Need for Speed World, built by Electronic Arts (EA) Black Box in Burnaby, British Columbia, started a little more than two years ago with a simple idea: become the first real racing MMO. Knowing that racing gamers don’t need to understand the ins and outs of how a car works in order to enjoy zipping along online city streets or race circuits, EA sought to bring this racing MMO to the masses.
I recently caught up with two of the key visionaries behind Need for Speed World. Dave Wall, a 15-year veteran of the gaming industry, is the rendering and systems lead on the Need for Speed franchise. Eneko Bilbao, Black Box’s technical director, has worked on Need for Speed for two years. Together, Wall and Bilbao provide a convincing case for using Agile development, in-game analytics and performance-analyzing tools for creating a rolling-thunder rollout of new game features and optimized game performance.