Background - DOC by hAwH30zr

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									     GUIDE TO THE GAMES INDUSTRY
     Scene Index:
     Introduction ............................................................................................................. 3
     1 SCENE: The Concept ........................................................................................... 3
       1.1 The Spark of Inspiration ................................................................................... 3
       1.2 Genre .............................................................................................................. 6
       1.3 Platform ........................................................................................................... 7
       1.4 Gameplay ........................................................................................................ 9
     2 SCENE: Preparing to Pitch ................................................................................ 11
       2.1 The design doc .............................................................................................. 11
       2.2 The technical design document ..................................................................... 12
       2.3 Scheduling ..................................................................................................... 13
       2.4 Budget ........................................................................................................... 14
     3 SCENE: The Publisher demo ............................................................................. 15
       3.1 Software Development Kits ............................................................................ 15
       3.2 Middleware .................................................................................................... 16
       3.3 Full licensed engines ..................................................................................... 17
       3.4 Building the demo .......................................................................................... 17
     4 SCENE: Pitching................................................................................................. 18
       4.1 Publishers ...................................................................................................... 18
       4.2 Showcasing the demo.................................................................................... 19
       4.3 Selling the sizzle ............................................................................................ 20
       4.4 Alternatives .................................................................................................... 21
     5 SCENE: Development Begins............................................................................ 22
       5.1 The contract ................................................................................................... 22
       5.2 Updating the design docs .............................................................................. 22
       5.3 Expanding the team ....................................................................................... 23
       5.4 Milestones ..................................................................................................... 25
     6 SCENE: Design ................................................................................................... 26
       6.1 Game Designer.............................................................................................. 26
       6.3 Level design .................................................................................................. 27
       6.4 Gameplay mechanics .................................................................................... 28
     7 SCENE: The Story .............................................................................................. 29
       7.1 Building the bones ......................................................................................... 29
       7.2 The write stuff ................................................................................................ 30
       7.3 Fleshing out the story..................................................................................... 31
       7.4 Adding Drama ................................................................................................ 32
     8 SCENE: Getting Arty .......................................................................................... 33



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       8.1 Inspiration ...................................................................................................... 33
       8.2 3D Modelling .................................................................................................. 35
       8.3 Animation....................................................................................................... 36
       8.4 Textures......................................................................................................... 37
     9 SCENE: Audio Life ............................................................................................. 38
       9.1 Sound and Music ........................................................................................... 38
       9.2 The Audio team ............................................................................................. 39
       9.3 Voicing the game ........................................................................................... 40
       9.4 Outsourcing ................................................................................................... 41
     10 SCENE: Programming...................................................................................... 42
       10.1 The programming team ................................................................................ 42
       10.2 The Engine .................................................................................................. 44
       10.3 Interface....................................................................................................... 44
       10.4 Tools ............................................................................................................ 46
     11 SCENE: Production .......................................................................................... 46
       11.1 The full demo ............................................................................................... 46
       11.2 Alpha and Beta ............................................................................................ 47
       11.3 Crunching .................................................................................................... 47
       11.4 The Final Master .......................................................................................... 48
     12 SCENE: Pre-release ......................................................................................... 49
       12.1 Testing ......................................................................................................... 49
       12.2 Localisation .................................................................................................. 50
       12.3 Ratings ........................................................................................................ 51
       12.4 Creating a buzz............................................................................................ 53
     13 SCENE: Getting it to the players ..................................................................... 54
       13.1 Previews and reviews .................................................................................. 54
       13.2 Distribution ................................................................................................... 55
       13.4 Online Retail ................................................................................................ 57
     14 SCENE: The Aftermath..................................................................................... 58
       14.1 Feedback ..................................................................................................... 58
       14.2 Post-mortems .............................................................................................. 58
       14.3 Maintaining the fan-base .............................................................................. 59
       14.4 Expanding the IP ......................................................................................... 60
       14.4 The film of the Game ................................................................................... 61
     Multiple Choice Questions ................................................................................... 62




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     Introduction
     There are several different paths that a developer can take when getting a game made.
     This storyboard focuses on an independent developer (one not owned by a publisher)
     trying to get a publishing deal for a new game IP (intellectual property). Although the
     process of getting a game made and the various roles involved has been made quite
     linear for the purposes of this example, usually the roles are much more intertwined and
     many coexist at the same time.



     1 SCENE: The Concept
     1.1 The Spark of Inspiration

     SHOT: Interior of a home. The CREATIVE DIRECTOR, the LEAD ARTIST and the
     LEAD DESIGNER are in the background sitting, chatting at a mug and paper strewn
     table. There’s a pizza box on the table containing a pizza missing one slice. There is
     also a document or leaflet entitled ‘Publisher seeks developer’. In the foreground the
     TECHNICAL DIRECTOR is sitting at a desk playing on a handheld console (DS or PSP).
     There is a PC in front of him displaying an Internet forum for ‘Anomia Studio’ the name
     of their development studio (NB this is a fake name, don’t worry!). The room also
     contains a bookshelf full of DVDs. There are some model tanks and soldiers near the
     PC.

     CAPTION: When a development studio comes up with the concept for a game it is often
     a combination of several people’s ideas and expertise.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD ARTIST, LEAD DESIGNER and TECHNICAL
     DIRECTOR.

     PROPS: Handheld console (PSP or DS), TV, DVDs, model tanks/soldiers.

     Click on LEAD PROGRAMMER

     If you want to make games, then you need to play games. It’s important for developers
     to play a wide range of games for the platform or platforms they’re intending to develop
     for, so that they can adequately access the current marketplace. This shows them what
     other studios are working on, and allows the developer to assess what aspects of a
     game they think have been done well or poorly. It also might highlight any gaps in the
     market which could be potentially filled.

     Most games developers have been playing a wide variety games for many years and,
     although this is not essential for every role within a development studio, it gives long-
     time players a sound knowledge of how different genres have changed over the years.




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     Useful links
     http://www.gamedev.net/

     Standards:
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf
     IM10 Initiate interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6570.pdf

     Click on the tanks and soldiers

     Many games have been inspired by real world historical events. World War II has been
     immortalised in titles like the strategy series Sudden Strike, EA’s famous online
     multiplayer shooter Battlefield 1942 and also in flight simulations such as IL2 Sturmovik
     and Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulator. Men of Valor takes place during the Vietnam
     conflict, whilst the occupation and colonisation of the New World forms the backdrop for
     Ensemble Studios’ Age of Empires III.

     Useful links
     http://www.ageofempires3.com/

     Standards:
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf
     IM10 Initiate interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6570.pdf


     Click on the DVDs

     Although games of movies have been around for quite a while, initially they were often
     not very highly regarded. Urban myth has it that thousands of copies of Atari’s disastrous
     E.T. game were actually buried in a land fill site under the New Mexico desert.

     Now movie-to-game conversions are of a much higher quality and some have become
     more successful than the very films they’re linked to. Chronicles of Riddick didn’t rate
     that highly with the movie critics but the games reviewers loved Chronicles of Riddick:
     Escape from Butcher Bay, the tie-in game released at the same time. The movie didn’t
     win any awards, but the game did.

     Useful links
     www.riddickgame.com

     Standards:
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf
     IM10 Initiate interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6570.pdf



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     Click on the pizza

     Inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places. Gaming legend has it that the
     character Pac-Man was inspired by a pizza missing a slice and Nintendo’s Zelda series
     was inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood exploration of caves near his home

     Click on the Internet Forum/Monitor

     Knowing a game’s potential audience is an essential part of the development process. If
     the game is part of an existing franchise then the developers may have easy access to
     their fans through websites and forums. Many developers have cited these as invaluable
     tools for garnering opinions and feedback from their audience.

     If a game is breaking new ground for a developer then they may need to conduct their
     own market research. Alternatively, they may choose to consult existing research such
     as this white paper produced by the BBC which looks at gamers and gaming in the UK:
     www.skillset.org/games/overview/article_4809_1.asp/

     Useful links

     BBC White Paper: www.skillset.org/games/overview/article_4809_1.asp
     ELSPA’s Chart Track Service: http://www.elspa.com/?c=/charts/uk.jsp

     Standards:
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf
     IM10 Initiate interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6570.pdf

     Challenges Pop-up

     Be observant and see how many game ideas you can come up with.

     Click on ‘Publisher seeks developer’ leaflet

     Publishers will sometimes actively seek developers for themselves, particularly if they
     have just acquired a new license or franchise and are looking for companies to develop
     them. Alternatively a developer might hear about a new license acquisition and adjust
     their pitch to fit in with that.

