Given that you now have two smaller games under your belt, do you feel that producing smaller, downloadable titles gives you more freedom and allows you to take more risks?
Developing smaller games has been great. While we always try and take creative risks on any of our games, it’s something that’s very hard to do when working on a big budget game, because taking those risks can cost a lot of money if they don’t work out. Publishers are understandably reluctant to commit a lot of money to something that is very different from the norm.
Do you think that you could have taken titles such as Costume Quest or Stacking to full retail releases?
We did design those games to be smaller experiences, because we were really interested in trying out the downloadable space, but we could’ve made them larger, full retail releases. Regardless of the format, our goal is to give the player a fun experience that could only have come from Double Fine.
We’ve read that Doublefine is using Scrum as a development methodology, could you talk about how it’s helped you develop games? What was the biggest hurdle in adopting Scrum?
The goal of Scrum, or other forms of agile development, is really to empower the team and to maintain flexibility throughout development. Rather than locking yourself into a strict feature list before production even starts, the strength of agile development is in the idea of constantly re-evaluating what is working on your game as you develop it. This allows you to make the changes that are needed to make the best experience possible as development progresses.
Probably the biggest hurdle in adopting Scrum is that it’s just very different than what people are used to. It also requires a great relationship between the developer and publisher for it to work correctly. Fortunately for us, working with THQ on Costume Quest and Stacking has been great.
Is Doublefine’s next game going to be another downloadable game or will it be a full sized game?
We can’t make any announcements at this time, but we can say that we are interested in doing both.
Is there anything we missed that you think is important?
Yes. You didn’t ask how to spell Tim’s last name. He likes that question.
All of the staff here at Gaming Nexus would like to thank Lee for taking the time to answer our questions as well as Raha for coordinating the interview.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
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