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Exclusive Interview with Colin Johanson - Part One

by Balandar on 10 Jul 2012

Guildwars2hub interviewed Colin on launch expections, beta feedback, and more.

Here's a snipet from the interview:

[b]Lewis B:[/b] How is the atmosphere in the office at the moment? Would you consider it “crunch time,” or is it much more relaxed?

[b]Colin Johanson:[/b] It’s sort of a mixed bag of everything right now; as we approach getting a build ready for a beta weekend, we all start really cramming hard to make it the best possible experience we can. Once we get to the beta weekend, it’s much more relaxed, as we all get an opportunity to just spend three days playing the game with everyone, which reinvigorates everyone, allowing them to get ready for the next beta event and make the game even better.

We’re still trying to have a lot of fun every step of the way, though; great games are made by a team of people having a great time, and that passion and fun carries over into everything they do. [i]Guild Wars 2[/i] is one of the rare games that has the luxury to actually find issues with the game (via our beta weekends) and be given time by the publisher (thank you, NCsoft!) to address those issues. Because of that, we’re not crippled by the insane crunch and madness that usually accompanies other games to release; instead, we have the
time to make intelligent design decisions, test them, and get them right so when we release the game, it’s one we’re truly proud of.

[b]Lewis B:[/b] When we spoke at Eurogamer last year, you mentioned being nervous before the reveal of [i]Guild Wars 2[/i] at gamescom, when showing it for the first time. Do you feel the same apprehension going into each beta weekend?

[b]Colin:[/b] Less so now than the very first gamescom; that moment of working on anything for 3+ years of your life and showing it for the first time is incredibly nerve-wracking. I don’t think I slept more than an hour or two on the flight to Germany or over the couple days before the show. Once we let people play at gamescom and PAX two years ago, we had a pretty clear sense we were on the right track, and people were getting behind the game we were making.

Back then it was more of a stomach-churning “what happens if no one likes it as much as we do” nervousness. You only get one chance to make a first impression, after all. Now it’s more of a nervous excitement as the game edges closer to release with each beta weekend. We went from three years of work before getting feedback to now every month or two we’re getting to iterate and then get comments from an insane amount of people in our beta weekends—that certainly helps a lot.

Pride and hubris are dangerous things in this industry, though; they’ve killed many potentially great games in the past when teams assured themselves they had a hit and didn’t listen to the feedback. It’s important that we’re always a little bit nervous about anything we do and come at it with a sense of apprehension and humility. It’s not just our game; it’s a game we’re making for all the fans of [i]Guild Wars 2[/i] as well. Always being respectful of that, and being willing to recognize when decisions we made aren’t working, are both extremely important to the success of the game, which is a big part of our development philosophy and strategy.

[url="http://www.guildwars2hub.com/features/interviews/exclusive-interview-colin-johanson-part-one"]Read more of the article here.[/url]

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