Lecture2w06 - Overview Game Creation Process CMPUT 299...

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Unformatted text preview: Overview Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 Winter 2006 Thursday January 12 ! Making a computer game is a lengthy process, involving many creative people ! High-profile productions often take 2-3 years ! Challenging games can involve > 100 people! ! This lecture discusses: ! The process of creating a game ! The people involved in the process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process The Creative Process Designer's Point of View ! ! ! ! ! Great idea Shape idea Concept document Design document Build prototype ! ! ! ! ! Post-prototyping Build production Post-production Testing Retail The Publisher's Point of View ! Most games companies do not sell their own products need to go through a publisher ! The publisher contributes... ! ! ! ! Market intuition Quality assurance Marketing Shelf space in retail stores Many of these steps are iterative CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process ... in return for veto power and a hefty share of the sales " CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process The Creative Process Publisher's Point of View ! Assess the great idea and possibly veto the project ! Game creator likely has one chance to sell the idea ! Five minutes to impress people The Great Idea ! Come up with a great idea ! Do research to find out whether it has been done before ! If not, why not? Is it feasible? ! If so, how can it be improved? ! Assess the prototype and possibly veto it ! Assess the production and possibly veto it ! Quality assurance ! Test it as best as you can (i.e., up to a fixed budget) to ensure quality ! Get feedback from other designers/players ! Get constructive criticism ! It's not possible to please everyone all the time CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process ! Marketing and sales CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Warehouse Man (1) I've got a great idea! I want a character to push boxes around in a room. From the starting configuration of boxes, the man has to push the boxes into a final configuration. The man can only push a box, never pull. Cool, eh? CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Game Creators ! Shigeru Miyamoto ! Donkey Kong ! Mario Brothers ! Legend of Zelda ! Will Wright ! ! ! SimCity, SimEarth, ... The Sims Spore CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Shaping the Idea (1) ! If the idea seems to be worth investing more time in, prepare an overview document stating: ! ! ! ! ! The target audience The core objective of the game A list of challenges that the player will face How the player will control the game Unique features of the game Shaping the Idea (2) ! Present the idea at an initial meeting with other team members ! Include the technical director, lead programmer, art director, lead artist, other designers,etc. ! Discuss technical and artistic constraints ! Get more ideas from team members ! At this stage the idea might be dropped if no one likes it, or if it appears that the technical and/or financial hurdles are too great CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Warehouse Man (2) ! Audience: people who like to solve puzzles ! Objective: to solve the puzzles, optionally to solve them in as few moves as possible ! Challenges: a bad move could lead to a state which is unsolvable; solutions could be very long (frustrating!?) and intricate (beautiful!) ! Control: up/down/left/right movements ! Unique: new idea for a "simple" problem that gives rise to extraordinary complexity CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Design Document ! If the concept is approved, work will commence on the design document ! The document takes typically 4 6 months to produce ! It is the project bible all design decisions are detailed ! The document contains highly detailed technical information (it is not a marketing document) ! The document is updated as the design evolves ! Team members need only view the aspect of the document which is relevant to them (so it has to be well structured) CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Warehouse Man (3) ! Theme (warehouse isn't exciting) ! Need a theme for the graphics: warehouse man, boxes, target locations, empty locations, walls, etc. ! Music? Prototyping A prototype is a low risk way of testing out initial ideas for a software product: ! Scope out new technology: What is feasible? What is hard? ! Prove the concept ! Demonstrate game play and some initial challenges ! Demonstrate the art style ! Define a production schedule ! Reduce the risk of spiralling budgets ! Motivate team members CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process ! Game play ! Graduated levels of difficulty ! Who is going to design warehouse layouts (not trivial)? ! Features ! Include a solver? ! Include tools for users to create their own puzzles? CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Warehouse Man (4a) Warehouse Man (4b) CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Post-Prototyping ! Post prototyping is a period of reflection after the initial prototype is created ! The prototype is focus tested by members of the target user group ! Any problems which are highlighted by user testing should be solved before commencing ! If the prototype is totally unsuitable for the target audience, the project may finish here CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Warehouse Man (5) ! Need a better name... ! Japanese name for a warehouse