On the day TT Games finally felt ready to announce the release date of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, a report has appeared on Polygon’s pages that casts more than a few shadows on the management of the English company than for years
More than 30 employees and former employees have anonymously decided to give their testimony to the journalist Jack Yarwood, telling him about the culture of crunch inherent in the study, the numerous requests for change that remained unheard and the problems encountered during the development of LEGO
Star Wars games have always been extremely profitable for the English company. TT Games was born right after the success of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, when, in 2005, Traveller’s Tales acquired Giant Interactive. According to the report, the culture of the cunch has existed since then, having been born from the will of the management to publish new games every year: “A big problem was that the crunch was premeditated,” said a former employee who worked under Jon Burton “It wasn’t an emergency protocol to activate when things weren’t working out. Rather, it was a tool in the hands of production; the projects were planned with the crunch periods on the agenda. They were regularly occurring because of the type of games we played: tie-in of movies and fillers for children. They all had deadlines dictated by the holidays and the launch of some films.”
Other sources, however, shed light on the development problems of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, largely triggered by the unpopular decision to use a new engine called NTT. Employees would try to convince TT Games to use the Unreal Engine without any success. Someone had even made a demo in the EU, well received internally but then completely ignored. Management preferred to continue on that road raging to avoid paying the licensing costs of other graphic engines. “Everyone said, ‘We have new programmers, why don’t we use this technology? We had this crazy engine, Unreal instead was asking for the lowest commissions ever and people knew how to use it.”
Witnesses claim that the NTT was unstable and incomplete. Processes such as the implementation of an animation, which in the old engine took two minutes, could take away 10 minutes or more, in case of crash. As if that were not enough, the staff said that most of the pre-production of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game was conducted with the old engine in mind: this created huge problems in the implementation of assets and animations, since it has
In light of this, several sources of Polygon are not at all surprised by the long development times of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, which would take five years to be completed. More details can be found by reading the original article.