Founded Employees URL Selected softography
130 www.yager.de Yager, Spec Ops: The Line
Dead Island 2,
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