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Collaboration key to Solatorobo's creative success

In Gamasutra's latest feature, a postmortem of Nintendo DS cult-hit Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, director Takayuki Isobe writes that open collaboration led
In Gamasutra's latest feature, a postmortem of Nintendo DS cult-hit Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, director Takayuki Isobe writes that open collaboration led to a "very high level of motivation" for the team. Isobe is an experienced developer who has been at CyberConnect 2 since the company was originally founded in the PlayStation 1 era. Solatorobo, in fact, had a three year development cycle and was in the works for 10 years all told. But what kept the project vital, writes Isobe, is the colloboration the team shared while working on the game. "We created an Excel sheet that allowed any member of the team to input their thoughts whenever they wanted. Topics could be anything from an idea or thought about the game and development process, or general suggestions, and I could then input my thoughts and answers in the comments," he writes. "By sharing this information with the team, every team member could see why some suggestions or ideas were prioritized, what type of revisions were made, and which comments were accepted and denied, so that everyone has a unified understanding of the project." "With this list we were able to understand the project beyond each of our assigned tasks, and gained a feeling that we were all creating this game together as a team." "The main programmer (Shinji Soyano) and I can be considered industry veterans and have a long history of developing video games, but the rest of the staff consisted of fairly young members. It was a good combination of young members, full of energy and ambition, with the veterans there to round them up," writes Isobe. "As a team, we were able to refine each of the sections to something better. Also, by exchanging ideas and trying to refine the game, we were able to sustain a very high level of motivation all the way to the end." The full postmortem, which contains more information on the development of Solatorobo -- and some fantastic concept art -- is live now on Gamasutra.

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