At this year’s Paris GDC Chris Kline, the lead programmer at 2K who worked on BioShock, talks about how the game should have failed. As we all know the game didn’t fail, but Chris goes on to explain that the mistakes and corrections made along the way are the reason the game turned out so well in the end.
He says they started off by making a sequel to System Shock, since they had most of that done already. Then decided to scrap that and focus on making AI ecology and sweet looking monster models. After putting out a demo, they realized that even though the industry liked it, the end users seemed less than thrilled. So they came up with the idea of marketing it as a shooter, which sparked the interests of the gaming masses. After a few more mistakes they ended up with a great game.
Kline said, “Some people think that constantly messing up, and pushing dates isn’t a good way to make a game, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to make a good game.”
So that’s how you make a good game, I guess the guys working on Spore knew this already.