Too Much Time And Money Can Make A Video Game Bad, Gearbox Says

What would games look like if the developers behind them had an unlimited amount of time to work on them?

I'm not talking about an unlimited time in development hell, like Duke Nukem Forever. I'm talking about the luxury of not having a publisher breathing down your neck to crank a game out by the contracted time.

So what would Borderlands 2 look like if the Gearbox team had no time limitations? Would it look different than what they anticipate it currently will?

"No. It would look the same," says Sean Reardon, senior producer at Gearbox Software. But why?

"I don't buy into unlimited time. As a producer, I think the thing that creates quality is the focus on time. If you have unlimited time, you're going to have no constraints. The boundaries are too ill-defined for me to do anything creative in that space. I need something concrete to be creative. If we had infinite time, we'd still be dicking around on that very first decision. There'd be no game."

What about infinite money? Surely you could use infinite money for glamorous cinematics, high-end voice actors, motion capture, promotional campaigns, anything?

Nope, not that either. "If I have infinite money, where's my passion? If I have no creative boundaries, I have nothing to do. I have no challenge. I'm not saying, ‘Work for money,' I'm saying, 'Use money to solve interesting challenges.'"


Comments

    Says the company who's been working on their Aliens game since the beginning of this gen! Haha!

    Too much time and too much money makes games something something

    Whilst it might be the case for Reardon / Gearbox, I think Valve demonstrates that having 'unlimited' funds and no published breathing down your neck can actually result in seriously spectacular games.

    I'd be more supportive of his position if Gearbox's games were perfect... which they're not.

    What's the point of this? Should this read 'If I had a genie and three magical wishes as a developer?' The more money you have, the more restrictions you have and the more people breathing down your neck to get a product out the door...

    I have to agree with this guy. Often when a friend asks for a logo and I ask "When do you need it?" they'll give the worst response - "Oh, whenever, just let me know when you finish."

    This generally results in weeks of inactivity, especially if it's a project I'm not really interested in. It's not on my priority list (creatively or otherwise) - I don't feel I need to put effort in because I have all the time in the world to do it. Creative businesses do suffer when there are no limitations (note that I said 'businesses') . Indie games are great example because they're (generally) low budget; they have that limitation so they need to excel in other areas to compete.

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