Over at gamasutra, Brandon Sheffield hears from several designers what went wrong with their projects.

What comes through most clearly is the lack of control, the fact that companies (at least some of them) are sorely in need of competent project management.

Problems may vary on the surface: crunch time, lack of communication, obsessing over features, designing in-house tools, outsourcing, grandiose ideas, re-doing the design in whole or in part.

However, it boils down to not having a knowledgable person to ride herd on the development team. This isn’t a new situation, either; it’s been going on for years.

You’d think that by now, studios would have realized they need some hard-headed business management by people who know the business. Reading all the mistakes made is scary; you wonder how games even get out the door at all.

We’ve talked in the past how the “suits” can interfere with the game development process. But it isn’t all one-sided. The developers have a lot to answer for, too. And the sad thing is, they don’t seem to be learning much from what has happened before.

What Went Wrong? on gamasutra