Phil Harrison Talks Development Mistakes

Illustration for article titled Phil Harrison Talks Development Mistakes

Former Sony and current Atari exec Phil Harrison has been in the industry for eons. He's learned things. And while talking about Unity middleware platform at the Unite 08 conference in Copenhagen, Harrison discussed why many game projects fail. It's inside baseball, but here's Harrison:

Here is my EUR 10 million gift to this room — all of the mistakes I have made in software development have been based around one problem and one problem alone, which is accelerating through this pipeline without successfully and properly satisfying the requirements of each of the stages - and typically it involves going from concept to production in one jump... That's pretty much the definition of why projects fail — because you don't know what you're building, you don't know how you're going to build it, you don't know who you're building it for, but you've got 60 people working on it and they've all running in different directions — that's how most games fail.

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Phil Harrison is a smart man. Sony's loss is Atari's gain. You know what else Phil Harrison is? Tall, that's what, he's tall. Phil Harrison: It's time for a change in games development [Games Industry] [Pic]

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DISCUSSION

Phil Harrisson is a very smart man, I really enjoy what he has to say in general.

There is one thing that boggles me though... if game projects that fail are failing due to people not knowing what they're building, running in all directions, how can you explain Duke Nukem Forever, or other failures of the vaporware kind (let's face it, not being able to release a game in 12 years is a terrible fail)... Is it the opposite? Knowing so much you just can't advance?

I'm really wondering how one can NOT know how to make Duke Nukem Forever, or know it too much... It's Duke Nukem