     If a developer is owned by a publisher then that publisher may come to them with a
     specific games that they want that studio to develop.




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     1.2 Genre

     SHOT: Close-up on the LEAD DESIGNER’s head. He/she is deep in thought. Four
     thought bubbles float above his/her head. In thought bubble 1 is the image of a Half-Life
     2 style FPS game. In bubble 2 is the image of a traditional Command & Conquer style
     strategy game. In bubble 3 is the image of a World of Warcraft/Oblivion-style, 3rd person
     role-playing games. In bubble 4 is a question mark.

     Note: I can give more information on what these images should look like if you think the
     artist will need it. Alternative I could provide appropriate screenshots for guides, or we
     could look at using small screenshots inside the actual bubbles.

     CAPTION: The genre of a game will help define its gameplay, audience and future
     marketing.

     CAST: LEAD DESIGNER

     PROPS: None

     Click on Bubble 1

     First-person shooters, commonly known as FPSs, currently occupy a large section of the
     genre marketplace. The roots of FPS games can be traced back to Castle Wolfenstein
     3D, and its more famous successor, Doom. Since then, some of the most famous
     modern FPS games have been Half-Life 2, Halo and Medal of Honor.

     Creating an FPS is venturing onto well-trodden ground, which can be both a blessing
     and a curse to a developer. It’s a blessing because they have a strong position in the
     market and but also a curse because often FPS games are accused of not bringing
     anything new to the gaming experience, aside from technological innovation.

     (Note: RtCW screen 1. jpg and RtCW screen 2.jpg can be used either in their actuality or
     as guides for the illustration)

     Click on Bubble 2

     Strategy games, both real-time (RTS) and turn-based, are also very popular with
     gamers, particularly in Europe. Part of the lure of strategy games is that due to their
     design, many of them include their own game editors. These allow fans to make their
     own maps and scenarios and play them against each other online. This has become
     essential for maintaining the longevity of these games. Paying attention to the online
     community is important when planning a strategy game.

     (Note: C&CGenerals screen 1. jpg and C&CGenerals screen 2.jpg can be used either in
     their actuality or as guides for the illustration)

     Click on Bubble 3




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     Many traditional sword and sorcery role-playing games (RPGs) have their roots in the
     pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons games. This has produced famous titles such as
     the Baldur’s Gate series, and the hugely successful Neverwinter Nights. Other popular
     fantasy titles include Oblivion and Dungeon Siege. The latter of which was the
     inspiration for Uwe Boll’s movie, In the Name of the King.

     However, many role-playing games have moved on quite significantly from their
     traditional heroic fantasy routes, through the likes of Grand Theft Auto III and Vampire
     the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Many games have also adopted RPG elements, such as
     statistics juggling and ‘levelling up’. Heroic fantasy titles still remain very popular online,
     such as EverQuest 2 and the epic time-stealer World of Warcraft.

     (Note: RF Online screen 1. jpg and RF Online screen 2.jpg can be used either in their
     actuality or as guides for the illustration)

     Click on Bubble 4 (Question mark)

     New genres tend to be slow to emerge. One of the most recent has been the ‘God
     Games’ where the players get to control every aspect in the lives of virtual creatures,
     such as Black & White and The Sims.

     In this search for new genres, genre-blending has become very popular. As mentioned
     in relation to strategy games, many titles, particularly with first and third-person
     perspectives, have taken on role-playing features. Likewise, FPS elements such as
     viewpoint and targeting are now being used in RPGs, particularly online in titles such as
     Auto Assault. Games like Dragonshard and Warcraft III blend strategy and role-playing
     features.

     Genre-blending can often be a way of giving a title a fresh feel and a sense of
     innovation. Consequently, it makes it very appealing in the current climate. However,
     combining exactly the right elements together is as much an art as it is a science.


     1.3 Platform

     SHOT: Shot shows an Xbox, a PC, a PS2, a GameCube, a DS and PSP (clickable
     together) and an Xbox 360, PS3 and a Wii (these last three will be highlighted together
     as ‘next gen’). These could either be actual images, or the artist’s renderings.

     CAPTION: There are many platforms to develop games for, each with their own benefits
     and technological requirements. A developer will need to decide which platform or
     platforms best suit their gameplay, budget and schedule.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: Xbox, PC, PS2, GameCube, DS and PSP, Xbox 360, PS3 and a Wii.



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     Click on Xbox

     Microsoft’s Xbox has become a popular destination for PC developers looking to move
     into console development, as the two platforms have much in common. The added
     addition of Xbox Live and producing downloadable content has made this a very flexible
     platform. The addition of Xbox Live Marketplace and the proliferation of small
     downloadable games have given developers a new outlet which has helped reinvigorate
     the development community.

     Click on PC

     This is often cited as a dwindling platform, yet the popularity of downloadable games in
     particular, such as Jewel Quest and Zuma, suggests that it is anything but this. Many
     argue that the PC is much better for certain genres, especially strategy. The PC has the
     added advantage of allowing developers to regularly patch a title, maintain forums and
     communities, and also distribute online.

     Click on PS2

     The PS2 is the current world-leader in the console war, which unsurprisingly makes it a
     popular platform choice. It has not been as successful in the online space as the Xbox
     has, but the PS3 may very well change that.

     Click on GameCube

     Although it is not such a popular platform choice as the Xbox or PS2, the GameCube is
     the platform with the most die-hard fans. The GameCube has also been home to some
     of the most unique and innovative gaming experiences over the last decade, a trend that
     Nintendo has followed up with the DS and looks set to continue with the Wii.

     Click on DS/PSP

     Originally the DS was thought to be a bit of a gimmick. Now through titles like
     Nintendogs and Pac-Pix, and the new DS Lite, it’s turned into a must-have piece of
     hardware. The duel-screen, touch-sensitivity and microphone have made it a challenging
     platform to develop for, yet very high on the innovation scoreboard.

     Sony’s PSP has also helped invigorate the hand-held console market by bringing a new
     level of gaming sophistication and technology to those that prefer their gaming to be on
     the move. The ability of the PSP to play movies, TV and music, as well as games has
     made it a very desirable piece of hardware for the mainstream market.

     Click on Xbox 360/PS3/Wii

     Many developers are already going ‘next gen’. This presents new challenges in
     technology and gameplay. Next generation games require new and expensive
     development kits to produce and often larger teams.



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     Challenge Pop-up

     What’s your favourite gaming platform and why?


     1.4 Gameplay

     SHOT: Office room. Large white board with drawings of stick figures, running whiteboard
     and the LEAD ARTIST, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR and LEAD DESIGNER are sitting at a
     table in front of the CREATIVE DIRECTOR (NB We might just see the backs of their
     heads). There are shelves on one wall full of games cases. Close to the whiteboard is a
     smaller, upright flip-pad, at the top is written USPs. There are numbers and text written
     underneath, but they don’t have to be legible.

     CAPTION: In the gaming world gameplay is king.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD ARTIST, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, LEAD
     DESIGNER.

     PROPS: Large whiteboard, large flip-pad, game boxes on shelves, table, random
     notebooks/paperwork.

     Click on the whiteboard

     Establishing a title’s gameplay, the mechanics through which the player will interact with
     the game, is one of the most important parts of pre-production. This will form the core
     part of the game and be the defining experience for players.

     Links:
     www.igda.org

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf



     Click on games boxes

     Even if a developer is creating a new title within an existing series, they will still be
     expected to improve on the gameplay of the previous game. If they have an established
     fan-base, then they must be careful to strike a balance between enlivening the gaming
     experience, whilst making sure they still include the elements that attracted those fans in
     the first place.




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     Links:

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf


     Click on the CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     Not every development studio has a creative director. But this is usually a high up
     member of the team, who is responsible for defining the overall creative vision of a
     game. This spans the way a game plays, to how it looks and sounds. It is up to the
     creative director to make sure that the overall quality of the game is maintained and
     more importantly, that it’s actually fun to play.

     Links

     Creative Director Profile: tbc

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf


     Click on the USPs poster

     USP stands for Unique Selling Point. These are the elements of the game that the
     developers think will attract potential publishers and, at a later stage, potential players.
     Not all USPs are related to the gameplay, some maybe related to the technology used,
     storyline or acting talent in the game. Many games have been built around one particular
     standout USP, such as the raising and lowering of terrain in Populous, the deep story-
     telling in The Longest Journey or the artistic style of ICO.

