Marrying a twin stick shooter with the Zombie genre was a perfect match. So much so that Housemarque's enthusiasm for the project resulted in ever increasing feature creep. What was supposed to be a small-scale downloadable title was starting to look like a full-on retail game.
When the team began work on Civilization V the technology for the new game was not yet in place. This forced them to run a development plan that put design and engineering on separate but simultaneous tracks. It wasn't until the final year of Civilization V's almost four year production that the two came together to create a new Civ game that was as pretty to look at as it was forward-thinking in its design.
Ideally, by the time a game ships, its various systems should be in a state of careful balance. Of course, during development, systems will need to be cut or modified and the closer a game is to its ship date the riskier those changes can be. Here, designer Simon Strange presents a decision making approach for identifying and defining low-risk design changes.
Putting exploding barrels in your game should be pretty simple, right? Well, not quite, as this anecdote from behind the scenes of Bulletstorm illustrates.