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BioWare's Bill Dalton reveals the secrets to making big teams work

William Dobson

These days it's extremely rare for a video game to be made by one person. Groups of people from different disciplines work on a game, hired for their proficiency in their area of specialty. When we're talking about an MMO, the game development team often ends up being pretty big. When we're talking about an MMO as ambitious as Star Wars: The Old Republic, the team is freaking enormous, by necessity. In a recent article on Gamasutra one of the members of the SWTOR team, Bioware Austin technical director Bill Dalton, discussed the challenges that come up when working with such a large group of people.

Unsurprisingly, Dalton said that communication is at the core of keeping a big team afloat: "There is nothing you can do to communicate too much. In a situation where things are in crisis and something is broken, and you've told individual people as they come up, it's not a bad idea to overcommunicate and tell the whole team what's going on." Dalton mentioned that another difficult aspect of team development is balancing the differing view-points that each sub-team looks at the game from. Again, communication is the key to solving these puzzles. Check out the full article at Gamasutra to read about an interesting case study involving Star Wars: The Old Republic and its Hero Engine, which allows developers from all disciplines to make live edits to the game simultaneously -- impressive.

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