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.