Creating A Winning Team With The BioWare Method
BioWare's Mass Effect 2 had a great showing at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit in Vegas with the title winning Game of the Year at the Interactive Achievement Awards. Releasing one blockbuster title after the next is no accident. The biggest part of releasing a successful game is recruiting and maintaining a strong team, and BioWare's co-founders, Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka, explain how it's done.
The doctors explained it's been a long road to get to where BioWare is today and they were fortunate enough to take the journey with great people. They encourage long-term and forward thinking, always play games to continue learning, and maintain a positive team culture. One of the biggest components of keeping together a strong team is communication and honesty. Dr. Zeschuk and Dr. Muzyka admitted that Mass Effect 1 DLC didn't go quite as well as expected, so going forward the Dragon Age and Mass Effect teams worked together to building better DLC by providing feedback to one another.
Finally, the co-founders give a few pointers for fellow developers, namely always keep a clear and passionate vision of your product. If they had believed naysayers who claimed RPGs were dead, we would have never gotten Baldur's Gate. Also, they mention the importance of maintaining quality of life at an organization. During Mass Effect 1 development, Dr. Zeschuk and Muzyka admitted to burning the candle too aggressively, but since then they've created a process to maintain quality of life among staff. Quality is a huge focus of the organization, whether it's quality of life or quality gaming experiences. Also, note the quality Mass Effect image above.