Reply To: What do you think was your biggest mistake?

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(re: re: re: Biggest mistake) I have no idea what is happening in the industry today. My sense is that it’s a different world.
The money today, in games, is in the video game space. It’s a world where the target platform isn’t changing every six months. As you said, some of our product slippage came from problems dealing with the changing market.
Generally though, our problem, was in managing creative people. They don’t like having tight schedules. Some groups, like the artists, don’t even relate to the concept. Telling an artist you need one pencil sketch every two hours just doesn’t work. Creative people hate budgeting their time. I’m over generalizing, and being a bit unfair – but, in the big picture, what I’ve said is true. Imagine what it is like to tell Roberta Williams or Al Lowe, I need your game design by the end of March. They don’t think that way. They try, but creativity doesn’t happen on a schedule. Having a schedule sometimes slows things down.
I do believe that Sierra succeeded because we managed the balance between creative needs and schedule needs better than our competitors. We succeeded because we were awesome at building great software. But, we were far from perfect.
There is already a lot that I’ve posted on this site about managing developers, so I don’t want to bore anyone through being repetitious.
-Ken W