     Links:
     http://www.dreamfall.com/
     http://www.icothegame.com/en_GB/index.htm

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf
     IM11 Manage intellectual property rights:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6571.pdf




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     Challenge Pop-up

     Think about the game you’d like to create. What would be its USPs?




     2 SCENE: Preparing to Pitch
     2.1 The design doc

     SHOT: Office interior. The CREATIVE DIRECTOR is standing up with a flip-pad covered
     with various gameplay scribbles (similar to those in scene 1.4) the LEAD DESIGNER is
     sitting down at a PC typing. There is a wad of paper next to him, with ‘Anomia Studios -
     Design Doc: Project X’ written on the front. The two characters are in the throws of
     creating the design doc.

     CAPTION: The design doc is one of the first things put together when a developer is
     preparing to pitch their game.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER

     PROPS: Monitor/keyboard, design doc, flip-pad

     Click on the CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     The creative director will need to oversee all aspects of the design doc and make sure it
     accurately portrays the game’s USPs and vision.

     Links

     Creative Director Profile: tbc

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf

     Click on the LEAD DESIGNER

     The lead designer will be responsible for putting together the design document and
     updating it when necessary, although several members of the team, such as the creative
     director and the lead artist, will have input into it.

     Links

     Standards:




Draft: Page 11 of 63
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf

     Click on the design doc

     The design doc is where all the features of a title’s gameplay and elements such as
     storyline and interface are collated. It plays a large part in the pitching process. As the
     design document grows it will often include specific level design, character, interface and
     combat design, as well as artistic influences and USPs. Some developers like to work
     from a very fixed design document, whilst others prefer the design doc to remain fluid
     throughout the development process.


     2.2 The technical design document

     SHOT: Office at night. The LEAD PROGRAMMER in sitting front of his PC. A fat
     document is on the desk beside him. Written on the front is ‘Anomia Studios -Technical
     Design Doc: Project X’. The other side of him is the design doc from the previous scene.

     CAPTION: The technical design doc explains how the mechanics of the game will work.

     CAST: LEAD PROGRAMMER

     PROPS: PC, technical design doc, design doc

     Click on the LEAD PROGRAMMER

     The lead programmer is responsible for running the programming team and will often be
     the one responsible for putting together and maintaining the technical design doc.

     Links

     Lead Programmer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4725_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM8 Determine the implementation of designs for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6568.pdf
     IM21 Program electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6581.pdf

     Click on the technical design doc

     If the design doc is summed up as ‘What we want to do’ then the technical design doc
     can be summed up as ‘how we’ll to do it.’ This is where all the technology of the game is
     defined and the gameplay mechanics are broken down. The technical design doc will be
     put together by the lead programmer and overseen by the technical director.

     Click on the design doc




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     The technical design doc will be created alongside the design doc and both will be
     needed in the upcoming pitching process.


     2.3 Scheduling

     SHOT: Internal office. The INTERNAL PRODUCER is sitting at his desk looking fraught.
     In front of him is a document marked ‘Anomia Studios 0 Project X: Schedule’. Next to
     him is a large bottle of Tippex/whiteout. On one side of him is the LEAD DESIGNER
     waving his design doc and the other side of him is the TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, also
     looking animated and pointed at the technical design doc, which is on the desk front of
     him.

     CAPTION: Scheduling defines how long the game will take to make.

     CAST: INTERNAL PRODUCER, LEAD DESIGN, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

     PROPS: Design doc, technical design doc, schedule doc.

     Click on the INTERNAL PRODUCER

     The internal producer is the member of the team responsible for drawing up the
     schedule for the game. They are also responsible for making sure that the various teams
     have everything they require to keep the game on track and will need to coordinate with
     all teams on a daily basis. They will also be supported by an assistant producer (some
     large teams have more than one) who will usually manage certain areas of the project,
     such as the programming team, or the creative aspects.

     Links

     Producer / Project Manager Job Profile:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4737_1.asp
     Assistant Producer Profile: tbc


     Click on the LEAD DESIGNER

     The LEAD DESIGNER will be responsible for making sure that the design elements of
     the game are properly spaced out across the timeline.

     Links

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf


     Click on the LEAD PROGRAMMER



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     The lead programmer will tell the internal producer how long the programming elements
     of the game will take to implement.

     Links

     Lead Programmer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4725_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM8 Determine the implementation of designs for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6568.pdf


     2.4 Budget

     SHOT: The INTERNAL PRODUCER sits at a table. There are spreadsheets in front of
     him, a large piggy bank, with some coins next to it, on one side of him and two posters
     behind him. One advertising “Total Extreme War!” and the other advertising “Total
     Extreme War II: Back to the Battle!” (NB: These are fake games!)

     CAPTION: Unfortunately, most games cost a lot of money to make. This means either
     the developer has to finance the game themselves or, more commonly, they need to find
     a publisher to fund the project.

     CAST: INTERNAL PRODUCER

     PROPS: Large piggy bank, spread sheets, posters

     Click on piggy bank

     A well-established developer is likely to have more available funds to aid in the pre-
     production phase. These will help tide them over before they get a publishing deal and
     make sure that all their staff members still get paid.

     Click on posters

     If a developer is well established and already has several games under their belt, it will
     be easier to anticipate how much a game will cost to make. However, each new game in
     a series usually costs more to make than the previous title, although the platform and
     technology used, particularly the game’s main engine, can have a big impact on this.

     Click on INTERNAL PRODUCER

     Potential publishers will be very keen to know how much a game will cost to make, so a
     rough budget must be drawn up before pitching starts. The internal producer will also be
     responsible for drawing up the games budget after taking advice from the various project




Draft: Page 14 of 63
     leads. They also have the unenviable task of making sure that everybody sticks to their
     budget during the development phase.

     Links

     Producer / Project Manager Job Profile:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4737_1.asp
     Interview with Paulina Bozek: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4356_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM8 Determine the implementation of designs for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6568.pdf
     DMI11 Negotiate and agree the design and budget:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_1562.pdf



     3 SCENE: The Publisher demo

     3.1 Software Development Kits

     SHOT: The LEAD PROGRAMMER and LEAD DESIGNER are sitting in front of a large
     HD TV and a PC. The HD TV is linked to a large dev kit (looks like an over-sized console
     with lots of wires, will find a pic to illustrate). The HD TV is displaying a screenshot of a
     game, with a graph overlaid on top of it and lots of debug text down one side. The
     monitor is displaying something basic, like figures or environment, etc.

     CAPTION: Although it’s not essential, creating a demo of a game is a great way of
     attracting potential publishers.

     CAST: LEAD PROGRAMMER, LEAD DESIGNER

     PROPS: HD TV, dev kit, PC.

     Click on the dev kit

     Console development requires special Software Development Kits (SDKs) which can be
     used to break down and create code and test stations or debug kits which can be used
     to play unfinished code. These can be purchased from Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo.
     Purchasing an adequate number of dev kits can be costly for a fledgling developer.
     However, if a developer has already developed for a particular platform they will already
     have the resources at hand to build the demo and the full game if they chose to develop
     for that platform again.

     Click on the PC




Draft: Page 15 of 63
     When developing games or the PC, Software Development Kits (SDKs) are freely
     available from Microsoft’s Direct X site. (Can include link)

     Links
     www.microsoft.com/windows/directx


     Click on the HDTV

     With the new generation of consoles supporting High Definition, HD-enabled TVs are
     standard for next-gen developers.


     3.2 Middleware

     SHOT: If possible I’d like to use a basic screenshot to illustrate this. One that can
     demonstrate 1) Physics and 2) AI (soldiers shooting etc). A HL2 or Splinter Cell: Chaos
     Theory one should do.

     Note: Middleware.jpg can be used to illustrate this scene.

     CAPTION: Middleware within the games industry is pieces of software that links
     together existing programs within a game.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Click on the soldiers

     Middleware such as AI Implants give developers access to pre-existing Artificial
     Intelligence software. This can be particularly useful for games that contain a large
     number of ideally ‘smart’ enemy units, particularly first and third person action games.

     Click on explosion (middle of the screen)

     Creating realistic physics in a game is important for creating a believable world that
     works in the way players imagine. So that means that objects need to react as they
     would in the real world. Bodies that float in the air or fall like shop-window dummies, are
     very jarring from a player’s perspective. This is where physics engines such as Havok
     come in useful. Havok, in particular, is one of the best-known physics engines and has
     been use to create over 100 games, including: Halo 2, Thief: Deadly Shadows and
     F.E.A.R.




