These days it takes a massive team of people to make a AAA game. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops (300 people) or Assassin’s Creed (450 people) have huge teams that work on every detail and cost a lot of money. Most Wii games on the other hand, not so much. Epic Mickey, though, is a mouse of a different color.
In a talk with 1Up lead developer on Epic Mickey Warren Spector revealed that the team working on the game consisted of 275 people, which is possibly the largest team ever assembled to work on a third-party Wii game. This number includes the 115 person team at Junction Point Studio and the plethora of companies they have used to outsource active production of art assets and other visual elements.
For instance, the guys at Junction Point are not only making concept art by themselves, but also with the fine folks at Disney’s animation studios (they have some experience). That concept art, along with a level’s initial geometry, is then sent out to an external firm for texture passes, and lighting before being integrated into the game. Those 2D levels we saw at E3 are created on paper by Junction Point and then sent out for development to a studio in Bulgaria before being sent back for revision.
It sounds like a lot of handing off of work, but it happens more often than not on big budget games and I for one and happy that Epic Mickey seems to be getting the big budget treatment. It’s just more confirmation that Disney and Junction Point aren’t just treating this as a throw away Wii game and aren’t just relying on Mickey Mouse’s fame to sell the game.
Warren Spector Reveals Epic Mickey’s 275-Person Team [1Up, via TVGB]