Unseen Interview: Raven Software’s Manveer Heir

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The issue we face most in our archiving is the lack of information that is given to the public about what happens to their favorite series, so many stories left untold so to speak. The most we ever get are early demonstrations, as security today on what gets left behind is much stricter than that of the 80’s. We had the chance to chat with Manveer Heir from Raven Software and asked him some questions about games’ development!

[Interview by Rowedahelicon]

U64: How much of a game actually is left out? Comparing to movies where things are written into the script but are later left out due to budget? Time constraints?

Manveer Heir: It’s hard to say honestly. Every game is different and every dev comes to realization about scope and schedules at different times. Ideas, concepts, and levels are almost always cut, but that’s not necessarily bad. Often, to put them in would have hurt the overall product, since they may not be at the quality levels from before. I’ve heard of cases where you see a car chase in a cinematic, but originally you would have played that car chase. In cases like this, you aren’t missing any story, you are just losing out on some gameplay.

As devs, we try to cut smart and in ways that don’t affect the entire product. Other times, you make cuts early and save that work for later (DLC or expansion, when you know you have time to do it right). I worked on a RTS game for a short period of time where we knew we weren’t going to be able to make all the sides you can play cool and balanced and so one side was cut, to be saved for the expansion pack. In that case an entire storyline was lost, but it didn’t impact the rest of the game too greatly.

U64: In terms of what is left behind, what actually happens to things you cannot use? Resources, scripts etc, there are cases where things are left in the game files but never used but what about the majority of it? Does it get saved somewhere for reference? Deleted? So on?