Draft: Page 16 of 63
     3.3 Full licensed engines

     SHOT: Posh internal office. The CREATIVE DIRECTOR is shaking the hands of the
     CEO. In his hands he holds a piece of paper marked licence agreement. There are
     game boxes on shelves behind the CEO and various games-related awards on the wall.

     CAPTION: A developer may choose to use another company’s engine in order to
     develop their game.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CEO

     PROPS: Licence agreement, desk, potted palms, games on shelves, awards

     Click on games boxes

     The developer who owns the engine will have already created several established
     games using that technology. Therefore, other developers and publishers will already
     have an awareness of the capabilities of that engine and what it can do for a game.

     Click on licence agreement

     A developer will have to buy a licence to use another engine. Although this can be
     expensive upfront, it can often cut down costs later on and can be a valuable time-saver.

     Click on the CEO

     The engine’s parent company will invest a lot time and money into making sure their
     engine stays competitive within the market place, both for their own games and for
     licensing out to other companies. This can be an important revenue stream.


     3.4 Building the demo

     SHOT: The LEAD PROGRAMMER is sitting at his desk beavering away on his PC. On
     the wall behind him is a list of USPS from the flip-pad. The CREATIVE DIRECTOR is
     sitting next to him reading the Project X demo design doc.

     CAPTION: Building a demo is an important way to let publishers gauge the look and feel
     of a game. Most games pitches will include a publisher demo.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD PROGRAMMER
     PROPS: USPs flip-pad, Project X demo design doc

     Click on USPs flip-pad

     Demonstrating the game’s USPs will be an important objective of the demo. Often
     developers take one of two approaches to demo building. The first is to try and



Draft: Page 17 of 63
     demonstrate as many of the game’s features as possible. These features can get away
     with being quite raw and unfinished, because the developer will control how they are
     demoed to publishers, and can hide flaws quite easily. This is sometimes known as the
     ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach.

     The second approach is to demonstrate a few of the game’s key gameplay ideas and
     make sure they are well rounded with solid code. This has the advantage of producing
     code which is finished enough to form part of the full game.

     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     The creative director will want to make sure that the demo shows the full game in the
     best possible light.

     Links
     Creative Director Profile: tbc

     Standards
     IM8 Determine the implementation of designs for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6568.pdf

     Click on Project X demo design doc

     Like the full game, the publisher demo will also have its own design document.

     Challenge Pop-up
     Developers often release toolsets for their games after release. These are great ways of
     getting to use development tools for free!


     4 SCENE: Pitching
     4.1 Publishers

     SHOT: Large posh glass office with publisher logo on it. Moat round the outside with
     swans in it… LEAD DESIGNER and CREATIVE DIRECTOR walking up to it, carrying
     two laptops and a folder full of paperwork.

     CAPTION: Publishers provide financial backing for a game’s development and also
     organise distribution, sales and marketing
     .
     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER

     PROPS: Laptops, swans, foliage, big glass office.

     Click on Publisher HQ




Draft: Page 18 of 63
     Publishing is big business; Electronic Arts is the world’s biggest games publisher and
     has offices all over the world. As well as owning its own internal studios, it has also
     purchased several previously independent developers including Maxis who produced
     The Sims games, and Criterion in the UK.

     Although EA is probably the best known games publisher, there are many other big-
     hitters, including Ubisoft, Activision, Codemasters, Microsoft, THQ and Eidos. A
     developer may well try and pitch to as many publishers as possible, or only select those
     that have a history of publishing the type of game that they’re pitching.

     Links

     ELSPA (Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association): www.elspa.com


     4.2 Showcasing the demo

     SHOT: Internal office. The LEAD DESIGNER is sitting at his lap top showing a
     PRODUCT ACQUISITION DIRECTOR and an EXTERNAL PRODUCER the demo. The
     CREATIVE DIRECTOR is animated as if he’s talking about it to the PRODUCT
     ACQUISITION DIRECTOR and EXTERNAL PRODUCER, as the LEAD DESIGNER
     plays through.

     CAPTION: A developer will need to pitch their game to potential publishers to try and
     interest them in funding it.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER, PRODUCT ACQUISITION
     DIRECTOR, EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     PROPS: laptop, desk


     Click on PRODUCT ACQUISITION DIRECTOR

     Someone from a publisher’s acquisitions department will usually be present for the
     demo. They will help assess whether the game might be a good product for their
     portfolio and if they should consider funding it.

     Click on EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     An external producer is the link between a publisher and a developer. although they
     won’t be involved in scheduling, in the way an internal producer is, they will chiefly be
     responsible for making sure that the publisher’s interests are being met. They will also
     insure that the game’s development and relations between both parties run smoothly.

     Links




Draft: Page 19 of 63
     External Producer Profile: tbc

     Standards:
     MSC D6 Allocate and monitor the progress and quality of work in your area of
     responsibility: http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/D/d6.pdf

     Click on LEAD DESIGNER

     The lead designer will often be the team member who actively demonstrates the demo
     to publishers. They will be in control of what is shown and what isn’t, rather than the
     publisher having a free reign to play about with the demo. However if the demo is robust
     enough it can often have a very positive outcome if the publisher is allowed to get hands
     on with the game.


     4.3 Selling the sizzle

     SHOT: Main shot of the CREATIVE DIRECTOR, backs of heads to represent the
     EXTERNAL PRODUCER and PRODUCT ACQUISITION DIRECTOR. Design doc,
     technical design doc and schedule are on the desk in front of them

     CAPTION: The publisher will want to know what makes a game special and worthy of
     their backing.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, PRODUCT ACQUISITION DIRECTOR (back of head).
     EXTERNAL PRODUCER (back of head)

     PROPS: Design doc, technical design doc, schedule, desk.

     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     If the development studio has a creative director then they will often be the team
     member that talks up the game to publishers. This will involve talking through the demo
     as its being played and drawing attention to the games various features. They will also
     have to explain why their particular game will be great, what the USPs are, and what
     makes it such a good bet for the publisher to back.

     Links

     Creative Director Profile: tbc

     Click on technical Design Doc

     A publisher will want to make sure that a game has strong technology behind it. Using
     middleware or fully-licensed engines are attractive to publishers because it’s technology
     that they don’t have to pay for. On the other hand it means that a game isn’t developing
     its own engine, which could possibly be licensed out further down the line.



Draft: Page 20 of 63
     Click on Design Doc

     The design doc is one of the first things that a publisher will want to see and they will
     often want time to read and digest it before the demo takes place.

     Click on the Schedule

     Knowing the great features of a game and the technology behind it is all very well, but
     publishers will want to see evidence that the developers have thought about the
     development cycle, timing and the budget for the game.

     Challenge Pop-up
     How would you pitch your game to a potential publisher?


     4.4 Alternatives

     SHOT: Possibly use a screenshot of Darwinia for this section. The reader will have to
     highlight one of the Darwinian figures on screen to bring up the Introversion Software
     case study.

     Use Darwinia.jpg to illustrate this (Note this screenshot was taken by me, so you
     don’t need to seek permission).

     CAPTION: Not all games require the backing of a big publisher. Some developers
     choose to self-publish their own games, instead.

     CAST: None
     PROPS: None

     Click on Darwinian (green characters in the middle of the shot)

     Introversion Software

     Introversion Software is one of the best-known indie developers in the UK, with a history
     of self-publishing its own titles, despite being just a core three-man team of university
     friends. Introversion’s first game, the hacker simulation Uplink, was written while
     Introversion’s lead designer, Chris Daley, was still a student

     As well as creating their own spin for Uplink via Internet forums, Introversion initially
     started off running their own distribution, burning copies of the game and posted them
     out themselves. Eventually they decided that this wasn’t sustainable and sought
     distribution. All profits from Uplink (£250,000 over two years) were funnelled back into
     the company for their second game Darwinia, for which they found much critical acclaim,
     awards and even secured distribution over Steam.




Draft: Page 21 of 63
     Introversion Software is a perfect example of a how, given the right talented people,
     there are alternatives (and sometimes quite profitable ones) from going the traditional
     publisher route.

     Find out more about Introversion at www.introversion.co.uk



     5 SCENE: Development Begins

     5.1 The contract

     SHOT: Inside of a pub, the CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER, INTERNAL
     PRODUCER, EXTERNAL PRODUCER are sitting at a table raising their glasses in
     celebration. On the table is the contract.

