Prod plan for games and software development

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Production planning for software and game development. Waterfall method.

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Prod plan for games and software development

  1. 1. Traditional Development Stages: Setting Milestones & Costs <ul><li>The Idea </li></ul><ul><li>The Pitch/Concept </li></ul><ul><li>Proof of Concept or Pre-production </li></ul><ul><li>Production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Milestones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alpha </li></ul><ul><li>Beta </li></ul><ul><li>Gold Master </li></ul>Concept Gold Master roles
  2. 2. <ul><li>Concept for a new game </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly described: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlining the game world, characters, challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lose-or-win scenarios, basic mechanics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Becomes the pitch or concept document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets the game accepted or rejected by the publisher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time: weeks to months or even years </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel is small core creative team: creative director & key leads: designer, artist, narrative designer, programmer. </li></ul>The Idea
  3. 3. <ul><li>Idea presented to publisher (manager, investor, or funder) </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, Concise, Contagious. </li></ul><ul><li>If idea captures interest, usually includes suggested revisions </li></ul><ul><li>Idea approved </li></ul><ul><li>Time: weeks </li></ul>The Pitch
  4. 4. <ul><li>Designer gets budget to build a prototype </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much may be thrown away before complete. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game design expanded to larger document. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on details of gameplay (play mechanics). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid too much focus on user interface. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Budget proposed based on Production expenses: personnel time, material costs, overhead </li></ul><ul><li>Development guided by prototype and the design document. </li></ul><ul><li>Not guaranteed to go to development yet — t hat determined by success of this stage </li></ul><ul><li>Time to build prototype and design document: 2 to 3 months </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small core creative team: creative director & key leads: designer, artist, narrative designer, programmer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PLUS may include additional members, level designers, other programmers, concept artist, animator, modelers. </li></ul></ul>Proof of Concept/PreProduction
  5. 5. <ul><li>Development team assembled-guided by design document that is 90% complete. </li></ul><ul><li>Process broken into milestones to measure progress/deliverables. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game is tested for gameplay & quality issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How many milestones are there? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number depends on the size of the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typically fixed from the beginning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need to avoid urge to add features (scope creep) during milestone cycles! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Time between milestones: about 2 months </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small core creative team: creative director & key leads: designer, artist, narrative designer, programmer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PLUS production team: level designers, game programmers, hardware programmers, AI programmers, concept artist, 3D artists, animators, technical artists, modelers, testers, sound design, music composers </li></ul></ul>Production
  6. 6. First Milestone <ul><li>Most critical milestone </li></ul><ul><li>Game should have functional (not complete) art, sound & code </li></ul><ul><li>Can assess feasibility & budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make changes, as appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then, headlong into development! </li></ul><ul><li>Time to complete this milestone: 2-3 months </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small core creative team: creative director & key leads: designer, artist, narrative designer, programmer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production team: level designers, game programmers, hardware programmers, AI programmers, concept artist, 3D artists, animators, technical artists, modelers, testers, sound design, music composers. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Alpha <ul><li>Lot of variation as to what is an Alpha </li></ul><ul><li>Complete with Art, Sound & Code </li></ul><ul><li>Not fully tested-quality assurance(QA)testing ongoing. </li></ul><ul><li>Some tuning, last minute additions & changes </li></ul><ul><li>Time to achieve Alpha from last milestone: 1 month </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small core team or leads: Producer, creative director, lead designer, lead artist, lead writer lead programmer, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production team: level designers, game programmers, hardware programmers, AI programmers, concept artist, 3D artists, animators, technical artists, modelers, testers, sound design, music composers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Beta <ul><li>Finished game, all features tested and tuned </li></ul><ul><li>External testing to check compatibility issues </li></ul><ul><li>Users play free of charge in exchange for reporting bugs </li></ul><ul><li>(Hopefully) no changes to any art, sound or code </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only bug fixes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time to Beta from Alpha: 2 weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core team shrinks: Producer, creative director, lead programmer, testing lead, may lose lead designer, lead artist, lead writer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production team cut way back to a core testing and fixing team: programmers, 3D artist, designer, testers </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Gold Master <ul><li>Accepted as complete-may include known bugs </li></ul><ul><li>(Time to Gold from Beta: one to two weeks.) </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution:Game is mass produced or released online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duplicated, boxed, shipped to retailers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Time to shelves from Gold: 1 to 2 months) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing in full swing & has been for at least a year. </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigns now include all forms of online & broadcast media. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Traditional Development Stages: Setting Milestones & Costs <ul><li>The Idea </li></ul><ul><li>The Pitch/Concept </li></ul><ul><li>Proof of Concept or Pre-production </li></ul><ul><li>Production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Milestones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alpha </li></ul><ul><li>Beta </li></ul><ul><li>Gold Master </li></ul>Concept Gold Master roles

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