Lumines: Electronic Symphony director ‘was not a good fit for the project,’ says ex-producer James MielkePaul Yan July 31, 2012 - 9:36 am
News: Former Q Entertainment producer James Mielke revealed that Lumines: Electronic Symphony suffered development issues partly because the game’s former director “was not a good fit for the project,” resulting him being kicked out.
Q Entertainment’s PlayStation Vita puzzler Lumines: Electronic Symphony came out last February to a warm reception among critics. It received good reviews, but the game’s development process was completely a different story. In a postmortem published on Gamasutra, former Q Entertainment producer James Mielke revealed that there were problems developing the title, and part of the reason was because of the game’s director, who eventually got replaced.
“The game director, who will remain unnamed, was not a good fit for the project,” revealed Mielke. “I’m not naming him because he’s a good guy, but he just wasn’t the right man for the project. Whatever you think about Electronic Symphony, had we kept him on board the project, 1) we would never have finished it on time, and 2) I don’t think the results would have been satisfactory.”
This wasn’t because the director was inexperienced, though. “We brought him on the project because he had a lot of game development experience, and his aesthetic sense initially aligned with our internal goals,” continued Mielke. “But it soon became apparent, despite months of trying to synchronize our ideas, that he wanted to make something that looked like an avant-garde Bauhaus (the art movement, not the band) spin on the Lumines formula.”
Not only that, “Without consulting the project manager or me, he would make arbitrary decisions like removing some classic elements of the HUD, or other time-proven contributions to the Lumines formula. He would fight over things that weren’t important, and then disappear from discussions about things that mattered.”
Ultimately, the team decided to replace the director, which was a “difficult” and “very controversial” decision, but it “ended up being the right move,” Mielke expressed. “Not only did we get the game done on time with our new director, Ubisoft veteran Ding Dong, on board, we created a much more efficient way of working, streamlining the process so we could finish skins faster and with greater, immediate results. If we had to change a color or a texture, we could do it quickly and see the results immediately.”
Of course, the game was eventually completed and released, and it’s good to hear that the game’s team managed to become more efficient and faster. More importantly though, they managed to find a guy with the name Ding Dong. Epic.