man is "Sokoban" ! Interesting, exotic, catchy ! Need to commit to a theme CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Sokoban (1) Production ! Level design, art work, scripts are developed ! Throughout this stage the game should be regularly tested and balanced for game play ! Team members may have an intense workload and work long hours ! Projects can still be cancelled at this stage! CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Sokoban (2) ! We now have a working program! ! Is it fun? ! How can we improve it? ! Need a name... how about... Sloppy Sokoban ! Play Sloppy Sokoban! CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Post-Production In the post production phase, the game is edited to make sure it is the highest quality product possible. ! As with movies, improving the game might mean cutting large sections of it ! It can seem demoralising to discard lovingly crafted art work, levels or scripts, but sometimes it is necessary to improve the game play CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Testing ! Companies have their own "quality assurance" team, they contract it out, or it is part of their publisher's agreement ! Extensive testing for bugs, aesthetics, user interface issues, game balance, etc. ! Bugs still escape into the wild, and the game company may have to release periodic updates CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Retail ! Prepare to be meet the press # ! Watch sales roll in CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Sleep! ! ! ! ! ! Start work on the next game... CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 Project Great idea Shape idea Concept document Design document Build prototype ! ! ! ! ! Post-prototyping Build production Post-production Testing Retail CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Who Works in the Game Industry? The development team consists of: ! Producers ! Designers ! Artists ! Programmers ! Numerous other talented people CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process $$$ and Sense ! The cost of developing a marquee game is growing; $20 million US is not unheard of ! The industry is being dominated by big studios ! Where does all the money go? ! It is still possible for a small team to create a hit game for handheld devices (e.g., cell phones) CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Producers ! Producer ! ! ! ! Manages a single game project Ensures project is delivered on time Ensures that the project is delivered within budget Ensures quality Designers ! Lead game designer ! Optional: Game designers ! Lead level designer ! Optional: Level designers / world builders ! Associate producer ! Support the producer ! Documents the development process ! Organises research activities such as play testing and product comparison CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process ! Interface designer CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Lead Game Designer ! ! ! ! ! ! ! The visionary has an overall view of the game Must be able to communicate and present ideas Creative and imaginative Technically savvy Artistically astute A good writer Must have passion for the game! CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Game Designer Responsibilities ! ! ! ! ! ! Give input on game design issues Propose game play ideas Build and test scenarios/missions Test and balance game play parameters Test the usability of the interface Update the game design document regularly CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Level Designers Responsibilities ! Design detailed levels ! Designs and implements game content ! Evaluates levels of bugs, playability, fun Interface Designers - responsibilities ! ! ! ! ! ! Understand the target audience Ensure the UI design meets the audience needs Oversee the development of the UI Create and maintain art assets for the UI Seek feedback from art director on style and mood Coordinate user testing to identify usability issues CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Artists ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Art director Lead artist 2D/3D artists Texture artist Environment modeller Lead animator Character animator CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Programmers ! ! ! Technology director Lead programmer Games programmer ! ! ! ! ! ! Artificial intelligence Audio Network Graphics Game engine Tools CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Other Roles ! ! ! ! ! ! Musicians Motion capture Lawyers Writers Computing system technical support ... CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Quality of Life (1) In a recent survey of games developers: ! 35.2% said that during "crunch times" they work 65 80 hours per week ! 48% said they didn't get paid overtime ! 44% said they could use more people or special skills on their team Source: IGDA Quality of Life White Paper (http://www.igda.org/qol/whitepaper.php) CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process Quality of Life (2) ! What do the spouses say? ! ! ! "You work too much" (61.5%) "You are always stressed out" (43.5%) "You don't make enough money" (35.6%) Acknowledgments ! Judy Robertson Source: IGDA Quality of Life White Paper (http://www.igda.org/qol/whitepaper.php) CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process CMPUT 299 - Winter 2006 Lecture #2: Game Creation Process ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2009 for the course CS CS 399 taught by Professor Dr.ware during the Spring '08 term at Monmouth IL.

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