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Posts Tagged ‘SEGA Studio Australia’

Upcoming ‘Golden Axed’ Revealed to Have Been Developed in Unhealthy Crunch Conditions

Thursday, October 15th, 2020

According to lead animator Tim Dawson, the upcoming release of Golden Axed is a complete surprise to him and the team responsible for it.

Originally coded in 2012, the project was created off the back of the team’s Castle of Illusion prototype which successfully kept the company afloat. Development then proceeded under the concept that it would be a “darker, bloodier Golden Axe” and the team went ahead with combining those ideas with the concept of the original game.

What followed was 2 weeks of 14 hour days and several disputes with management, who wanted the game to be something else. Tim recounts, “much less luckily we also had the lead designer who thought he was designing it, and sometimes Sanatana Mishra would have to physically block him from reaching my workstation or he’d start explaining insights he’d received playing the mobile port on the train on the way to work.”

The most harrowing story Tim recounts is showing the latest build to management:

“but the biggest gut punch came a week and a half in – combat was working, it was all on track! I was called for a meeting in the big room, so I put the latest build on the network and went to see what was up. All of management was sitting around the big table

I showed the game. grave faces

There was a pause

“where’s the wow factor” someone asked

The lead designer once again complained it wasn’t a God of War-like 3D brawler like he wanted

Someone said maybe it’d have been better to have made a prerendered video where the barbarian fought a monster.”

The full thread of Tim’s experiences making the prototype can be read on Twitter. It’s not a particularly pleasant read but it highlights some important truths about game development that cannot be ignored and it’s unfair of SEGA to promote this title as a “janky”, “buggy artifact of its time” [UPDATE: These terms have fortunately now been removed from games Steam’s description]

[Source: Tim Dawson on Twitter]

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