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inlusio | game development process

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This presentation describes the game development process. Targeted at students following game related courses and others interested in game development. This presentation takes the producers view to …

This presentation describes the game development process. Targeted at students following game related courses and others interested in game development. This presentation takes the producers view to the whole process.

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  • Today I’ve been asked to talk about the game development process. This is a very, very broad topic and can be viewed from a multitude of disciplines. Today I’m taking a bit of the producer’s view onto the whole process as I think this will benefit you the most. So what is the game development process all about?
  • When push come to shove, it is about 1 thing:
  • Delivering a quality product on time. Lets have a look at this for a moment to let it sink in.
  • Delivering on time
  • The concept is easy enough for anyone to understand
  • Deliver on time or all hell breaks loose
  • But it is hard to accomplish, why? For that we look at the other part of the sentence
  • A great product
  • Now this is a hard concept that’s not understood by everyone
  • It is also hard to accomplish because it is such a hard concept. What is important ot know is:
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Quality is relative Depending on the resources (time, money), circumstances and customers quality may mean a different things.
  • Be realistic
  • Be realistic The one thing that will go wrong time after time after time is the fact that people, and mostly creative people are really bad at being realistic (myself included).
  • Be realistic The one thing that will go wrong time after time after time is the fact that people, and mostly creative people are really bad at being realistic (myself included). Why is it so impossible to be realistic for creative people? Because you have a hidden agenda.
  • Be realistic
  • Most common pitfalls are: Originality Ambition Over confidence
  • When there are no hidden agenda’s it shouldn’t be hard to deliver on time
  • Now that we’ve broken down quality, it should no longer be a hard concept, making it easier to accomplish
  • To be able to do this...
  • You need...
  • A Plan
  • The plan consists out of 2 elements and is part of the larger game development process
  • The creative border
  • Consiting out of the elements we just mentioned Customer
  • What is the product goal
  • What resources are available
  • And how much of the hidden agenda will become part of the product?
  • The second thing you need is
  • an idea that fits within these boundaries.
  • But what is a good idea? It atleast needs to fit the creative boundaries and it needs to meet all demands and expectations. The better the creative boundaries are defined, the better you can say what is a good idea and what not. But good ideas can also be recognized if we pay close attention to them:
  • People create a sense of ownership over the idea, as if it were there own idea. They’ll evangelize it to others, trying to make them as enthusiastic about it as they are.
  • Good ideas will also inspire people, they’ll spawn new ideas quickly. People will come up with new things to add to variations the minute they understand the idea.
  • These 2 steps arte part of the 1st phase of game development process
  • The concept phase. This is where it all start. You become aware of the task, the boundaries of the project and you create a plan for it, an idea of what the product will be. After this phase is completed you should have a pretty good idea of things that are a risk.
  • This is where pre-prod. comes in. The pre-productaion phase is all about recognizing the risks and taking all the necessary steps to reduce those risks. This is done by testing the idea, especially the ideas that seem to be the most risky.
  • Identifying risk and testing them before building the complete game upon them. Risk mitigation.
  • The end product of this phase should be a vertical slice, with all elements present in a somewhat publishable state. Other Studio’s also might call this the first Publishable, a state considered to be showable outside the studio. Depending on the type of game and the size of the experience the ingredients of a vertical slice differ. The following should definitely be part of it.
  • The Meta game, the systems in charge of player advancement and progression should be developed to a point so they van be tested. Also the game flow, including menu’s, level select and the like should be implemented on a basic level (this doesn’t have to be pretty, just functional)
  • Second there should be at least 1 of each element of the total game be present. At least 1 enemy, 1 boss, 1 pick-up, 1 complete level including decoration, 1 result screen if it is part of the game. Etc, etc. These elements need to be in near final quality, as it will allow you to see if the quality is what you expected. It let’s you get a realistic view of what can be accomplished with the available resources and ultimatle it lets you see if the plan you thought of actually works!
  • What the vertical slice should answer is the question: Is it achievable?
  • Also known as, can we deliver on time? Or do we have a potential time bomb on our hands?
  • And the other question it should answer is, is it fun? And will it be fun if we extend this vertical slice over a longer period of time?
  • This is also know as creating a quality product.
  • Helping to see if the product can be delivered on time is planning, investigating how long it took to create the vertical slice and how long it will take to finish the game
  • This is called the production planning, which ends the pre-production phase. By this time, you would like to have finished all the documentation needed to go into production as well, so that everybody is aware of how to produce the product.
  • This is called the production planning, which ends the pre-production phase. By this time, you would like to have finished all the documentation needed to go into production as well, so that everybody is aware of how to produce the product.
  • This is called the production planning, which ends the pre-production phase. By this time, you would like to have finished all the documentation needed to go into production as well, so that everybody is aware of how to produce the product.
  • And that’s managing dependencies. The production phase of a game is very much like the production line in a factory, and that’s in an ideal situation! The product will grow alongside a production line and people at the end of the line can only finish if the people before them are finsihed. However, game development is hardly a linear process...
  • Just by looking at an average size studio and the disciplines involved give you an idea of the complexity of the organization of a production line...
  • To be able to manage all the cross dependencies and make sure people are working on the important things first you need to create a production flow. This image shows an example of such a production flow (although this is only a small part of a much, much bigger flow).
  • When creating production flow and planning it helps to think in terms of deliverables. What do other people in the production line need to be able to do their job? Only when you have created such a map do you really understand the size of the project
  • Which canbe huge. Here’s an overview of the complete level production flow for a level that lasts about 20 minutes, where the red outline was the part I’ve shown previously. Looking at the steps and the amount of people and time needed we can see that it is a serious endeavour.
  • When all the risks are defined, the worst risks are tested and the gameplay is proven it is time to move on to production.
  • Production is one of the easiest step to discuss as it is about executing the plan that you created during pre-prod.
  • Production is one of the easiest step to discuss as it is about executing the plan that you created during pre-prod.
  • However there is a big difference between developing for a fixed platform and deleloping for PC for example. And that’s that they are completely owned by other companies. This means that there are rules that need to be adhered to.
  • After the production phase is complete it is time to party..., or is it?
  • There is still a last step that shouldn’t be overlooked
  • The post production phase
  • Usually this is associated with post mortem, and for good reasons.
  • Post mortems are an essential element of game development as it allows the team to learn from the past. What worked well? And what didn’t?
  • But more and more, the game is extended with an after life
  • A game demo should be created to help with the marketing Downloadable content is becoming standard for mayor releases Patches are almost inevitable with current development presure And customers demand support from the developem, on forums, within the specialized press and in the form of walkthroughs.
  • Time for some questions
  • If you wish to contact me, here is some contact information.
  • Transcript

