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.

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