Whats a AAA title? And how do I produce it differently?

April 15, 2009

The short answer to the second question is, you don't. I would be more concerned with team size, then the visibility of the product. Of course with a larger team here will be communication issues and multiple status reports. A friend of mine was the Producer on a title that had 150 people. He came to the product late so its hard to turn a ship away from the brink but I doubt he did anything significantly different then he would with a small team.

He did tell me that every morning was filled with status meetings and so he felt he only did he job after lunch and, yes, on weekends.

When I was at SEGA we were never told our sales figures. We knew we had a hit from all of the talk about sequels and the number of press requests, but no one at the producer level knew the exact figures. It wasn't until I left SEGA that the developer thanked me for working on Taz because it had sold over 500,000 copies, for a system, the GameGear, that only had 1.1 million units in the market. But had I known I was working on a hit, would I have done anything differently? No.

The process is the same if its a hit or something you HOPE is a hit. The process changes only slightly when the team sizes grows beyond what a weekly full team meeting can handle. the pipelines are the same, the marketing demands are the same, (until it hits the market and everyone goes nut for it and you), the deadlines are the same.

That last point is the big one, the deadlines don't change if you're working on A or AAA title. And if you work for a small developer I think you would agree that from a cash flow perspective, you HAVE to hit your dates all along, not just the final ship date.

So my premise is simple, I don't think you do anything procedurally different, but there will be changes due to the scale of the project.

What do you think?