Over the course of writing seven books on video game history, I’ve interviewed hundreds of game developers, many of which have dropped mountains of knowledge on the industry. For me, it’s essentially one of the reasons why I’m here- to share the behind-the-scenes tales so you know more than ever about your favorite and not-so-favorite games.
Here are five amazing quotes that’ll inspire you to learn even more about gaming and development.
“If you work hard, particularly with a group of similarly hard-working dedicated people, you can do some impressive things in life. The other lesson that is true in life, but particularly true with software (video games or other), is that the first 80 percent is the fun part. The last 20 percent is the difficult and grueling part. Successful people dig deep and do whatever it takes to accomplish that last 20 percent. Be a finisher! Ship it.”
-Craig Broadbooks, lead developer, NHL FaceOff series
“We got, you can’t see my hand, this close to releasing on the Sega Genesis,” Dombrower said. “We were building it. I can’t remember for the life of me, why it didn’t happen. We build it for the Commodore 64, the Apple II, the Amiga, which became its main platform. We made a Macintosh version and we started making a Genesis version. We were struggling with it. Mike Burton was making good progress. For the life of me, I can’t remember. Maybe it was taking too long. Maybe it was too hard. Things were changing pretty rapidly and we (Dombrower and EA) couldn’t hold a relationship together. I was a little burnt out at that point and in order to maintain the relationship, it would have required a lot of changes between the two. They had totally revamped their sports division in a big, big way. This was the beginning of EA Sports. We had two different visions. Two different approaches. I think. I don’t think it was something in my life I could have done. I was kind of time to fold the tent up. As I said, I was a little burnt out, I had been doing baseball games since 1982. By 1992, it was just kind of done. And at that point, it just didn’t seem like it would be a good fit (on consoles). I did provide the code to Ernest Adams at EA who was going to lead an internal development team and Rob Troup from my team and I provided designs for the EA Sports Baseball game for him to build.”
Eddie Dombrower, co-creator Earl Weaver Baseball on the game’s non-release on the Sega Genesis.
“I think two things; probably as one of the first games to really show what the Playstation’s hardware could do (I was always obsessed with the technical, Shadow of the Beast was in no small part designed to show what the Amiga’s graphics and sound chips could do) But mostly as a game that freed the player to do what we all really wanted to do in a racing game; to just smash everyone else’s cars to pieces and proclaim yourself the last man standing,” Edmondson said. “It was quite satisfying for its time.”
Martin Edmondson, creator of Destruction Derby
“We ultimately work extensively for three months and prototyped three specific styled views, some using 3D lines withdrawn sprites, some with scrolling background/sprites. We were testing the controls of the characters and how they would feel in each case. We were really exploring both the innovative side of how it should look and feel – but also in parallel having to prove technically that it could be possible and to also leave enough CPU time for things like AI, sound, animation, etc.
“Our initial part was an intense three-month cycle. We were both working full-time out of our studio in the north of England. The producer from EA would come up and visit us and give feedback – we had been crunching each time to get the demo ready so he could take a version away to show to the folks back at EA UK in Langley. We were also playing a lot of soccer games. Our favorite was mostly Kick-Off. They were all good really – and kept us inspired. We knew the market was wide open on the Genesis though and that was exciting. We also didn’t want to do a copy of what was out there.”
FIFA co-creator Jules Burt
“In the past, game publishers would make the exact same game for both platforms. It was good for the marketing departments to talk about one game and it was cost-effective and a time saver for development,” Flitman said. “Then, right around the time of Royal Rumble, Nintendo and Sega started to request something special for their platforms to get consumers to gravitate toward their game machine. It was unreasonable to request a completely different game, so we reached a compromise and included different rosters. Some other games might have an extra level or specific hidden features. For WWF wrestling titles, we agreed that by including a few wrestlers specific to the SNES or the Genesis we could make both hardware companies happy.”
WWF Royal Rumble Producer Mark Flitman