Founded Em­ploy­ees URL Se­lected soft­og­ra­phy


130 www.yager.de Yager, Spec Ops: The Line

Dead Is­land 2,

Cur­rent projects


pec Ops: The Line,

It’s one of Berlin’s old­est stu­dios, but the Spec Ops cre­ator is no di­nosaur

ended with Spec Ops, we were about 80 peo­ple; now we’re 130, so we re­ally had to ramp up more to be able to do two projects. The projects aren’t the same size, which is good for us, since I would have been scared to do two big projects in par­al­lel – that’s more tricky. But now we have a big triple-A project for con­sole and PC in Dead Is­land, where we have about 80 peo­ple, and we have Dread­nought up­stairs, which is about 35 peo­ple.

Both and feel very dif­fer­ent to

Spec Ops, hon­estly, while it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence for us as a stu­dio, it was also hard from time to time. It was a five-year project and our art di­rec­tor al­ways says he had to look at re­ally cruel ref­er­ence ma­te­rial, so now he re­ally likes work­ing on Dread­nought after five years of that!

Do you share tech across the two teams?

Yes, ac­tu­ally both projects are run­ning on Un­real En­gine 4. We also have a very good re­la­tion­ship with Epic – I’m part of the tech ad­vi­sory board at Epic, which helps us to tell them which kind of fea­tures they should be work­ing on.

With so many mo­bile com­pa­nies here, do you still feel part of the Berlin scene?

We feel very much in­te­grated, be­cause we know most of the other guys very well. I’m good friends with Gabriel [Hacker], who’s run­ning the King stu­dio, for in­stance. And it’s also good for us, be­cause we at­tract another type of de­vel­oper, so there’s no com­pe­ti­tion be­tween us and Wooga or King. It means we en­joy more re­laxed com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween our com­pa­nies, too.

You changed the way you work after

shipped – why was that?

Spec Ops was a long pro­duc­tion and we had a cou­ple of switches of di­rec­tion in that time­frame – we started off as some­thing closer to a Ghost Re­con tac­ti­cal shooter. We had Dubai at the be­gin­ning, but not the idea of sand. And one thing that al­ways seemed to hap­pen was that we had a break­down in com­mu­ni­ca­tion when the di­rec­tion changed. We didn’t re­ally ex­plain it well, and if peo­ple aren’t be­hind a change or an idea, then it won’t work out and they won’t do their best to make it pos­si­ble. So now we have a very flat hi­er­ar­chy; there aren’t re­ally any leads. We have direc­tors, but they don’t tell peo­ple what to do – it’s more men­tor­ing. We want to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­ally think about the game and not just be pup­pets who do work that some­one else tells them to do. We want them to bring in their own ideas and to fight for them.

Sit­u­ated in a water­front build­ing, the Dead­Is­land team works at ground level while the Dread­nought team gets the bet­ter views from up­stairs

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