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Dealing with Scope Change in 'Heat Signature' and 'Gunpoint'

Tom Francis  (Game Designer, Suspicious Developments)

Date: Friday, March 19

Time: 11:50 am - 12:20 pm

Track: Production & Team Management

Format: Discussion Session

Vault Recording: TBD

This GDC 2019 talk will feature real-time interaction with the speaker through online chat messaging during its scheduled broadcast. Tom Francis explains why his spaceship infiltration game 'Heat Signature' took 3x longer than hacking puzzler 'Gunpoint', and shares what he's learned about how to spot difficult projects before they get out of control. Although 'Heat Signature' was eventually successful, much of its 3.5 year development was spent on features that were not an especially strong part of the final game, and its most successful ones were among the easiest to add. This talk digs into where the process went wrong, why it didn't with 'Gunpoint', and how it might be improved.


Attendees will learn some of the warning signs of a project that's going to take too long, advice on how to steer an unwieldy project towards the features that will pay off, and tips on how to distinguish between promising ideas and successful ones.