     CAPTION: Once a publisher agrees to sign up a game a contract will be drawn up.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER, INTERNAL PRODUCER,
     EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     PROPS: Table, glasses and contract.

     Click on the contract

     The contract between the publisher and the developer will usually take some time to
     draw up and it will have to represent the interests of both parties. At its core the contract
     will state when development milestones have to be met and when, in turn, the
     developers can expect milestone payments.

     Links

     Standards:
     PSG 10-12 Contracts: http://www.train4publishing.co.uk/content/occstd/contracts.doc




     5.2 Updating the design docs

     SHOT: Split screen, the EXTERNAL PRODUCER is on the phone to the LEAD
     DESIGNER, they both have copies of the design doc in front of them.

     CAPTION: The first phase of development will be updating the design docs

     CAST: EXTERNAL PRODUCER, LEAD DESIGNER.



Draft: Page 22 of 63
     PROPS: Desks, phones, design docs.

     Click on EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     The external producer will want to make sure that any of the publisher’s feedback is
     incorporated into the design documents. There maybe various features of the game that
     the publisher feels need to be built upon, or various features that the publisher feels are
     missing. Alternatively a publisher might want certain elements to be taken out so they
     can better position a game in the marketplace. For example they, may want to reduce
     the amount of blood, gore or bad language in the game so they can market it to a
     younger audience.

     Links

     External Producer Profile: tbc

     Click on LEAD DESIGNER

     The lead designer will have to update the design doc in accordance with the publisher’s
     wishes. This process should be flexible on both sides. Although at the end of the day,
     the publisher is funding the project, so what they ask for, they usually get, whether the
     developer likes it or not!

     Click on design doc (just one of the two)

     The design doc will usually need to be updated several times during this process until
     both parties are happy with it.


     5.3 Expanding the team

     SHOT: Interview room. The CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER and LEAD
     PROGRAMMER sit around a table interviewing a potential employee who is waving
     his/her hands enthusiastically in the air. The three interviewers have a copy of the
     INTERVIEWEE’s (ARTIST) CV in front of them and a fat folder marked portfolio. There
     is also a PC on the table depict some basic level design.

     CAPTION: A game needs a solid team to create it. New team members may be required
     to fulfil the needs of a project, especially for next generation titles.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER, LEAD PROGRAMMER,
     INTERVIEWEE (ARTIST).

     PROPS: PC, table, portfolio, CV

     Click on INTERVIEWEE (ARTIST)




Draft: Page 23 of 63
     A potential employee may come with lots of experience, which is a desirable commodity.
     But any successful developer will attract attention from graduates. This can also be
     desirable because these candidates can be trained up to meet a developer’s specific
     needs. There are many games related university courses around the UK that provide
     great training grounds for those wishing to break into the industry.

     As well as training students in programming and design there are also courses
     specifically designed for games artists. Although such qualifications are still relatively
     new, they are gaining a lot of interest amongst developers. Some courses are even
     supported by local developers who come in regularly to speak to students, help in the
     design of the study programme and even offer students work placements, so they gain
     experience of working on the front-lines.

     Links

     Skillset recommends four industry endorsed courses – to find out more about them visit:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/qualifications/article_4336_1.asp

     Games companies might also run internship programs – read about EA’s Academy
     initiative here: http://www.skillset.org/games/qualifications/article_4406_1.asp

     Click on Portfolio

     Any would-be developer will need a strong portfolio. For an artist this will mean
     demonstrating all the areas of art they are proficient in. For a game designer this may
     mean showing examples of level design and document creation.

     Links
     Artist Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4733_1.asp
     Game Designer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4724_1.asp

     Click on PC

     Programmers and level designers may well be expected to present examples of their
     skills in a demo-style form that developers can play and evaluate.

     Programmer Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4727_1.asp
     Level Editor Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4736_1.asp

     CV
     For advice on finding work in the games industry visit our careers section on the skill set
     website: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_3738_1.asp

     Challenge Pop-up

     How many different positions on a game development team can you think of?




Draft: Page 24 of 63
     5.4 Milestones

     SHOT: This scene mirrors the ‘Scheduling’ scene slightly. The INTERNAL PRODUCER
     is sitting at his desk with a document labelled ‘Milestone Schedule’ in front of him/her.
     Two thought bubbles are coming out of the INTERNAL PRODUCER’s head one with the
     LEAD DESIGNER in and one with the LEAD PROGRAMMER in.

     CAPTION: Milestones are regular points in development when section of the game will
     be completed and delivered to the publisher for evaluation and payment.

     CAST: LEAD DESIGNER, LEAD PROGRAMMER, INTERNAL PRODUCER.

     PROPS: Desk, milestone schedule

     Click on INTERNAL PRODUCER

     Depending on how comprehensive the initial scheduling has been rough milestones may
     have already been drawn up by the internal producer as part of the publisher pitch. If not
     then the internal producer will have to work with the team and the external producer to
     produce a workable milestone schedule.

     Links

     Producer / Project Manager Job Profile:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4737_1.asp
     Standards:
     MSC F1 Manage a project: http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/F/f1.pdf

     Click on LEAD DESIGNER

     The design team will have their own specific milestones which will revolve around the
     implementation of various design features into the game. This would include features
     such as the interface, individual levels, script and lighting.

     Click on LEAD PROGRAMMER

     The schedule will also contain programming milestones, such as the construction of the
     full engine and the toolset. Making sure the programming team sticks to their schedule
     will be the job of the lead programmer, over seen by the technical director.
     The lead programmer may also be the member of the team responsible for pulling
     together daily builds of the game. These are the latest functional versions of the game
     that are compiled and tested on a daily basis, from a repository (such as Alienbrain or
     Perforce) in which the various teams pool their assets.

     Links



Draft: Page 25 of 63
     Lead Programmer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4725_1.asp
     Alienbrain
     Perforce


     Standards:
     MSC D6 Allocate and monitor the progress and quality of work in your area of
     responsibility: http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/D/d6.pdf

     Click on Milestone Schedule

     Milestones are usually spaces at 4 week intervals. However, as the last week of the 4
     week block will be spent entirely working towards an upcoming milestone, and the first
     week of the block spent responding to feedback on the previous milestone, 6 week
     milestones are gradually becoming more commonplace.


     6 SCENE: Design
     6.1 Game Designer

     SHOT: A JUNIOR DESIGNER is sitting at their PC using Sketch-up (this doesn’t have to
     be that clear, can provide an image for guidance). The design doc is beside them.

     CAPTION: Game designers are responsible for making sure they game feels right to
     play.

     PROPS: PC, game design doc

     Click on GAME DESIGNER

     The number of designers in a team will vary depending on the size of the project. They
     are responsible for implementing the design features on a day-to-day basis. A GAME
     DESIGNER will plan and define all the elements and components of a game: its setting,
     structure, rules, story flow, characters, the objects, props, vehicles, and devices
     available to the characters; interface design and modes of play.

     Links
     Game Designer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4724_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf


     Click on game design doc




Draft: Page 26 of 63
     The game designer will follow the elements of a game’s design as set out in the design
     doc. Ideally this document will remain flexible throughout the development cycle so that
     ideas and features can be filtered in and out where necessary.

     6.1 The Lead Designer
     SHOT: Head shot of the LEAD DESIGNER (Note he/she has been seen in several
     scenes prior to this, but this is the first time we will get more in-depth details about their
     job.

     CAPTION: The lead designer runs the design team.

     PROPS: None

     Click on LEAD DESIGNER

     The lead designer is one of the most important team members as they are responsible
     for creating the fundamental gameplay mechanics, from the way a game feels to play to
     how the world works and characters move on screen. A large part of their job is making
     sure that everyone sticks to the vision of the game as laid out by the creative director at
     the start of the project. If there is no creative director on a project then the lead designer
     may well be the original, even the sole, architect of this vision.

     The lead designer will usually have a lot of experience behind them and titles under their
     belt and will usually have worked their way up from being a junior designer. If a
     development studio is working on more than one game at a time then they will have one
     lead designer per project.

     The lead designer is also responsible for running the design team and making sure that
     all the design milestones are met and feedback from the publisher is properly applied.


     6.3 Level design

     SHOT: Image from Sketch Up (this is what Ninja Theory used for basic level design in
     Heavenly Sword). Note I took the shot SketchUp1 from the demo version of the game,
     though it’s not that sharp. This can be used without permission, though it might be worth
     seeing if you can source a shot that’s a little more interesting. Alternatively you could
     draw an image of Sketch Up.

