There's another games conference going on in Europe this week, in the form of GDC Europe. There, GoldenEye 007's director Martin Hollis delivered a postmortem presentation on the game. Hollis detailed stories about the game from many of the developers, including Steve Ellis, the dev in charge of programming the now historic multiplayer mode. Ellis wrote:
One of the things that always strikes me as crazy in retrospect is that until something like March or April of 1997, there wasn't a multiplayer mode at all. It hadn't even been started. It really was put in at the last minute – something you wouldn't dream of doing these days – and it was done without the knowledge or permission of the management at Rare and Nintendo. The first they knew about it was when we showed it to them working. However – since the game was already late by that time, if we hadn't done it that way, it probably never would have happened.
Hollis added that many features were "snuck in" during the development process which he associated with the trust between management and the team. "I'm sure there were six-month stretches where no member of Rare or Nintendo management came into the team offices."
I wish games were still like that.