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Old 29-01-24, 23:39   #1
bitterwinter
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Default Game Developer - Postmortem: Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider: Underworld

I found this interesting article a while ago which goes into what the development process of Underworld was like and the devs perspectives of what went right and wrong.

I hope this hasn't been posted before - and if it has, apologies.

https://www.gamedeveloper.com/busine...-underworld-i-

EDIT: at the moment the link seems to be broken; you can use https://web.archive.org/web/20221127...-underworld-i- as an alternative

Last edited by bitterwinter; 02-02-24 at 11:42.
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Old 30-01-24, 03:50   #2
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I love how one of his reasons why it failed is that it was too big for its own good lmfao way back when, I remember the many trailers, big bold letters of EPIC in every trailer, the game was hyped and it was no where near ready… I have so much love for this game, so much so I replayed it last weekend, what I have no love for is Eric Lindstrom, I also remember him, after being fired, coming to this exact forum and spilling beans how executives at the time only wanted this game for profit and how they called Lara the b word. As if to garner some sympathy for us, I lost so much respect for this guy.

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We also had an unusual number of weddings, honeymoons, production babies, and untimely departures on this project throughout the team, but most painfully among the discipline leads. We lost our art director midway through production; not to another company, but to another industry, so there wasn't much we could have done about that.
What is this reason? To me it seems like people were burnt out; it’s an attitude problem, probably were overworked and underpaid…

In my honest opinion, the game faltered because the people behind this weren’t good enough for this project, I don’t know why to me Crystal Dynamics has never had the best designers or game developers or just straight up people at the helm, and that has been many a games downfall.

Tomb Raider, Avengers, always the same story.
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Old 01-02-24, 03:16   #3
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I love how one of his reasons why it failed is that it was too big for its own good lmfao way back when, I remember the many trailers, big bold letters of EPIC in every trailer, the game was hyped and it was no where near ready… I have so much love for this game, so much so I replayed it last weekend, what I have no love for is Eric Lindstrom, I also remember him, after being fired, coming to this exact forum and spilling beans how executives at the time only wanted this game for profit and how they called Lara the b word. As if to garner some sympathy for us, I lost so much respect for this guy.



What is this reason? To me it seems like people were burnt out; it’s an attitude problem, probably were overworked and underpaid…

In my honest opinion, the game faltered because the people behind this weren’t good enough for this project, I don’t know why to me Crystal Dynamics has never had the best designers or game developers or just straight up people at the helm, and that has been many a games downfall.

Tomb Raider, Avengers, always the same story.
Did he actually come to this forum? That's kind of nuts. Do you mean this thread? https://www.tombraiderforums.com/sho...d.php?t=144406

In terms of Underworld - perhaps it was the team. In my opinion they just needed more time. Having them release a game yearly likely put lots of pressure on them. 2 years wasn't enough time to develop a game with the scope that Underworld had.

Last edited by bitterwinter; 01-02-24 at 03:18.
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Old 01-02-24, 06:58   #4
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Originally Posted by bitterwinter View Post
Did he actually come to this forum? That's kind of nuts. Do you mean this thread? https://www.tombraiderforums.com/sho...d.php?t=144406

In terms of Underworld - perhaps it was the team. In my opinion they just needed more time. Having them release a game yearly likely put lots of pressure on them. 2 years wasn't enough time to develop a game with the scope that Underworld had.
Yes, and to me this idea of it needed more time or more people doesn’t sit right when you have a money making franchise in your hands, outsource, pay greater incentives, offer more money, I never will understand how Eidos fumbled the bag with Tomb Raider… I digress, I am still happy I get to enjoy this game, no matter what!
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Old 01-02-24, 10:07   #5
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Imagine in an alternative reality, they delayed Underworld to the end of 2009 and let Anniversary's team to cook Unfinished Business DLCs in 2008 to help the wait.
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Old 01-02-24, 13:41   #6
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Imagine in an alternative reality, they delayed Underworld to the end of 2009 and let Anniversary's team to cook Unfinished Business DLCs in 2008 to help the wait.
I want to live in that reality so hard
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Old 01-02-24, 16:08   #7
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I want to live in that reality so hard
Me too.
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Old 02-02-24, 00:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
Yes, and to me this idea of it needed more time or more people doesn’t sit right when you have a money making franchise in your hands, outsource, pay greater incentives, offer more money, I never will understand how Eidos fumbled the bag with Tomb Raider… I digress, I am still happy I get to enjoy this game, no matter what!
I looked through most of his posts last night and couldn't find him talking about higher ups caling her a b**** but I will take your word for it.

In terms of Eidos fumbling the bag - you answered it yourself. Eidos only cared about the cash and put in zero consideration for how that demand affected the developers. They did it with Core when they forced them to make a yearly Tomb Raider game up until Chronicles. AoD would likely be more complete (or I daresay even finished) if they hadn't had the veteran devs of Core work on Chronicles instead of where they should of been; which was working on AoD from the very start. Eidos needed that yearly rush of Tomb Raider cash..they never saw the long term prospects of the franchise.

Eidos wanted lots done with as little as cost as possible. Outsourcing would cost money, so would offering incentives. From day one Eidos was always a thorn in Tomb Raiders side due to their overwhelming corporate greed (which mostly was due to their constant finanical troubles as a publisher) That's not to say the developers aren't at fault. To a degree they absoultely are. But Eidos was certainly a large, looming spectre in the mix of all of those issues.

Last edited by bitterwinter; 02-02-24 at 00:59.
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Old 02-02-24, 10:07   #9
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I see the link doesn't work anymore. Does anyone have a copy? Would love to read this!
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Old 02-02-24, 11:39   #10
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I see the link doesn't work anymore. Does anyone have a copy? Would love to read this!
That is so weird. The article still shows up when you search for it so I would assume it is a bug

I had a look on the way back machine and found you a backed up copy. Enjoy! It’s a good read

https://web.archive.org/web/20221127...-underworld-i-
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