In the latest Gamasutra feature, a postmortem of DS title Okamiden, the team reveals that there were snags in the way the team was organized which significantly hampered the project.
The game had a very large development team for a DS game -- 59 team members -- and development continued for 23 months.
Director Kuniomi Matsushita and producer Motohideo Eshiro write, "The head of each department held their own sense of pride and responsibility for their piece of the game. Each of the department heads was striving for perfection. Be it Art, Sound, or Programming, this individual 'perfection in my group' approach affected the greater whole of the project."
While this sense of craftsmanship no doubt helps the crafted look and feel of the game, it seems that it contributed to serious slips in the game's schedule and scope.
"One by one, each of these elements began to take their toll on the schedules and eventually on the latter half of the game itself. Some of the latter half of the game had to be revised and scoped differently than initial plans," the pair write.
It's often been observed that traditional Japanese team structures have impeded development efficiencies in the current generation of games -- and it seems that this has filtered down to Okamiden as well.
"Next time, we will be sure to manage our schedules better and work in harmony as collective team for the greater good of the game instead of staying overly focused on perfection in our individual departments," the pair conclude.