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Video: Making a game while struggling with obsessive compulsiveness

At GDC, Matt Gilgenbach shared his struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder while developing the PlayStation Network and PC rhythm shooter Retro/Grade.
In this GDC 2013 video, 24 Caret Games co-founder Matt Gilgenbach delivers a personal postmortem on how his obsessive-compulsive behavior led to a crunch-heavy, four-year development cycle for the PlayStation Network and PC rhythm reverse-shooter Retro/Grade. Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free lecture reflects on the 750,000 lines of code in the game and the personal sacrifices Gilgenbach made to maintain 80-hour work weeks. But one lesson learned, he says to question the extra time spent on features, to debate if they will increase sales or at least impact the player's experience. Session Name: Obsessive-Compulsive Development: Retro/Grade Postmortem Speaker(s): Matt Gilgenbach Company Name(s): 24 Caret Games Track / Format: Independent Games Summit Overview: Retro/Grade was featured in the 2009 IGF, with nominations in Excellence in Design and Excellence in Audio. After almost four years of grueling crunch, the game was finally released to positive reviews. Although 24 Caret Games was silent during development, Matt Gilgenbach will now talk about what went wrong on the project and in his personal life, as his obsessive-compulsive disorder caused development to spiral out of control. He will also discuss what he learned from the mistakes on Retro/Grade, and his new and healthier approach to indie game development.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent GDC events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC China already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscriptions via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can find out more here. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more new content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from other events like GDC China and GDC 2013. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech.

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