Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the insight.
I'm glad you mentioned pre-production, as I'll be turning in projects soon that will be reminiscent of actual games, and I want to make the process as streamlined as possible. I'm glad to see you guys focus on the player experience. I know that all companies do it to an extent, but I think that many lose their way and end up making something that could have been great but ends up lacking for one reason or another. Two that immediately come to mind are Mass Effect 3's ending and Diablo III's ridiculous difficulty on Hell mode.
I asume that ME3's endings were a design choice, but the fans were outraged when the endings didn't pay off for what was a $180 experience for many of them. In their defense, however, Bioware did get the extended endings out quickly. Diablo III's difficulty has since been lowered, I've been told, but I know a lot of people played before the fix and would clear the first room then restart to do it again, as they couldn't kill anything beyond that. I didn't really have an issue with either, as I only played ME3 after the extended endings were released and I stopped playing Diablo III well before I reached the Hell difficulty. It was too repetitive for me.