     CAPTION: A large part of designing a game revolves around the creation of levels and
     the gameplay mechanics contained within them.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None




Draft: Page 27 of 63
     Note: It doesn’t matter on what part of the image these appear, as long as they appear!

     Info 1

     Level design forms a significant part of a game designer’s workload. As part of the
     pitching process the leads may have already sketched out an overview of each game
     level; mission structures, puzzles, characters, enemies etc. As production continues,
     these levels will need to be fully fleshed out.

     Info 2

     When it comes to physically building the levels then a level designer will usually sketch
     out the levels in 2d or sometimes use a programme such as Sketch-Up to plan 3d
     versions of the levels. Levels are then built by designers in a very basic way using a tool
     set such as 3D Max or Maya. These allow the geometry of the world to be constructed
     and any items, puzzles and enemies to be inserted. The levels are then passed on to the
     art team who make them look beautiful!

     Some designers choose to specialise in these particular level editing skills.

     Links
     Level Editor Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4736_1.asp


     6.4 Gameplay mechanics

     SHOT: The GAME DESIGNER is sitting in front of his/her PC playing through a section
     of the game. Next to them is a large notepad with notes written on it such as ‘too hard’,
     ‘not long enough’ ‘too easy’.

     CAPTION: Balancing the gameplay mechanics is very important for creating the right
     gaming experience.

     CAST: GAME DESIGNER

     PROPS: PC, notepad

     Click on the GAME DESIGNER

     Game designers will have to spend a lot of time making sure the game is properly
     balanced. This will insure that the game is as fun to play as possible.

     Links
     Game Designer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4724_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM20 Design electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6580.pdf




Draft: Page 28 of 63
     Click on notepad

     Part of a game designer’s job is developing a sense for what feels right and is fun to
     play. This skill is based mainly on experienced intuition and it’s something a designer is
     constantly improving with each game they work on. This makes it particularly important
     for designers to have played, and to continue play, a wide variety of games.

     Click on the PC

     Every number in the game will need to be checked and double checked by the design
     team. This means things like health points, experience, weapon power, enemy strength
     and ammo. These will need rigorous testing and adjustment until they feel right.


     7 SCENE: The Story

     7.1 Building the bones

     SHOT: The CREATIVE DIRECTOR is sitting at a desk piled high with books. In front of
     him is a document marked ‘Anomia Studios – Project X story doc.

     CAPTION: A good story can help enhance gameplay and create a more immersive
     experience for players.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     PROPS: Desk, books, story doc

     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     The creative director usually put the basic story together along with other members of
     the team. They will then produce a story document which will detail the core storyline,
     themes and progression of the main character or characters.

     Links

     Creative Director Profile: tbc

     Standards:
     IM9 Provide creative and strategic direction for interactive media projects:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6569.pdf

     Click on Books




Draft: Page 29 of 63
     The inspiration for a game’s storyline and missions can come from many places. If a
     game is based upon historical, mythological or military ideas, in particular, then the
     subject will need to be widely researched. This will aid both the storyline and also help
     produce gameplay and artistic themes and ideas.

     Click on Project X Story design doc

     Many games, although not all, have a story to them. Most first and third person action
     adventure games are often spun off an initial story idea. The main story elements of a
     game will often be incorporated into the main design doc. But when the storyline forms
     an important part of the gaming experience, then a separate story document will often be
     produced. This can be built upon and fleshed out by a professional writer.


     7.2 The write stuff

     SHOT: Headshot of the WRITER

     CAPTION: A professional writer will bring a game’s storyline and characters to life.

     CAST: WRITER

     PROPS: None

     Click on the WRITER

     If a development studio has a history of creating story-driven games, then they may
     have an in-house writer as part of their team, although this is still quite an unusual
     position. It is becoming more common place for a studio to hire a professional writer to
     work on a particular project, on a contractual basis. A writer maybe called upon to work
     on a game at its very conception and help the creative director and lead designer create
     the game world, missions, story and characters.

     Although game writing is a relatively new specialisation, both the Writers’ Guild of
     America and the Writers Guild of Great Britain accept and represent the interests of
     games writers.

     Links
     www.writersguild.org.uk

     Standards:
     IM15 Write and edit copy for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6575.pdf
     IM23 Create narrative scripts for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6583.pdf




Draft: Page 30 of 63
     7.3 Fleshing out the story

     SHOT: The WRITER and the CREATIVE DIRECTOR sitting together. They have the
     story doc, the script and another doc entitled ‘Anomia Studios – Project X - Story bible’ in
     front of them.

     CAPTION: The writer will work with the rest of the team to flesh out the story and
     narrative elements of the game.

     CAST: WRITER and CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     PROPS: Design doc, script, story bible, table.

     Click on WRITER

     Once a writer is brought onboard, their first task will be to work on fleshing out the basic
     storyline of the game. This will include building up profiles of the main characters, their
     backstory and relationships. They will also make sure that the story makes narrative
     sense and the characters and world are believable.

     In an ideal scenario, a writer will work on every aspect of the narrative and story sides of
     the game. This will include writing the main script for the game, including any cut-scenes
     (film-like sections which usual take place in-between gameplay) and also ambient
     dialogue which helps colour the world. A writer may also be called upon to work on the
     game’s manual or help with the localisation process.

     Links



     Standards:
     IM15 Write and edit copy for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6575.pdf
     IM23 Create narrative scripts for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6583.pdf


     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     The writer will often work directly with the creative director and the lead designer. It is
     important that the story works within the context of the gameplay and technological
     constraints of the game.

     Click on Story Doc




Draft: Page 31 of 63
     The writer will flesh out and update the game’s main story document.

     Click on Story bible

     If a game is very story-driven, with a large and complex world then a story bible maybe
     required. This is a constantly-updated document which details all aspects of the game
     world from locations and character details, even through to the political and socio-
     economic make-up. The story bible will be a constant source of reference for the rest of
     the team and they are often vitally important when creating a story-driven franchise.

     Challenge Pop-up
     What would be the story behind your dream game? Would you like it to be heavily story-
     driven such as Dreamfall: the Longest Journey or Fahrenheit, or would you want
     something more subtle that complimented the gameplay, such as Half-Life 2?


     7.4 Adding Drama

     SHOT: Scene of ACTOR in a mo-cap suit (can provide a picture if needed) being
     directed by the DRAMATIC DIRECTOR, who is holding the script. The CREATIVE
     DIRECTOR and the WRITER are sitting nearby.

     (Alternative: We could just use a still of Andy’s mocap session as the King in Heavenly
     Sword which was part of the E3 Trailer, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to get permission
     as it’s all over the Net at the mo)

     CAPTION: Adding extra drama can enliven the gaming experience and may require the
     services of a dramatic director.

     CAST: WRITER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ACTOR and DRAMATIC DIRECTOR.

     PROPS: Script

     Click on DRAMATIC DIRECTOR

     The dramatic director is another unusual position within a game development team, but
     as storylines become more complicated and technology improves, they are likely to
     become much more sought after. They often bring expertise from a traditional acting or
     directing background. Lord of the Rings and King Kong actor Andy Serkis is the dramatic
     director for Sony’s PS3 title Heavenly Sword.

     Click on ACTOR

     Many games use real actors to voice characters. However, the growing use of motion-
     capture technology mean that actors have more opportunity to physically, as well as
     vocally, act a part. The dramatic and creative directors will also take part in casting
     actors for various roles within the game.




Draft: Page 32 of 63
     Click on script

     The dramatic director will help bring an extra element of drama to a game’s script and
     make sure that it’s enhanced through the performances of the actors.



     8 SCENE: Getting Arty

     8.1 Inspiration

     SHOT: The LEAD ARTIST and the ARTIST are walking around a museum. The LEAD
     ARTIST is holding a book under his arm. The ARTIST is carrying a note pad with
     sketches on it. And the TECHNICAL ARTIST is standing nearby. They are both in the
     Japanese section of the museum and there are several large suits of oriental armour on
     display.

     CAPTION: Although the artistic direction of a game will be defined early on, its
     implementation will continue through out the development cycle.

     CAST: LEAD ARTIST, ARTIST

     PROPS: Book, suits of oriental armour, sketchpad

     Click on the LEAD ARTIST

     The Lead Artist will control the artistic direction and decide how it will be represented in
     the game. This ranges from large and complex elements such as the environments,
     buildings and characters, right down to textures and patterns.

