Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the next installment in Talion's quest to avenge his family's deaths at the hands of Sauron's minions.

Personal Learning Goals

• Mission Design

• AAA Development

• Large Scope Projects

Production Info

• Worked on the Campaign Team for 8 months.

• Game is scheduled to ship on PC, Xbox and Playstation October 10th, 2017

A Focus On Quality

Due to an active Non-Disclosure Agreement, I am limited in the information I can share about Middle-earth: Shadow of War. However, I can share some of my development experiences on the project in an abstracted form.

 

I joined the development team for the project after production had already been under way for some time. I was given several sets of missions which were in a playable state, but needed more work done to bring them up to the quality level expected for a AAA title. Most of my tasks involved iterating upon these missions, actioning feedback from directors and polishing the moment-to-moment gameplay in order to bring them up to the expected quality level.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Being the first AAA game I worked on, the scope of this project was significantly larger than my previous projects. While we had an appropriately sized team for a game of this scale, I did need to be especially cognizant of where I was spending my time on the project, ensuring that we got the largest return for the time it took to develop certain parts of the game.

One kind of evaluation I had to frequently make early on was determining which parts of my assigned missions already had solid fundamentals, and which ones would significantly benefit from reworking one or more parts of the mission. In the latter case, I needed to not only identify what changes would improve the mission but also explain to my lead why the time it would take to make these changes would be worth it in the long run.

 

While it was somewhat intimidating suggesting large changes as a newly-hired designer, I was able to explain why these changes would be beneficial and in several cases received the green light to go ahead and implement them.

In other cases it was determined that we should not make any changes. Even in these cases I am still glad I brought them up, as I learned why those decisions where made in the first place. This additional knowledge then helped inform several of my design decisions in the project moving forward.

Takeaways

Working on my first AAA project was an educational and fulfilling experience. I'm incredibly proud of what the team was able to accomplish, and am looking forward to when the game is released later this year.