or else we’d have to publicly revise our release date.
The second surprise was the actual date itself of May 2010. Most people think that a game is worked on until close to the date that the game goes on store shelves. In reality, a game is done anywhere between one month to a month and a half before it appears in the marketplace. I remember the exact day I was told that we would be shipping in May of 2010. It was early in 2009 and I remember doing quick mental calculations as to when we’d be the most busy. I immediately realized that we’d be working like crazy during the end of February of 2010. Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the last few years, you know that the Olympics are being held in my fair city during that time. A year ago, I knew the timing would be bad and unfortunately, I wasn’t proven wrong in the meantime.
We’re extremely busy right now and with the Olympics coming up, it seems there’s a lot to deal with. A lot of people on my team live downtown, so their commutes have been interesting. I know my co-workers also have tickets to several events, some of them in Whistler, so juggling work responsibilities with the desire to take in the Olympics is a delicate act.
I know that our game team and company isn’t the only one going through this though. There’s a certain team that works over a certain Yaletown brew pub that’s racing to get their game done. Admittedly, they have a much more enviable position, as after a long day (and evening) of work, they can go down to the LiveCity venue there and relax. There’s also another bunch of rock stars who are also trying get their game done. I bet they could slow down time so they can get more stuff done.
To everyone trying to final right now, I hope we all get a chance to take a breather in the next two weeks or so and have some fun.