Interview Part 3 Max « A’Krist » Tishakov (Game Designer Frogwares – The Sinking City)

I have had maybe a last question. How does the connexion work between all specialities for build The Sinking City ? For example, link between narrative designers, game designers, level designers, sound designers. How many game designers has Frogwares for The Sinking City ? How does this synergy exist ? I imagine the team is more complex than for the last Sherlock Holmes


Yup. It’s really more complex. First, since we are not a huge team per se, we decided to hunt for new people to fill the gaps where we felt we lacked certain expertise.

We also changed our work methodology, created departments with more narrowly focused specialists and organized small teams inside Frogwares which then would deliver the final quality of each particular aspect of the game. These small teams are what we call “units”. They are dynamic and flexible, meaning we create these teams every time we have a specific task at a specific stage of development.

Of course, we have constant units as well, like our quest unit for example. And here is the answer to your question about how different specialists synergize with each other.

Let me give you an example. The quest unit is organized whenever we want to create a certain quest, say, main or side quest. Basically, it starts with only 2 people – a narration designer and a quest designer. After spending some time on the concept, prototyping and playtesting it, the unit is expanded and people from other departments, like environmental artists or sound designers, join in. They check out the quest, bring some new ideas and then start to work on their parts. Their parts can be anything we feel we need for the quest to be awesome – a custom dialogue, a new playable area etc.

To encourage healthy cooperation, we never directly tell the people inside the unit how to do things. Instead, we discuss the idea, main goals, and emotions that we want to achieve, in accordance with the game pillars. When we come to an agreement every person inside the unit starts to do their jobs, to make the idea become the final product.

So that’s how synergy exists I believe. Every person can bring their own ideas to the table, which impacts the whole game. Everyone can directly influence the project within the scope of their work.

And of course, we are passionate about our games. For The Sinking City, we have 5 narration designers, 5 quest designers, and 5 feature designers. And all of them either love Lovecraft’s literature, play detective games, or do both.

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