    • 1. The game development process
    • 2.  
    • 3. Delivering a quality product on time
    • 4. Delivering a great product on time
    • 5. Delivering a great product on time
      • Easy concept
    • 6. Delivering a great product on time
      • Easy concept
    • 7. Delivering a great product on time
      • Easy concept
      • Hard to accomplish
    • 8. Delivering a quality product on time
    • 9. Delivering a quality product on time
    • 10. Delivering a quality product on time
      • Hard concept
    • 11. Delivering a quality product on time
      • Hard concept
      • Hard to accomplish
    • 12. Quality is relative
    • 13. Quality is relative
    • 14. Quality is relative
      • Customer
      • Product goal
      • Resources
    • 15.
      • Customer
      • Product goal
      • Resources
    • 16.
      • Customer ?
      • Product goal
      • Resources
    • 17.
      • Customer ?
      • Product goal
      • Resources
    • 18.
      • Customer ?
      • Product goal
      • Resources
    • 19.
      • Customer
      • Product goal ?
      • Resources
    • 20.
      • Customer
      • Product goal ?
      • Resources
    • 21.
      • Customer
      • Product goal ?
      • Resources
    • 22.
      • Customer
      • Product goal
      • Resources ?
    • 23.
      • Customer
      • Product goal
      • Resources ?
    • 24.
      • Customer
      • Product goal
      • Resources ?
    • 25. Be realistic
    • 26. Be realistic
    • 27. Be realistic
    • 28. Uncover the hidden agenda
    • 29. Uncover the hidden agenda
      • Originality
      • Ambition
      • Over confidence
    • 30. Delivering a great product on time
      • Easy concept
      • Hard to accomplish
    • 31. Delivering a quality product on time
      • Hard concept
      • Hard to accomplish
    • 32. Delivering a quality product on time
    • 33.  
    • 34. A Plan
    • 35.  
    • 36.  
    • 37.
      • Customer
    • 38.
      • Product goal
      • Customer
    • 39.
      • Resources
      • Product goal
      • Customer
    • 40.
      • Hidden agenda
      • Resources
      • Product goal
      • Customer
    • 41.  
    • 42.  
    • 43. ?
    • 44.  
    • 45.  
    • 46.  
    • 47. Concept
    • 48. Concept Pre-prod. 
    • 49.  
    • 50. Vertical Slice
    • 51. Vertical Slice
      • 1 of each
    • 52. Vertical Slice
      • 1 of each
      • Meta Game / Flow
    • 53. Vertical Slice
      • Is it achievable?
    • 54. Vertical Slice
      • Deliver on time?
    • 55. Vertical Slice
      • Deliver on time?
      • Is it fun?
    • 56. Vertical Slice
      • Deliver on time?
      • A quality product ?
    • 57.  
    • 58. A Production Plan
    • 59. A Production Plan
      • Clear creative boundaries
      • A fitting plan
      • Biggest risks tested and proven in a vertical slice
    • 60. A Production Plan
      • Plan to create rest of product
      • Map # levels, enemies, bosses, cutscenes, environments, etc.
      • Plan at least 30% extra time for unforeseen situations
    • 61. Managing dependencies Managing dependencies
    • 62.  
    • 63.  
    • 64.
      • Think in terms of deliverables
      • What do other people need to get started?
      • Only then do you start to realize the size of the endeavour
      A Production Plan
      • Think in terms of deliverables
      • What do other people need to get started?
      • Only then do you start to realize the size of the endeavour
    • 65.  
    • 66. Concept Pre-prod. 
    • 67. Concept Pre-prod. Production  
    • 68.  
    • 69.
      • “ Technical requirements”
    • 70.  
    • 71. Concept Pre-prod. Production  
    • 72. Concept Pre-prod. Production Post Prod.   
    • 73. Post Mortem
    • 74.
      • What went right?
      • What went wrong?
      Post Mortem
    • 75. Extensions
    • 76.
      • A Game Demo
      • Downloadable content
      • Patches
      • Customer support (forums, press,
      • walkthroughs)
      Extensions
    • 77. Q & A
    • 78.
      • playlogicgames.com
      • inlusio.wordpress.com
      • @ ttwijnstra

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