August 2006 – September 2007

Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08Electronic Arts is the first time that this cyclic title was developed by the EA Tiburon branch. Taking on a title that has had approximately ten years of code written behind it is certainly a challenge, as is the case in any legacy Enterprise level project.

During Pre/Production, my main responsibilities revolved around the tools and pipelines for Characters and Pro Shop assets, like clubs, hats, sunglasses, etc. To do this, I maintained and upgraded the Tiger Editor (a.k.a. TED), an existing C++ tool written with custom MFC-like wrapper classes, and other related conditioning tools.

In addition, I also investigated and maintained the Localization pipelines. In game development terms, localization is the process by which text, video, and audio is translated from one language or geographical territory to another. For instance, going from English/US to French/France.

During this Alpha, I switched gears and spent the vast majority of my time focused on bug-fixing, as did most Engineers. This included bugs mostly for UI and Gameplay.

Due to my experience with the Localization pipeline, when the title shipped, I rolled off on to ship the French version. It was here that I was able to start better existing in a hybrid Engineer/Director role. My day-to-day activities included a moderate amount of Engineering, but even moreso, these activities revolved around communication with many different parties, internal and external.

The unique challenge with the localization of French in this particular product was that it was the first time that that Tiger was localized in it’s history and also the first AAA title at Tiburon to receive the localization treatment. Sure, there were obstacles related to directing Developers overseas and lessons on how to make localization a better product the next time around, but overall, this process was a success for Tiburon.

In terms of conflicting content and overtime, this was certainly a challenging cycle. I’ve learned two important lessons..

  1. Reinforcement, for myself, that C++ tools really do increase development time unnecessarily – in comparison with C#.
  2. Speaking with people face-to-face accomplishes more than communicating from a distance.