#18 - Hitman, Work-Life Balance, and Game Production with IO’s Forest Swartout Large
GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) Podcast interview with executive producer of Hitman III Forest Swartout Large
Forest Swartout Large felt that the pinnacle of her long career was in putting together the Berlin map in Hitman III (10:20)
Forest discusses how Hitman VR was conceived within the team from the beginning of Hitman III and how challenging it was to create (15:39)
Forest talks about reaching total burnout in completion of Hitman II and also reveals other personal challenges (30:54).
Forest explains challenges of the Hitman III development team working on Hitman III through the COVID-19 pandemic (37:30).
Forest was initially prepared to ship Hitman III originally with “robot voices” for NPCs because of lack of being able to bring in sound designers and voice actors in the sound studio (38:35)
Forest discusses how IOI had been acting independently from Square Enix way before they were sold in 2017 (40:29).
The “aim logic” in Hitman II was changed just before release, and this was a big deal (46:43).
Some working at IOI were not crazy about the focus on story narrative for Hitman III but this was pushed by Mattias Engström the game director (51:59).
There was ONLY ONE gameplay programmer working on Hitman III, nicknamed “CLANG” and he was assigned to the Hitman VR team, not to regular Hitman III.
(In a previous interview, Forest revealed that there was only ONE lighting artist on the Hitman III team).
IOI knew that they would receive flack for not introducing new features and new mechanics in Hitman IIII because of the constraints of not having a gameplay programmer available on Hitman III (52:47).
Forest says that she would be happy to be involved in a weekly podcast discussing Hitman (59:34).
Forest gives a great interview. Warm and charming personality. Comes across of a lover of working on video games. Video game development is “her jam” as she calls it.
Forest raves constantly in interviews at how incredible her colleagues are who are working at IOI.
Forest says that she and others on the team are comfortable juggling multiple IPs at once.
Forest says that she is currently on holiday, but is confident in the rest of the team working on the Seven Sins DLC while she is away.