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Thursday, April 10, 2008


A producer from another EA studio was in house this week, spending time with (Creative Director) Paul (Barnett) and taking a look at some of the processes we have and how the game is coming along.

I hadn't spoken to him until today when Paul took me out of my office and walked me over to where he was demoing the game. On the way, Paul begins to tell me that during their talks, he had expressed to Paul that he didn't see why we were making a big deal out of the Tome of Knowledge, and that he just wasn't sure why we talk about it like it's one of the majors features in the game. As the person responsible for overseeing the Tome, I'm beginning to flush, and I'm wondering why Paul is bringing me within striking range of this guy.

We enter the room and Paul says "Tell her what you think about the Tome now." And he tells me that after an hour of play he's utterly sold on it, that it's wonderful, that it generates within him an emotional response (and not simply an intellectual one).

I have been ten feet off the ground since.

The process of making games is tough for lots of reasons, but none tougher than this one: self-doubt. I am convinced the Tome is a great idea. I am convinced I work with a great batch of people. I am convinced that the press have enjoyed the snippets of the Tome that we have showed them. I am convinced that the Warhammer fans are going to enjoy the lore and the things inside the book. But when somebody, with no motive, comes at the work that I do with skepticism, and walks away satisfied, then I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do. The rest of my days are filled with all the panic and fear and doubt that I can possibly muster. And I feel deeply all the responsibility that is on me to make sure we deliver something great.

So a break in that feels like heaven.

...and now back to work.


Paul said...

AWWwwww... Congratulations!

Milkman519 said...

Well, I don't know if this counts for as much but I also think that the Tome of Knowledge is a fantastic idea.

Joshiepoo said...

Though I am interested in playing the Warhammer MMO I have no clue what this Tome thingy is. Would it be useful for someone completely new to the Warhammer universe and tends to get wrapped up in the lore of games? And if i have to pre-order the game to get the Tome I think I will puke in my mouth a little. I know you have no control over that.

Casey "Rev/Mopar" Cannon said...

I know a similar feeling when writing novels, and(currently) my film script. I know the ideas and notions I am pushing in it are great, I know that people who have studied the subjects in the story will find some enjoyment out of it, I know somewhere inside me I can muster up the creativity to make it unique. But the chill of having my work labeled a "generic knock-off" or a "cookie-cutter idea" crawls up my spine every second of every minute of every hour of every day I work on it. Regardless, I know the ideas, the emotions, the fabric of the plot will be lost in the commotion of trying to perfect its execution and worrying too much. So I'll take it slow, no rush, plenty of time to piece the puzzle together and make something people will remember for the better.

P.S.- After reading the first two paragraphs of this, I randomly thought about Eddie Murphy's stand-up "Raw", talking about how he got an angry call from Bill Cosby and called Richard Pryor to see what he thought about Cosby's rant. I had a funny scenario in my head of "The Producer" telling you he still disliked it, and you calling "the rawest (designer) in (the game business)", Cliffy B. Its funnier with the foul language.

Caro said...

I'm really looking forward to getting my own grubby virtual hands on the Tome. DON'T SCREW THIS UP! :P

Espen aka essi2 said...

As a big warhammer fan and with what I've seen of the Tome, I'd say it's an AWESOME idea :D

Lepuke said...

I'm glad there are people like you working on this game, after reading that I suppose I should go pre-order the game.
Besides my wife has been bitching at me about not playing any games together ever since I quit WoW.
So we will have to play some Warhammer when that comes out instead.