Space Marine

Reflecting on Space Marine

My time on Space Marine has ended. My first game as a professional game developer launches tomorrow night in North America (though street dates seem to have been broken in Europe already), and I must admit I am glad to have a break from being build guy. The last few months have been very intense: running release candidates, preparing submissions to MS/Sony, dealing with several 11th-hour emergencies, and all the extra hours of finaling. I knew finaling would be tough, but I definitely underestimated just how tough it would be.

I hope Space Marine does well – general reaction to the demo from those who have played it, as far as I can see, is quite positive. The people claiming we’re a Gears clone are finally quieting down, and a following seems to be starting up. I hope it translates into more sales.

What did I learn? Well, I certainly put my Distributed Systems course to work, as I took the build farm from a fault-intolerant eight-node system to a significantly more tolerant 33-node system. The biggest nagging issue I was unable to solve was that for some asset types, on a blade server with no physical GPU, a tool would occasionally fail on a given asset (and then succeed in subsequent executions), and the logging I had in place was not sufficient to track down the issue. Then we went into pipeline lockdown and we let the issue lie.

Besides that, I learned a bit about the file systems on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and the different methods of distributing content on those platforms. I learned how to publish on Steam, and while I think Microsoft has the best publishing tools of the three, I have to give Valve credit on how approachable they were for any publishing/distribution issues I had. The PS3 and X360 discs, as well as the Steam digital download, are my largest user-facing contributions.

I learned a bit about Flash too, as I fixed some UI audio issues in the endgame.

Overall, Space Marine was great to work on. I proved myself as a programmer, rose pretty quickly from junior to intermediate, and will be moving into gameplay on my next project, on what looks to be a pretty cool feature. I won’t say what, yet, until I’m sure it’s fine to talk about it. THQ has announced and shown it, so it’s probably fine, but I want to play it safe.

Space Marine is coming to PC

The announcement was made at the beginning of last week. The fans seem thrilled with the news!

Space Marine in print

Magazines are starting to appear featuring our game.  So far, I’ve seen us on the cover of and consol.AT, Austrian gaming press.  We’re also in their German counterparts, ConsolPLUS and GamersPlus.

I’m looking forward to seeing what English-speaking press have to say about the game. I’ll probably be snapping up physical copies of any magazines featuring Space Marine for memorabilia’s sake.  It’s my first game as a professional, rather than a co-op, after all!

Space Marine at E3 2010

At E3 this year, we showed a new trailer for Space Marine.

We were nominated for awards just based on this trailer!  It seems as though people really want our game, which is a really nice feeling.  Working on FIFA and Euro, most of what I saw online was speculation of how we’d compare to Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer (Winning Eleven depending what part of the world you live in).  It’s a completely different vibe having people looking forward to your game like this.

In a bit of cross-promotion with Dark Millenium Online, we had some people in costume at the booth.  They went over incredibly well.  We had an Ultramarine, Chaos Marine, and some kind of Ork.  Below is the Ultramarine, posing for pictures with fans.

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