It sounds like Daniel is the real brains behind what is or isn't in this game, from a core gameplay standpoint. Craig, then, is the guy who figures out the details and the other guys actually make it happen.
So if that's the case, then the entire reason anyone says "we don't have (feature) which is what makes Star Trek, Star Trek" we can blame Daniel?
Interesting. I got exactly the opposite impression: that Daniel is more of the daily "nuts and bolts of production" (tools, builds, QA) details guy, while Craig is the guy handling the larger-scale production decisions as well as making the design vision decisions that some gamer is always going to complain about...
...which sort of begs the question of what Al Rivera, the actual Lead Designer for this game, gets to do.
(Mini-rant: The above honestly drives me a little nuts. A "producer" ought to produce, and a "designer" or possibly "creative director" ought to design. That doesn't appear to be how it usually works in game development, though. Instead, producers -- and even, sadly, Executive Vice Presidents for Sounding Important -- all stick their oars in to push this or that bizarre feature ("and it's got to have a gigantic robot spider!") when they ought to be focusing on the high-level issues of general game production like labor management and budgets and major milestone payments and getting all the administrivia out of the way of the people actually implementing the game's features and assets. What they should not be doing is interfering with the consistent, coherent creative vision of a single individual who -- supposedly -- was hired for their game design talent and experience. That's how you get confusing, thematically random games that feel like they were designed by a committee... because they were. But meh. Idealistic moment over. :p)
At any rate, it's nice to get another peek into the sausage factory, even if interpretations of who's doing what vary....
I still don't think he realises why he was wrong.....
Which is precisely the problem I have with people at a Production level and above forcing creative changes on a game -- they don't seem to understand why that's a misuse of their power/authority/responsibility.
In a small company, there's naturally going to be some overlap. I understand that. Furthermore, I would hope that a lead designer or design team would be open to any good idea regardless of who comes up with it.
The problem is when someone with larger responsibilities has the power to say, "I think the game needs X," and forces a designer to incorporate that idea. Every time that happens, it gets harder for the lead designer to achieve a coherent creative vision.
That creative freedom certainly doesn't guarantee a hit game. Designers can be wrong. And it doesn't mean that designers must be allowed to spend as much time and/or money as they want, with no controls or constraints on the practical realization of their creative vision.
All that keeping producers and execs out of the game design business does is improve the odds that when a game is finished, despite all the compromises that must always be made for time and money and technology, the game that sees the light of day will be as focused on as specific a play experience as can be had because it is the product of a singular and undiluted vision.
It seems to me that there's significant value to be had from defining and enforcing that kind of business structure. And if I were to quit my day job to run a game development studio, that's precisely how I would attempt to organize the business.
Until then, if someone from Cryptic wanted to pop their head in here to explain how astonishingly naive these suggestions have been, and to comment on How Things Really Work, well, I'm hardly in a position to argue with them.
I would close this note, though, by being sure to mention that I do understand something of how hard it is to develop a complex software product, much less a big product that's actually good. I'm responsible for system builds, QA, configuration management, personnel management, and a host of other production-related tasks in the software development environment I work in, so I want to tip my cap in particular to Daniel. Best of luck to you!
This was definitely one of the more entertaining editions of "Meet the Team" and it was nice to see the Klingons mentioned. In addition, Daniel seems to be exceptionally enthusiastic about working on the game, which is always a nice bonus. It's great to "meet" you Daniel!