In the wake of a series of mixed Alpha Protocol reviews, an apparent employee of developer Obsidian Entertainment has spoken out in the comment section of a review published online at Joystiq.com. The employee, who presents itself as “a tired dev” and claims to have worked on the project, states that the mixed reception can be blamed on the executive producer of the game; Chris Parker. According to the employee, Parker took control of the project and refused to accept criticism and advice from the other producers. This apparently resulted in a situation where Parker would micromanage the design and programming teams and unilateraly implemented new features and game mechanics.
The poster, whose identity has not been confirmed, further states that publisher Sega harmed the project by continuously changing design requirements, making it impossible for designers and programmers to decide upon a final set of features. As a result, broken mechanics were never fixed and newly added features were not fully completed, resulting in a a final product rife with bugs and a clear lack of polish, “as is obvious”, according to the poster.
The full post made by the apparent employee can be found after the jump. Alpha Protocol was released on May 28th in Europe, and is scheduled for a release in North America on June 1st for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
a tired dev @ May 28th 2010 2:37PM
I worked on this game (a fact of which I am not proud). I’m not here to defend it; I agree with all these reviews.
There was a ton of work put into this game. The problem is that is was a ton of undirected work, or work on things that were just stupid. The Executive Producer for the game, Chris Parker (also an owner of the company), seemed to think he was the world’s greatest designer ever, and created all these absolutely shitty systems and wouldn’t listen to any of the real designers or devs about things that just didn’t work. And you can’t exactly argue with one of the owners of the company when he doesn’t want to listen. He basically took over the game and dictated exactly how everything would work (or not work, as the case may be). The other producers realized this early on and just gave up, leaving Parker to micromanage all the designers and programmers directly.
Sega also was a factor, because they kept changing the design requirements (yes they had heavy influence there), which never gave the producers and designers time to actually decide on one set of features to make and polish. The blame is still mostly Obsidian’s because the execution was absolutely terrible, and it was obvious 2 years ago that this game should have been scrapped. Instead, though, they focused on adding still more features and never fixed the ones they already had. That is a recipe for tons of bugs and no polish… as is obvious.
This game was just an absolute failure of production, and it’s no wonder that so many of the developers left the company, even after the 40% staff layoffs. I am still happy about some of Obsidian’s other current projects, New Vegas included, because they are going pretty well. Their big unannounced project is looking great and is already much better than AP ever was, and that may end up being the game that everyone was looking for with AP.
Sega should have canceled AP instead of Aliens…