Scott Langteau Lead producer
What sort of historical research did you perform in preparation for Finest Hour?
We brought in advisors and veterans. Johnnie Stevens, of the 761st Tank Regiment, was flown in and talked about what it was like to be in a division that had suffered 75 per cent casualties. However, there were some places where it was difficult to do proper research, like Red Square. Our photographers had a driver over there who refused to take them to some places, because it was illegal to take pictures there. They had to shoot him a lot of extra money to get to where they needed to go.
Did you have to cut anything substantial in order to meet milestone deadlines?
Yes – whole levels were cut, and it was heartbreaking. There was one background artist who’d worked on this one level all the way up to the end – it was textured, built, there were enemies in it. But we just had to cut it, and cut his work. He was devastated, because that was basically all he had worked on.
Given your experience, why do you think games end up going over budget and time?
When you’re looking at something once a month it’s easy to say, ‘We should add this’ or, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we had that?’ Then you get to a few months before launch and there are features that still haven’t been designed or haven’t been coded, and you start thinking not about what you can add but what you’ll be able to finish. It’s more viable to cut features and levels than to add more staff. These are decisions that always happen, but publishers are never happy about them, and rarely will they admit that they had a role in it.