Xiaolin Showdown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzrhd4YeZhY

Xiaolin Showdown (PS2/PSP):

For this game, I was able to take advantage of my past design experience to become the lead designer.  Working closely with the president of the company and one other junior designer, I helped to create the design documents, all necessary paper maps and charts, tuned variables for all the heroes and enemies, and even built the majority of the white box  game play spaces.  I worked very closely with every department to get the game to look and feel as close to the original design as possible.  I also had a lot of contact with both the license owner (WB) and the publisher (Konami) and made sure that I addressed all of their concerns keeping the game as true to the cartoon license as possible.  We used a custom toolset for this game that was built directly into Maya.

The game unfortunately did not turn out as good as I would have hoped.  I attribute that to having too many cooks in the kitchen.  As my first time being lead I was trying to make everyone happy so anything my boss, the publisher, or the show creator wanted done, I tried to do it.  We ended up with something that was much weaker than it should have been.  I have since learned that you have to stick with your gut and tell people that certain things just won’t happen.  The overall integrity of the game should always come first and anything that is going to take away from that, and reduce the fun factor of it needs to be sidelined.

I do believe critics were too harsh on it though.  The game was true to the roots of the show and it was made for kids so it was supposed to be simple to play and not very challenging.  Not all games are going to be Call of Duty or Halo.  You have to remember your market and what appeals to them and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.