Here’s an interesting look behind the scenes of a somewhat failed AAA game, Singularity.

Mutated plants are never a good sign

Mutated plants are never a good sign

In what will be a total shock to anyone who’s developed a major software project… it was late, in terrible shape, and nearly canceled.  Then they threw something together in ten months of crunch time. It’s a wonder it’s as good as it is.

I actually liked the game a lot.  It’s very pretty, it has a lot of fun toys, the story is intriguing, and it’s bold enough to end with a major mind-fuck. The behind-the-scenes article explains why, nonetheless, it felt like it didn’t quite reach its potential. They just didn’t have time to explore the ideas further.

Actually the one big surprise in the article was the reference to multiplayer, because: there was multiplayer??  Apparently AAA games feel that they must have a multiplayer option now, which is madness.  Gaming is so fragmented these days that I can rarely play anything with my friends… our old TF2 crowd still gets together for a few hours once a week, but it used to be daily.  They’re all off playing different things.  There will be a flurry of interest in a new game’s multiplayer for maybe a few days; if you pick up the game later in a Steam sale or something, there’s no one around to play it with.  They could have dropped the multiplayer entirely and had more resources for deepening the single-player game.