Insomniac's secret... and Dunbar's number

There’s an interesting thread at NeoGAF where folks wonder what’s the secret behind Insomniac releasing high quality product every year. It’s a very interesting read in itself (if you filter out some typical gaming forums posts), but I was especially intrugued by reference to the “magical number of 150” aka Dunbar’s number. Basically, it’s the highest number of individuals with which one can maintain stable social relationships with. More than that and you’ll most likely require more restricted rules, laws and formal structures. For groups smaller than 150 it’s possible to maintain a more informal structure, which bases on social rather than bureaucratic pressures. I wonder if there are other “magic numbers”, if this theory “scales”, as I’ve definitellly observed differences in working at the beginning of our project, with 15 people and at the end when we had a team of 50+ employees.

PS. Link of the Day: Usability Testing on Halo 3. It’s an interesting read, style of writing may be a little irritating, though. I guess it’s people like author who insist on virus programs having amazingly impressive 3D interfaces in movies. Article is obviously targetted at wider audience than developers only, so it’s forgivable.