Game Development and Production by Devon

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Game Development and Production by Devon

  1. 1. @agatestudio Game Development and Production Devon Clerics Agate Studio
  2. 2. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio BOOK REVIEW BY ERIK BETHKE PART I
  3. 3. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio INTRODUCTION TO GAME DEVELOPMENT PART I
  4. 4. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio WHAT DOES THIS BOOK COVER? Chapter I
  5. 5. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio How to Make a Game • Not Covered : – Technical thing (introductions to C++, discuss the construction of an RTS) – Which development methodologies or how to be smart about outsourcing portions • Covered: – Discusses failed and successful project management techniques from writers own experience as well as the experience of a multitude of other development studios
  6. 6. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio First Have a Plan • Games that have a poor development methodology (or none) take much longer than they should, run over budget, and tend to be unreasonably buggy • This book show how to use formalized methods such as the UML’s use case diagram, etc. • Even if working on a solo project.
  7. 7. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Organize Your Team Effectively • This book discusses how to create task visibility so everyone knows what needs to do and how far along the rest are in their tasks • Controlling feature creep, reaching alpha, freezing new features are critical to finishing your game. • All of the mega-hits kept their feature sets narrow and the polish deep. (Their feature set is small but polished to a superior degree) • All the methods of creating achievable task, measuring progress, and controlling features are even more critical for very small teams
  8. 8. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Game Development is Software Development • Games are certainly special, however, game development is software development. • Too often game developers hold apart from formal software development and production methods with the false rationalization. • Game developers need to master their production methods so that can produce their games in organized repeatable manner.
  9. 9. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio How to Ship a Game • When it is ready to ship? Track bugs, prioritize your bugs effectively, task your bugs, and review your final candidates for readiness. • Beta testers are project stakeholder too.
  10. 10. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Post-release • After a game ships, support your game: – Patch bugs – Fine tune the balance – New features or content (free download/expansion) – Mod accommodation (user-extensibility) – Fan communication
  11. 11. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Success and the Long Race • Successful game making is a long race rather than a sprint to fast cash. • Discover why make the game – What is the vision? – What are your true profit goals? – Are they reasonable? – What should accomplish in the game? • Any attempt to take a shortcut for poor motives will manifest in failed game project
  12. 12. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio How to Use The Book • Skim the entire book – Part I and II discuss challenges of game development thoroughly – Early Part III should be read thoroughly at the beginning of your game project to create a detailed project plan – Part IV is a resource guide to getting outside help on your project (read at prepro phase) – Part III should remain handy during production to help with organizing your team – Review the later chapters of Part III as reaches alpha
  13. 13. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio WHY MAKE GAMES? Chapter 2
  14. 14. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio To Share a Dream • Creative people love to share their dreams, thoughts, and worlds • Games are deeply rewarding because they appeal on so many different levels, with special quality : it makes the player the most important part of the story. • Games are very special, only in game can a player try different actions, experience different outcomes, and explore a model of a world.
  15. 15. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Games Teach • Games have held an intimate role in our intellectual growth from the earliest ages. – Peek-a-boo, teach hunting prey and evading predators – Royal game of Ur, Summerian game 2500BC – Wei-Ch’I or Go, 2200 BC China, supposedly to train his son for assuming leadership of the state. – Chess, the most celebrated game of strategic thinking, throughout the Middle Ages, and modern times • We modern game makers are carrying on an honorable, historic role.
  16. 16. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Game Genres Satisfy Different Appetites • Some genre: strategy, adventure, role- playing, action, and simulation. • Gambling, Puzzle, and Parlor Games • Military and Sports Simulations – [Insert Pic] • Role-Playing Games – Sitting around a fire and spinning a tale is one of the oldest forms of entertainment – Reading a novel is wonderful, but would it not be better to slay the dragon yourself and take the loot home to your castle?
  17. 17. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Youth Making Games • You have to have the bug to make games, the talent usually begins at a young age.
  18. 18. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio On Money • How to get maximum for your development money by doing various things (outsourcing, decide which features to cut, how to track tasks). • Realize the true goals of the game project and to reach these goals as efficiently as possible • Great games sell just fine, and the money will come naturally enough; focus on making a great game
  19. 19. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Why Make Games? • “You should make games because you love to” • As a creative release, love to see people enthralled by your game, playing it over and over. • You should make games if there is something fun you can visualize in your mind, something fun you would like to experience, and you want to share that experience with others.
  20. 20. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio WHAT MAKES GAME DEVELOPMENT HARD? Chapter 2
  21. 21. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio The Importance of Planning • What does it take to make great games? – However, behind the scenes we need a trail guide and a map to get there • We might be working alone or working with others. The size of our project or our role does not matter; we still need a plan to create our game. • Why must you have a plan? To hold accountability financially.
