Devcom 2019 – Black Sail’s Olthen: Brutal honesty with employees and audience


Becoming brutally truthful, each with your group and audience, is very important in games improvement. 

That is according to Black Sail Games CEO and founder Dan Olthen, who shared his recommendations to quit, er, shit hitting the fan in improvement with the audience at Devcom 2019. One particular of these bits guidance was that communication, each inside a studio and with the players, is hugely essential. 

Olthen stated that brutal honesty is very important to creating sturdy games, providing the instance of CD Projekt RED’s open letter to its audience. The Polish developer created a post saying that it appreciated the consideration and excitement from the neighborhood and that it wanted to provide on the hype, so it was going to delay The Witcher three: Wild Hunt in order to meet these expectations.

“The neighborhood was delighted due to the fact players do not want the subsequent Day One particular mega patch or DLC to make the game total,” he stated.

“They want brutal honesty. CD Projekt RED did this fantastically and this is a lesson we ought to all find out.”

It is very important to be truthful with your personal workforce, as well.

“Be truthful with your group due to the fact they are clever men and women,” Olthen explained. “They will get in touch with you out if you commence lying to them just to hold them delighted and functioning. In no way, ever, ever do that.”

It is also essential that developers know what they are functioning on. When Olthen initial moved into production, he sat down with the men and women creating the game to see, properly, what game they believed they had been creating.

“Quite swiftly I realised we had 50 men and women creating distinct games that is a trouble,” he stated.

“That is a lot of men and women and they are performing distinct games which is the vital trouble in lots of projects. I took the identical quantity of time to get every person on the identical web page and abruptly issues began to be excellent.”

Olthen also stated that perfection is an illusion, with creators needing to know when to quit adding to an currently excellent project.

“When I say this, it really is from the point of view of an individual who likes to make games and make excellent stuff. Perfection is an illusion and you have to inform your self that it really is fine now,” he stated.

“It is excellent. You know your game other individuals – that is players and men and women outdoors – know the game. You can have the coolest functions, they are amazing, they are superb, but no-1 cares about them due to the fact they are just a further cherry on leading of the cherry that sits on leading of the strawberry cherry on the cake. It is not vital. It is currently excellent. Make a thing superb. As extended as no-1 knows about it, just let go of this otherwise it’ll drive you crazy.” is a media companion of Devcom 2019. All of our coverage from Devcom 2019 can be identified right here


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