"Without a constraint on time or resources What Remains of Edith Finch probably never would have come out. Or it would have been some strange, hopelessly delicate monstrosity like the Spruce Goose."
- Giant Sparrow creative director Ian Dallas, reflecting (via Reddit) on the development of the studio's latest game.
Santa Monica-based indie studio Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan) released its second game today, What Remains of Edith Finch, and to mark the occasion creative director Ian Dallas took part in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit.
His comments make for interesting reading, especially for fellow devs who are curious about how Giant Sparrow dealt with the ups and downs of its sophomore project -- and what it was like to watch Annapurna Pictures' new game publishing division take over from Sony midway through development.
"On our end, 'the switch' happened when the head of the external development team at Sony asked if I could step into his office for a minute," wrote Dallas. "It was one of those meetings that come out of the blue that can go a lot of different ways. And I looked around the room and was like, 'why are all these other people joining us for this meeting too. Uh oh.'"
He went on to note that the switch worked out very well and that Annapurna Interactive was probably a better fit for Edith Finch than Sony, since many of the Sony staffers Giant Sparrow worked with had moved over to Annapurna. "In a way, staying at Sony actually would have been stranger, since we would have had to get used to a whole new set of producers."
Dallas also speaks to some of what was cut from the game to get it ship-shape, noting that some planned stories were cut (as well as plans to allow other devs to contribute guest stories, though Dallas notes the team may revisit that idea) but that those cuts were a necessary part of the process.
"I do recall some frustrating points during development. Nothing catastrophic though. We all learned from them and the game was better for it. Or at least that's how I've chosen to remember it," wrote Dallas. "Without a constraint on time or resources What Remains of Edith Finch probably never would have come out. Or it would have been some strange, hopelessly delicate monstrosity like the Spruce Goose. All in all, I'm very happy with the way things turned out."
For more comments from Dallas and Annapurna Interactive's Jeff Legaspi on everything from the challenges of developing a narrative-heavy game to pineapple's place in the pantheon of pizza toppings, check out the full Reddit thread.