Unofficial Q&A with Damion Schubert

Many of us assumed the thread would go unanswered but much to our surprised, Damion Schubert decided to answer in full, thorough details what a typical day is like for him. In case you missed the thread, here are some highlights of the impromptu “interview”:

So I was wondering, at this stage in development, what’s a typical day in the life at Bioware Studios?
“The answer to this question is going to vary wildly and dramatically based on who you ask, so I’ll answer only for me – keep in mind that my role and position is pretty unique in the team, as I both manage a team of systems designers who do itemization, maps, crew skills and other features, as well as act as a primary liaison from design to several programming teams (yes, that’s plural).
So for me, my day is usually a combination of:

  • Meetings, and lots of them. Some days, even my lunches are meetings. A project this size takes a lot of communication to keep things rolling smoothly.
  • Playtesting
  • Triaging issues and design changes
  • Managing my team (who are, thankfully, excellent, and take little handholding).
  • Writing an occasional design document for a feature or tweak that slipped through the cracks, or needs redesign based on stats and feedback.

When I can sneak in a moment, I try to pop onto the boards and answer a question or two. As you might imagine, though, that time is more limited than I would like.”

Is this stage of development stressful or fun?
“Can’t it be both? I’m currently playing a build very nearly nightly, and it’s amazing to see it all coming together so nicely. That being said, it’s also incredibly frustrating because we’re all perfectionists, and we are constantly pushing to take it to the next level.”

What do you guys do at the office to blow off steam and have fun?
“On a team this size, there are a lot of different subcultures that do their own thing. We have a fitness group who prefers to go running instead of take lunch. We have a large weekly poker game, and more than one D&D campaign floating around. We have a large subculture of Magic the Gathering players who I keep intending to go lose to. I tend to hang out with the people who like board games. League of Legends is popular, and you can naturally find players of almost any major MMO you can think of, if you try.”

Call it good PR, or a genuinely friendly staff, one thing is certain- the SW:TOR devs pleased a lot of fans when Damion Schubert decided to share with us what a typical day is like. Awesome job, guys. Awesome job!