The Xbox Live and PlayStation Network 2009 video game Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond
is a spoof of video game culture and the games themselves, but development of the title wasn't all laughs, according to developer Vicious Cycle.
The 10-year-old studio had plenty of experience in shipping games to retail, so CEO Eric Peterson and the Matt Hazard: BBB
development team made the assumption that the company's first downloadable game "would be a snap."
"We were wrong in that assumption and we made quite a few mistakes as a result," Peterson said in a new Gamasutra feature postmortem
on the game, which is the follow-up to Vicious Cycle's Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard
from February 2009.
Because Matt Hazard: BBB
was a game that relied on parody and mimicking, the studio initially believed that a lot of the foundation for design was already laid down. "We assumed that since we were mimicking design elements from many titles before us, that it would be easy to replicate the gameplay and get the feel of the game right from the onset," he said. But it wasn't that simple
"Because we made these assumptions -- and a few other mistakes -- the project that was supposed to be a breeze quickly turned into a game that nearly spun out of control," Peterson added. "Two months into an eight-month project, we could see that things were slipping out of our grasp. People were overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, the game's vision was getting muddy, and progress was coming to a standstill."
But Peterson said with help of the game's publisher, D3, the studio was able to adjust appropriately, and ship a game that they were, for the most part, happy with.
"Once we realized [these problems] were happening, we shuffled the deck a bit, added more people to the team, and tried to course correct the issues by going back to the basics. Fortunately, these course corrections were successful," he said.
There are other parts of the game's development, however, that did go according to plan, Peterson said, including the tech, parody, and certain design elements. Read Peterson's full recounting in the Gamasutra feature postmortem
, published today.