Position:Associate Producer,
Development Manager
Release Date:2013-09-03
Genre:Real Time Strategy
Platform(s):PC, MAC, Linux
Publisher:SEGA

Total War: ROME II

Total War: ROME II is a strategy game developed by The Creative Assembly and published by SEGA, released on 3 September 2013 for Microsoft Windows. The eighth standalone game in the Total War series, Rome II is a successor to the 2004 game Rome: Total War.

On this project, the main job I was given was to use my programming experience to develop project management tools. The team size at Creative Assembly had expanded significantly by the time we were working on Total War: ROME II, and the producers wanted to use software to empower the leads to be more responsible for their teams.

After trying out and reviewing many pieces of software, the producers decided to roll-out Hansoft across the studio. Up to this point, we had used Excel files to manage developers tasks. Hansoft wasn't a direct fit for the development processes that the studio had evolved, so I was responsible for making Hansoft generate new reports to give equivalent data to the Excel systems previously used.

I did not work much on Total War: ROME II itself until after launch, I was initially given responsibility for the Hannibal at the Gates DLC with a sub-team. Following the success of this, and the patching effort made alongside the DLC, I became responsible for patching Total War: ROME II, until it would meet the quality level our customers expected.

Patching Total War: ROME II was difficult. There were so many problems with the game at release, that we worked on 22 patches, and integrated these with DLC releases. This effort to win our fans back and raise the quality of the game culminated with the re-release of the game as the "Total War: ROME II - Emperor Edition" on 16 September 2014. This included a free campaign pack called "Imperator Augustus Campaign", and a Linux and Mac port of the game (the first we had done at Creative Assembly). Just over 1 year after the initial release of Total War: ROME II, the game was in a good state and we were satisfied with it.

The shortcomings of Total War: ROME II release lead to some restructuring in the production team. A Development Director was hired and we worked to a new model where a core Total War team would push forward with the next sequel (Total War: ATTILA), and The New Content Team (which I managed) would work on DLC and patches to fix, maintain and generate money from the previous release. We had made DLC for Empire, Napoleon, SHOGUN 2, but now we had a dedicated sub-team to work on this and learned how to make it very profitable.