     Lead Artist Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4734_1.asp
     Interview with Alex Laurent: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4407_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM25 Create wire-frame models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6585.pdf
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf
     MSC D6 Allocate and monitor the progress and quality of work in your area of
     responsibility: http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/D/d6.pdf

     Click on the ARTIST




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     The artist is responsible for implementing the artistic vision into the game. Specialisation
     is common, and sought after, in the games art field, so an artist might choose to
     specialise in areas such as concept art or textures.

     Links
     Artist Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4733_1.asp
     Skillset currently recommends two courses focusing specifically on games art:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/qualifications/article_4336_1.asp


     Standards
     IM25 Create wire-frame models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6585.pdf
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf

     Click on the TECHNICAL ARTIST

     A technical artist's job is quite varied as they are a bridge between the art and
     programming teams. Their job can include deciding which art tools and packages the art
     team should use, making sure all the artistic design meets the specifications of the
     game’s engine, ensuring the production flow of the art team runs smoothly, as well as
     creating art assets for the game and sometimes even lighting levels.

     Links
     Technical Artist Job Profile: (Note: Link needs to be included)

     Click on the book

     As with film set designers, the art team will spend a lot of time researching various art
     directions for the game. As well as consulting books, the internet, films and novels, this
     may well involving to real world locations like museums, castles and exhibitions.

     Whilst this might sound quite glamourous, smaller aspect of a game’s artistic design
     such as signposts, pylons and road markings will need to be researched as well.
     Whilst many of the artistic influences will be included in the main design doc, a separate
     art design doc, or artistic bible may be created for use throughout the design process.

     Click on the suits of armour

     If a game has a particular historical setting then it will be necessary to study the period,
     even down to styles of armour and weaponry.

     Click on the notepad

     Concept art is art created for the specific purpose of providing a visual reference of art
     assets intended for the game. Concept art can be extremely rough and sketchy or very




Draft: Page 34 of 63
     polished. Likewise, it can be either very rigid and specific, or merely a vague look-and-
     feel reference to help influence the modellers or level designers.

     Challenge Pop-up

     Think of your top 3 games and list what you think might have been their artistic
     influences.


     8.2 3D Modelling

     SHOT: A 3D MODELLER is sitting at a PC, modelling a character in 3d Max or Maya
     (can use Maya_screenshot1.jpg) from a reference piece of concept art which is laid out
     in sketches beside him.

     CAPTION: 3D modelling is creating three-dimensional objects for use in the game.

     CAST: 3D MODELLER

     PROPS: PC, desk

     Click on the Concept art

     A Concept Artist will create a piece of concept art that the 3D Modeller uses as a visual
     reference from which to bring the two-dimensional piece of concept art to life in the
     game. An example of a 3D model would be a character, a weapon, or a piece of
     furniture. 3D Modellers are divided into Character Artists, who work on the characters
     and monsters in the game, and Environmental Artists who will make objects like tables,
     lamps, doors, cars etc. An artist might choose this particular discipline if they prefer
     creating more functional art

     Click on the on-screen figure

     An artist prime considerations during modelling are the strength of the character's
     silhouette, constructing the model so its joints can flex and bend realistically, whether or
     not it has the appropriate level of detail for the game (more detail equates to a slower
     game), and if it matches the overall visual style of the game. The ample cleavage of Lara
     Croft, one of the games industry’s most iconic figures, was rumoured to come from a
     modeller’s mouse slip that was never corrected.

     Links
     http://polycount.com
     3D Modeller (Animation) Job Profile:
     http://www.skillset.org/animation/careers/3D_computer/article_4637_1.asp

     Standards




Draft: Page 35 of 63
     IM25 Create wire-frame models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6585.pdf
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf


     8.3 Animation

     SHOT: Split scene showing character model on one side and the actually character in
     the game on the other. This will be difficult to get shots for, so it might be best if the artist
     just interprets it.

     CAPTION: Animation is the process of taking a 3D object, putting a virtual skeleton
     inside it, and then animating that skeleton to give the object movement and life.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Click on character model

     Character and environmental artists use programmes like 3D Max and Maya to create a
     3D models. The same programmes are then used to animate them. It may sound like
     programming, but it’s actually an art specialisation, and those who animate the
     characters will not usually be the same people who have created them in 3D.

     Links

     Artist Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4733_1.asp

     Standards
     IM25 Create wire-frame models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6585.pdf
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf


     Click on character in game

     Before a 3D object can be animated, it must first be 'rigged,' by an animator. This
     process involves carefully assigning all the vertices in the object to one or more of the
     bones in its virtual skeleton. For example, when you bend your character's arm at the
     elbow, you don't want the vertices on the back of his head to fly out into space.

     Links

     Animator Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4731_1.asp




Draft: Page 36 of 63
     8.4 Textures

     SHOT: Ideally we need a screenshot for this which shows several different textures at
     work…ideally things like stone, wood, pipework, skin etc. Note texturesscreen1.jog can
     be used).

     CAPTION: Textures are patterns and effects that are applied to all objects in the game
     to make them appear more realistic.

     CAST: None
     PROPS: None

     Click on texture 1 – The stonewall

     Texture Artists create flat, two-dimensional textures that are then applied to 3D objects
     in the game from furniture, to characters to the environment, and also flat surfaces, such
     as walls and floors.

     Sometimes a Texture Artist will be a specialised position on a team, and other times a
     3D Modeller also works on textures. It’s not uncommon for Texture Artists to also work
     on the user interface as well and create the look for fonts, text, icons etc.

     Links



     Standards
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf


     Click on texture 2 – The main gun (the one that the player is holding)

     Before an object can be properly textured, it needs to be UV mapped in a 3D package
     (U and V are the coordinates of the model’s surface.) This means applying mapping co-
     ordinates in order to specify which part of the final texture will be applied to each part of
     the model. The model is then unwrapped or skinned.

     This is the act of unwrapping a representation of the 3D model onto a flat surface, rather
     like a Mercator projection of the Earth. It can be done in the 3D package itself, or
     through 3rd party plug-ins such as Texporter. The Texture Artist then uses a package
     like Photoshop or Painter to paint the texture on this flattened version of the 3D model.

     Links




Draft: Page 37 of 63
     Standards
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf


     Click on texture 3 – The face of the soldier nearest the player.

     After the painted texture is finished it is taken into a 3D package and wrapped back onto
     the 3D model, the UVs are then tweaked to make sure the texture fits properly without
     any visible seams. The material the object consists of can be adjusted within the 3D
     package in order to create extra realism, such as a translucency to a character’s skin.

     Links



     Standards
     IM26 Texture models for 3D animation:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6586.pdf



     9 SCENE: Audio Life
     9.1 Sound and Music

     SHOT: Basic screenshot from a game, preferably a first person shooter. We need
     something that shows enemies, environment and weapons so that environmental sound,
     weapon sound effects and enemy dialogue (barks) can be highlighted.
     Note: Sound&music1.jpg can be used.

     CAPTION: Sound and music will help immerse players in the game world.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Click on weapons

     Sound effects play an important part in maintaining the realism of a game. Many
     different versions of the effects will be created and put into a pool of assets which will
     then be spread across the game.

     Click on enemy soldier




Draft: Page 38 of 63
     Enemy characters will often have their own dialogue, even if they are just short lines
     reacting to the actions of a player, which are known as ‘barks’. These will all have to be
     recorded by voice actors during the production process.

     Click on tree

     The impact of environment sound effects can often be underestimated. But they can
     have an enormous impact in creating different moods for each section of the game.

     Challenge Pop-up
     Next time you’re playing a game play close attention to the music and sound effects,
     they probably have much more of an impact on your gaming experience than you might
     first imagine.


     9.2 The Audio team

     SHOT: The AUDIO DIRECTOR sits in his own little sound proof room. He has a PC in
     front of him showing a scene from the game in a small screen and below it the visual
     representation of a sound file. Next to him sits the SOUND DESIGNER and a large
     microphone stand.

     CAPTION: The Audio team is usually one of the smallest teams in a development
     studio, but very specialised.

     CAST: AUDIO DIRECTOR, SOUND PROGRAMMER
     PROPS: PC, desk, chairs, microphone stand.

     Click on AUDIO DIRECTOR

     The audio team is run by the audio director, sometimes known as the audio lead.
     Their job is very much like a microcosm of many other jobs in a development studio
     (such as artist, designer, programmer and producer) rolled into one. The audio director
     is responsible for assessing and directing what sound and music are required in the
     game, what middleware tools maybe needed to produce it and overseeing how it’s
     actually applied.

