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Game Design School - GAME PRODUCTION

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GAME PRODUCTION

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After this page:
  • You know what production means
  • You understand what internal and external producers do
  • You understand the production triangle and game production methods



Game Production
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WHAT IS PRODUCTION

  • Producing Concept to Shippable game
  • Divided to
    - Pre-production (idea, concept, design)
    - Production (implementation)
    - Post-production (qa, porting)

PRODUCER

  • Delivers and plans the production for the desired product in given time, quality and budget
  • Overall responsibility of the quality, timetable and budget of the game.
  • Daily activities include
    – production state tracking ( risk estimation, time-estimates and production plan update)
    – quality tracking (review of the completed tasks / features)
    – if applicable budget tracking (reviewing the state of the budget of the game). Weekly activities include
    – keeping track the stakeholders of the project (clients, senior executive team, outsourcing partners, 3rd party vendors etc.)
    – predicting the future (risks estimation).
  • On different stages of the production also marketing and post-production issues are handled as part of the daily and weekly activity loop.

INTERNAL PRODUCER

  • Negotiating contracts, including licensing deals
  • Acting as a liaison between the development staff and the upper stakeholders (publisher or executive staff)
  • Developing and maintaining schedules and budgets
  • Overseeing creative (art and design) and technical development (game programming) of the game
  • Ensuring timely delivery of deliverables (such as milestones)
  • Scheduling timely quality assurance (testing)
  • Arranging for beta testing and focus groups, if applicable
  • Arranging for localization

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

  • Overseeing several projects being worked on by a number of developers
  • Employed by the game's publisher
  • Inform the upper management of the publisher of the status

PRODUCT GOALS

  • Product goal come from
    – Publisher
    – Other Developer when subcontracting
    – Internally
  • Demo, Technology Demo
  • Customer Case
  • Product Manager
  • Producer then
    – Sets the goal to the team
    – Us responsible to the stakeholders
  • Poor producer is squeezed between the stakeholders and the team.

game_producer_and_stakeholders.jpg

PRODUCTION TRIANGLE - WHY A GAME CAN BE SO BAD

As a rule of production, there can only be two. The producer needs to decide between these options.
You have probably run into games which seem uncompleted, buggy and you wonder " Why did they do this this way????”
Maybe this will shed some light!

Make something really quickly for very little money, but it will be terrible.

production_model1.jpg

Do something really fast and it will be amazing, but it will cost you millions.

production_model2.jpg

Have something that costs very little and is spectacular, but it will take you forever.

production_model3.jpg

If you ask a game producer, they'll say

  • lost of features, bad quality
  • few features, great quality

GAME DEVELOPMENT METHODS

Due to the nature of making games, especially iteration, traditional Waterfall production model, which has set milestones and goal, doesn't adapt too well to a game development project.
Look into Agile & Scrum, Kanban board and software like Trello to see which production methods are used.
In reality a game project can have milestones for alpha, beta and towards those we move using agile sprints.

GAME PRODUCTION PROBLEMS

  • Time
    - There's never enough of time... and you can't get more from anywhere, can you...
  • Team work
    - Not in the sense that people wouldn't get along, but that the team doesn't communicate or work together
  • Communication
    - To the team and to the player
  • Vision of the game is not clear
    – People are creating a different game