As the topic says, I am wondering how many people the dev team consist of? Is it 4 guys in a small apartment somewhere in Oslo or is it in fact a large team? And by dev team I mean actual programmers coding the game, not directors and such.
It depends if you count all the shared staff as well (QA / Operations, management, network, tech support etc) but all told it is around eighty people, with between thirty five and forty or so directly taking part in production tasks (i.e. coders, artists, content and systems designers) depending on the current schedule and what future content is being worked on. The main team in Montreal has around thirty staff, including myself and the producer / project manager, supported by some staff in Oslo and the rest being our great art team in Beijing who produce all our assets.
Production is only ever around half the equation though when you factor in all the other people that contribute - whether it is the QA teams, the operations people who maintain the servers, or the people who do the sales and marketing work through to the community team and the customer service folk...although some of those other roles are centralized for the company, so people in those areas may also work on our other titles as well.
Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison
Does that mean that you will stick with Khitai theme for a long time?
Why else would you pick a team based in Beijing
The Beijing team are more cost effective and are a very talented team. The Khitai theme for the expansion was pretty unrelated..
..and in fact all the concepting was done in Oslo for Godslayer, and now we are looking at the next new location (still under wraps, sorry no clues there right now ) we are doing concepting in Beijing now...so in fact the eastern themed pack was concepted in the west and now we are concepting a more western theme in the east.
China offers a great market for some very talented artists. Most people simply outsource there, but we decided many years ago that we didn't like the downside of that (with outsourcing you lose the talent you have helped teach after each project) but still wanted to take advantage of the lower costs...so we opened the studio there. We definitely don't regret that, they have built up into a great studio.
So the reason for being in Beijing is the fact that we can get great talent and quality work from the teams there in a very cost effective manner.
We also send our Art Director and Art producer to Beijing regularly so they co-ordinate things and make sure the team there feel part of the team and are able to produce what we need.
Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison