It changes throughout the cycle. At the start we’re going back and forth trying to figure out what features we’re going to do. This year when we decided to do skating that became the really big one, and all the pieces for gameplay that were going to be able to benefit from that change. Since skating touches everything we had to look at everything again and were able to take each concept further since we were removing some previous limitations.
Throughout production we have a task list of what we want to accomplish throughout the week. So I’m meeting with software engineers, artists and other producers. It’s kind of a management role at times but even then it is also very creative, following up with the designs and making decisions to ensure we get a balanced experience and that everyone is talking and coordinating.
As we get further along, once all the pieces are in place, it comes down to tuning and making sure the game is balanced once all the pieces are put in. So with a big feature like skating we want to make sure we don’t end up with an offensively heavy game, so it requires working on the goalies, the defense and our systems just as much. It has really allowed us to make some great changes. It also really helps to have a passionate team that love the sport and enjoys playing the game.
As we near the end it is more about tuning and bug fixing, preparing for demos and meeting with media to showcase the game, while still pushing to get as much into the game as possible before we hit code lock – there are endless great ideas on this team so it is all part of balancing.