Sourc­ing as­sets from stu­dios of dif­fer­ent sizes brought up many nu­anced chal­lenges: you might think, for in­stance, that an ea­ger in­die dev might be far eas­ier to work with than a se­cre­tive de­vel­op­ment gi­ant such as Nin­tendo. But the op­po­site was also true. “Some of th­ese larger stu­dios do some­times do a lit­tle bit of a bet­ter job of ar­chiv­ing or ac­cess­ing their work, be­cause of the na­ture of the in­fra­struc­ture,” Marie Foul­ston says. “Equally, you’ve got a solo de­vel­oper and they’re like, ‘Look, I’m a one-woman band, so it’s go­ing to take a bit of time for me to get back to you about this’.” But the team note that there were plenty of sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween stu­dios, fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples that ap­peared to unite all the work from in­die up to triple-A: “Spread­sheets, and Post-It notes!” Kris­tian Vols­ing laughs. Playtest­ing was an­other con­stant, with Tale Of Tales de­signer Auera Har­vey sketch­ing her testers in pen by way of notes, while Naughty Dog’s fa­cil­i­ties have banks of com­put­ers analysing player fa­cial ex­pres­sions. “But it’s fun­da­men­tal – this is the ex­act same prac­tice, just done in very dif­fer­ent ways. I love that distinc­tion,” Foul­ston says.

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