  22. 22. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Very Few Titles Are Profitable In 2001 3000 PC games release, only 100 turned a profit, only top 50 made significant money for the developers and publishers
  23. 23. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio What Are the Financial Expectations for Our Game? • Managing expectations of all project stakeholder through high quality communication that is clear and honest. • We must be clear about why we are creating our game, know financial expectations (not hopes and dreams) is critical. • Establishing these expectations will determine the project scope. • Figure out what is the “best” game we can make within budget. • Blizzard once worked as a developer for Interplay. There are stepping stones on the way to greatness; too many developers try to take the gaming world by storm in one ambitious step.
  24. 24. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Why Our Game Should Profit • Beyond just running a single game project, how our game project should fit into a greater plan of growth for ourselves, our company, and our team. – Respond more gracefully to project slippage – More tactical and strategic maneuvering room – Make more ambitious game in the future, retain employees, hire new talent, and capital improvement to workplace for greater efficiency. • Unprofitable attitudes – Creating bunch of open expectations that will not be able to fulfill. – Ignores the strong wisdom that says if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
  25. 25. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio What makes game development hard? • Game Making is a Long Race of Many Game Projects • Overly Long Game Projects Are Disastrous – The Sims, filling a vastly underserved market of woman who are consumers waiting for games, and with right title and marketing and sales strength, EA can make tons of money. – Baldur’s Gate, 4M units worldwide, came at the right time for RPG, quality title with a strong license behind (Advanced DnD) – For the rest simply too-little too-late titles that had to compete against stronger games that produced faster and for less money.
  26. 26. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio The Tension between Preproduction and Production • Preproduction, vision or design phase. • True prepro would be : – the distillation of all the game’s requirement, – an analysis stage to determine the implications of these requirements, – a culling stage to meet the business parameters, and – a detailed game, art, audio, and technical design to detail the requirements. – any risky areas of the project need to uncover – Alternative plans need to be formulated – Plan needs to be presented to all stakeholders • Industry responds to the intense competition by compressing preproduction
  27. 27. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio HOW TO MAKE A GAME PART II
  28. 28. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio WHAT IS A GAME MADE OF? Chapter 4
  29. 29. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Design Parts • Lead Designers/Visi onary • Game Mechanics • Level/Mission Designers • Story and Dialogue Writers
  30. 30. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Coding Parts • Lead Programmers and Technical Directors • Game Mechanics Programmer • 3D Graphics Programmer • AI Programmer • UI Programmer • Audio Programmer • Tools Programmer • Mission/Level Editor Programmer • Network Programmer?
  31. 31. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Art Parts • Art Director • Concept Artist • 2D Artist/ Interface Designer • 3D Modeler • Character Modeler • Animator/Mocap • Storyboarder
  32. 32. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Audio Parts • Voice-Overs • Sound Effects • Music • Audio Director
  33. 33. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Management Parts • Line Producer • Associate Producer • Studio Head/Executive Producer • Producer
  34. 34. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Quality Assurance Parts • Publisher QA Parts – QA lead – Main Team – Multiplayer Team – Fresh Team – Compatibility Team – Localization Team • Beta Testing – Beta Testers – Beta Testing Program Manager
  35. 35. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Business Parts • Business Development Parts – Business Development Executive – Publisher CEO and President – Studio Heads – Lawyers • Licensing Parts • Promoting, Buying, and Selling Parts – Sales Executive – Sales Force and Retail Purchasing Agents – Press Relations Manager – Trade Shows and Events – Hardcore Fans • Manuals and Strategy Guides – Manual – Strategy Guide • Manufacturing Parts • Hardware Manufacturer Parts
  36. 36. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Post-Release Parts • Patches • Customer Service • Game Masters • Fan Management • etc
  37. 37. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio
  38. 38. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio BUSINESS CONTEXT FIRST Chapter 5
  39. 39. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Getting your business goals and parameters settled for your project before start formal design and development of game.
  40. 40. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Project Triangle • Useful device for analyzing the goals of project • We can achieve 2 of 3.
  41. 41. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Various Games and the Project Triangle
  42. 42. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Question for Us to Answer • What are we trying to accomplished with this game? • When must we complete this game? • How much money do we have to produce it? • Who do you have to get the job done?
  43. 43. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio What to Do with Our Answer • Ultra-low budget projects should be simple games polished to a high degree or perhaps a port of an existing game • Fixed budget, fixed deadline projects should organize features into primary, secondary, tertiary piles and create project plan that most supports the completion of primary feature. • High-profile/high-quality projects concentrate their best dev team on a clean, tight set of features that they will execute to a quality level everyone else will then struggle to match.
  44. 44. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS Chapter 7
  45. 45. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio How to use the structure your business context and your game ideas provide and how to turn them into a game concept worthy of fleshing out into a game design document
  46. 46. @agatestudio@agatestudio@agatestudio Business Context Shapes Design or vice versa?

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