What does it take to make a game?
• an idea - a game concept
• a plan - a game design
• art assets - artist(s)
• programming - programmer(s)
• music & sfx - audio specialist
• project management - producer
What makes a good game?
• something you can’t do in real life
• something where you can make a difference
• something that is easy to learn but difficult to master
• If you can’t sell it with 5 screenshots and some text, don’t make it!
Why are most games late?
• an unrealistic deadline in the first place
• many assume that they won’t have any problems
• we need it by this date
• Alan Wake
• Duke Nukem Forever
• Why does it take several years to make a sequel?
• Add a bonus for on-time completion.
How to manage a game project
• What does a good producer do?
• makes sure his team has all the resource it needs
• manages his bosses expectations
• Avoid unnecessary crunch time - avoid burnout.
• Try to get your work done during normal hours.
• There’s no free lunch, but there’s a free dinner!
What happens when you get behind?
• manage feature requests — new features take time, plus testing time.
• review outstanding features — is there anything that you don’t really need?
• perform triage
• be careful adding more people to the project
• read The Mythical Month
• take away any unnecessary duties that don’t have anything to do with
finishing the game.
Reaching the finish line
• How long is a marathon?
• 26 miles, 385 yards
• The first 90% of the project takes 90% of your time.
• The last 10% takes another 90% of your time.
Start play testing early
• Starting early lets the play testers get familiar with your game.
• Don’t take it personal when they gloat after finding a “bug”.
• Remember they are professional game players.
• Whenever you make a last minute change, you have to allow time to test all
the things it could possibly affect.