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


Getting 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 suggestions to cease, er, shit hitting the fan in improvement with the audience at Devcom 2019. A single of these bits tips was that communication, each inside a studio and with the players, is hugely significant. 

Olthen mentioned that brutal honesty is very important to generating 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 since players do not want the subsequent Day A single mega patch or DLC to make the game full,” he mentioned.

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

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

“Be truthful with your group since they are clever people today,” Olthen explained. “They will get in touch with you out if you commence lying to them just to hold them delighted and functioning. By no means, ever, ever do that.”

It is also significant that developers know what they are functioning on. When Olthen very first moved into production, he sat down with the people today generating the game to see, properly, what game they believed they had been generating.

“Fairly speedily I realised we had 50 people today generating distinct games that is a dilemma,” he mentioned.

“That is a lot of people today and they are carrying out distinct games which is the critical dilemma in lots of projects. I took the identical quantity of time to get absolutely everyone on the identical web page and abruptly items began to be great.”

Olthen also mentioned that perfection is an illusion, with creators needing to know when to cease adding to an currently good project.

“When I say this, it is from the viewpoint of a person who likes to make games and construct great stuff. Perfection is an illusion and you have to inform your self that it is fine now,” he mentioned.

“It is great. You know your game other individuals – that is players and people today outdoors – know the game. You can have the coolest options, they are great, they are wonderful, but no-one particular cares about them since they are just a different cherry on top rated of the cherry that sits on top rated of the strawberry cherry on the cake. It is not essential. It is currently good. Construct some thing wonderful. As extended as no-one particular 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 discovered right here


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