“You really can’t look past those guys
[Todd and R.A.],” Sutherland added. But how do two
visionaries like Salvatore and McFarlane work together on a team of
artists and writers? Writing a novel – and in some ways
creating a comic book – is an independent project, and I
wondered how those two have been adjusting to working at a game studio.

“We’re definitely a family,”
Cuthbertson stated. “It’s not always pats on the
backs all the time, but there’s no denying that we all
respect and appreciate each other. Both of those two are involved in
the studio community and do as much as they can.”

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I strain my hearing trying to pick up everything the
four leaders are saying over the crowd behind us.

Cuthbertson went on to add the level at which the studio wants
to encourage friendship between the various developers. Along with the
typical geeky activities like D&D and Warhammer matches,
Cuthbertson mentioned sketch nights, Frisbee, and indoor croquet matches.
Count me in next time!

It’s apparent, however, that Brett wanted to insure
that people didn’t look past that “have fun to make
fun” sort of mentality at 38 Studios. As a big proponent of
“healthy living” sort of employee treatment, Brett
really wanted to get the word out that 38 Studios was not interested in
burning out their employees by forcing them into long work hours and
harsh conditions. “We have spectacular talent, and
spectacular talent attracts more of the same,” Close said.
“The only way you’re going to be able to keep those
employees is to engage them, feed their passion, but keep the whole
thing structured. The minute you start driving your team into the
ground is the minute you start losing energy on your product, energy
that you need to produce a terrific video game.”

Keeping employees happy is no simple task, yet 38 Studios
seems to be doing a fair job thus far. Forty industry professionals
have joined the 38 Studios team. However, it wasn’t easy to
get to this point.

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R.A. Salvatore chats with Garrett Fuller, an interview
that you will see up on our site soon!

“Keep in mind that we are building a
company at the same time that we’re building an intellectual
property,” Kirchoff said. It’s a difficult
proposition for any company, and it certainly shouldn’t be
overshadowed by the big names that 38 Studios has brought in.

However, many would argue that there are some definite
pitfalls in bringing such celebrity-type personalities into the fold.
While many companies can focus exclusively on their product, the 38
Studios PR and management team has to control a massive potential, one
that everyone wants to see turned loose. “It’s like
having an amazing team of horses, yet you can’t set them
loose just yet,” Kirchoff said. “We don’t
want to waste the energy of those horses when it could be used at a
better time. At the same time, we need to manage the consumers and keep
their interest through this period. They’re desperately
waiting for something to be delivered, and there’s already a
massive amount of hype about the game. We’re trying to keep a
tension out there, but not so much that the ropes break and everything
gets chaotic.”

But Brett had the best analogy of the day, and it
could’ve rivaled Salvatore’s prose in terms of
appropriate comparisons. “Let’s use this comparison
instead,” Close said. “We’ve got the
throttle punched and the tachometer is reading 8000 RPM. All
we’ve got to do is drop the clutch.”

Ten Ton Hammer is your
unofficial source for 38 Studios news and features!

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016