When CCP Games
developed the Apocrypha
expansion for EVE Online
, it wasn't only the first time that all three studios -- Atlanta, Reykjavik, and Shanghai -- worked in concert on single project, they also created the game's largest expansion to date in record time. EVE Online
's lead designer Noah Ward
recently explained how CCP was able to accomplish this in an interview with Gamasutra's Christian Nutt and Chris Remo. The company switched from its waterfall development model
to agile methods
where the game was developed through the collaboration of small teams that showcase their progress to the rest of the developers frequently. Ward says, "Now that we've switched over, we don't have these huge waterfall phases anymore, it's just iterative, agile two week sprints, and we have a demo day at the end [...] and it's just amazing to see how much is actually produced in those two weeks."
Ward hints at the fact that their lessons learned are also applicable to other projects in the works at CCP Games, through a 'Battle Tested' philosophy. He says, "The guys who previously were working on something else could come into EVE and start working on the same code base, and start developing features for EVE that would help in the other games that we're working on as well."
(The only other MMO from CCP Games that Massively is currently aware of is World of Darkness
, based on the pen-and-paper RPG series from White Wolf.) You can read what else Noah Ward had to say about CCP's bolstered productivity in his interview with Gamasutra