Polygon interviewed nine developers that worked on the ill-fated StarCraft: Ghost.
In interviews for this story, no team member could cite a specific point when they believe Ghost started to fall apart. Huebner and other developers say it started seeing trouble when regular meetings with Blizzard became more about adding new features and experimenting and less about perfecting an established idea.
While Blizzard was used to doing work this way — the company had scrapped multiple games it believed were not up to scratch — for Nihilistic, it was a new way of working.
“I’ve been on projects where you chase the tail of what’s hot, and it was a little bit like that,” says Huebner. “It wasn’t focused.”
“We would riff on ideas, but after a while, it got to be trying because it would be like … whatever the new game was that month, they’d want to add those features,” Huebner says.[/quote]
Huebner also became frustrated over discussions regarding small details that, while not as important to Nihilistic, were crucial to Blizzard.
“I remember we had a lot of fights about the design of a Marine’s boot,” Huebner says.
According to Huebner, one of the first signs that fatal cracks were starting to appear in the development process came when Blizzard hired an external producer, fighting game veteran James Goddard.
“He’s not on my Christmas card list,” says Huebner.[/quote]