Secret Plans Are Secret!
After we shipped the first installment in a major AAA franchise, it was pretty obvious to everyone that there would be a second title forthcoming, but no one was saying anything about it, even internally. Security had been pretty tight on the first game, but for the new project the production team decided to go for a total information blackout. I mean total “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” stuff.
One day one of the producers called me in to her office and we had this conversation:
Producer: “So we’re doing a second title in the series. I need you to give me a detailed test plan for the new project.”
Me: “I haven’t written it yet because I haven’t seen the feature list. Could you send me the design docs?”
Producer: “Oh, no, I’m afraid I can’t do that. We’re not distributing any information about features to anyone yet.”
Me: *blink* “I can’t write a test plan for this game if you won’t tell me what’s going to be in it.”
Producer: “Sorry, you’re not allowed to have that information at this time.”
Me: “Well, fine, you already have my test plan for the first title. That’s the best I can do right now.”
Producer: “That’s not acceptable. I don’t want the old test plan, I need to see your new test plan.”
This wasn’t a simple misunderstanding, either; the argument dragged on for WEEKS.