     Links

     Audio Director Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4723_1.asp
     John Broomhall interview: http://www.skillset.org/games/business/article_4405_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM27 Create sound effects for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6587.pdf




Draft: Page 39 of 63
     IM28 Create music for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6588.pdf

     Click on SOUND DESIGNER

     The sound designer has to look at all the visual aspects of the game and decide what
     sound or music might be appropriate. They then have to implement sound and music
     into the game, wherever and whenever it’s needed.

     Links



     Standards:
     IM27 Create sound effects for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6587.pdf
     IM28 Create music for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6588.pdf



     9.3 Voicing the game

     SHOT: In voice recording studio. A VOICE ACTOR is wearing headphones and
     speaking into a large mic. The actor has a copy of the script in front of him. The AUDIO
     DIRECTOR is sitting in the recording booth in front of lots of panels of buttons, dials and
     gauges.

     CAPTION: If dialogue is spoken out-loud in a game, then voice actors will be hired to
     provide vocal talent.

     CAST: VOICE ACTOR, AUDIO DIRECTOR

     PROPS: Headphones, microphone, script, recording booth panels.

     Click on VOICE ACTOR

     Use of voice actors is very common and some talent agencies specialise in sourcing
     voice actors for videogames. Radio actors in particular tend to be popular choices, as
     they are skilled with acting through their voice alone. However, with the increase of
     motion-capture technology actors are getting the chance to act as well as voice their
     parts. Many of the top selling games are looking towards Hollywood for their vocal talent.
     But although this can add extra depth and authenticity to a game, big Hollywood actors
     come with big price tags and a tendency to demand first class travel costs!

     Click on AUDIO DIRECTOR




Draft: Page 40 of 63
     The audio director is usually in charge of overseeing the voice recording session, unless
     the company has hired an outside agency to handle this. Either way, the audio director
     will be present. Some games writers also have experience in vocal directing and can be
     useful in this area.

     Links

     Audio Director Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4723_1.asp
     John Broomhall interview: http://www.skillset.org/games/business/article_4405_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM27 Create sound effects for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6587.pdf
     IM28 Create music for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6588.pdf


     Click on script

     The actors will work from the main script and also record other effects such as grunts,
     groans, screams and even more obscure sounds like drowning noises.


     Pop-up Challenge
     How many famous actors have you heard voicing characters in videogames?



     9.4 Outsourcing

     SHOT: A MUSICIAN sitting in his own sound studio, at a keyboard, recording a second
     of music for the game. Beside him are the script and the game design doc.

     CAPTION: Due to its size the audio team often use a lot of outsourcing resources.

     CAST: MUSICIAN
     PROPS: Keyboard, sound recording equipment etc.

     Click on MUSICIAN

     Some developers have their own musical director in-house, but this is pretty rare. Often
     the audio director will outsource the music-related portions of the game to an
     experienced composer. If a developer is not using middleware or bespoke technology to
     create sound effects, then these may also be outsourced, as well.

     Click on Game design doc




Draft: Page 41 of 63
     Composing music for a game is similar to composing music for a film; only the composer
     must have a strong awareness of gameplay structure. They will work from the game
     design doc to get a feel for the different sections of the game and what music maybe
     suitable to match the gameplay and mood.

     Click on Script

     The script will give a composer an insight into the story portion of the game and they
     may also be required to provide music for any cut-scenes and FMVs that maybe
     included.

     10 SCENE: Programming
     10.1 The programming team

     SHOT: The LEAD PROGRAMMER sits at a large white-board drawing a flowchart.
     Beside him stands the TECHNICAL DIRECTOR and a PROGRAMMER. On the other
     side of him sits ANOTHER PROGRAMMER coding on a PC.

     CAPTION: The programming team are responsible for implementing the technology that
     powers the gaming experience.

     CAST: LEAD PROGRAMMER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, PROGRAMMER, ANOTHER
     PROGRAMMER

     PROPS: Whit-board, technical design doc, PC.

     Click on LEAD PROGRAMMER

     Like the lead designer, the lead programmer is a high-up, extremely skilled position on
     the team. The first part of a lead programmer’s role is to work with the design
     department to find a ways to make what features the designers want in the game to
     actually work, or find suitable alternative. They also oversee the underlying software
     architecture of the game (be it created from scratch or licensed from another company)
     which is a mixture of programming and managerial duties.

     Links

     Lead Programmer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4725_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM21 Program electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6581.pdf
     MSC D5 Allocate and check work in your team:
     http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/D/d5.pdf

     Click on TECHNICAL DIRECTOR




Draft: Page 42 of 63
     The technical director is the most senior position on the programming team. Not only dos
     a technical director oversee what the lead programmer is doing, but they are also
     responsible for issues like coding standards, build processes, what tools will be used
     and vetting third party software. The lead programmer will be responsible for developing
     the game under these constraints.

     Links



     Standards:
     IM8 Determine the implementation of designs for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6568.pdf
     MSC D6 Allocate and monitor the progress and quality of work in your area of
     responsibility: http://msc.managers.org.uk/pdfs/D/d6.pdf



     Click on PROGRAMMER

     Programmers are the members of the team responsible for designing and writing the
     code that controls all aspects of the game. They also implement code from existing code
     libraries that the development studio might own, and also any third party code being
     used for the project.

     Usually programmers are divided into different specialisation roles: tools, engine,
     graphics and audio; these can be subdivided further, for example engine programmers
     might work on combat, interfaces, or AI. As well as working heavily with the designers,
     programmers also have to liaise quite frequently with the game’s artists and testers.

     Links

     Programmer Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4727_1.asp

     Standards:
     IM21 Program electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6581.pdf



     Click on white-board/flow chart

     Programming flow charts and diagrams are often used to represent code queues or
     different data storage methods. Alternatively they may be used to illustrate the flow of
     code through a certain feature of the game, for example the character creation process.




Draft: Page 43 of 63
     10.2 The Engine

     SHOT: Screenshot from the Unreal or Steam engine would work best here.
     Something along these lines http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050719/unreal-
     engine-3.jpg
     Note Thief_xbox.jpg can be used for this.

     CAPTION: The engine is the main piece of software responsible for powering the game.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Note: Not completely sure what the screenshot will look like yet, but this is the info that
     needs to be conveyed.

     Click on Info 1 – Enemy soldier

     The engine is responsible for powering the core functionality of a game, including
     aspects like graphics rendering, physics, sound animation and A.I.

     Click on Info 2 – Street lamp in background

     If a game is using a pre-existing engine then this cuts down on the workload of the
     programming team depending on how much the engine code needs to be adjusted to
     meet the requirements of the game. Polish developers Cd Projekt used Bioware’s
     Aurora engine for their RPG The Witcher. However, as the developers did not need the
     tile-set rendering capacity of the engine (which was originally included in order to allow
     players to build their own levels for the game) they stripped it out and built upon the
     code. The results were visuals that were almost entirely different from those in the
     original engine.


     10.3 Interface

     SHOT: We need a screenshot with a fairly detailed interface. This could either be for an
     RPG, RTS or FPS. The contents of the screenshot will dictate the click on points…
     things like ‘health’ ‘inventory’ ‘hot keys’ ‘HUD’ etc

     CAPTION: The interface is what the game uses to communicate information to the
     player and in turn part of what the player uses to control the game

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Note: Interfacescreen1.jpg can be used for this.



Draft: Page 44 of 63
     Info 1 – Click on the map in the upper right-hand corner.

     Programming the interface is a good example of how the programming team must work
     with the design team, the art team and the testing team.

     Links



     Standards:
     IM4 Prepare user interface assets for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6564.pdf
     IM5 Design user interfaces for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6565.pdf



     Info2 – Click on the ammo indicator (bottom right-hand corner)

     The designers will have to tell the programmers what they want the interface to convey:
     health, ammo level etc. Along side that programmers will have already implemented
     basic code to control the components for interfaces such as buttons, 2D/3D image
     display, drop-down menus, slide bars etc.

     Links



     Standards:
     IM4 Prepare user interface assets for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6564.pdf
     IM5 Design user interfaces for interactive media products:
     http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6565.pdf


     Info 3 – Click on the health bar, bottom left-hand corner.

     Once the programming and design are happily entwined, this then goes to the art team
     for laying-out and back to the programmers to code it properly into the engine.
     Testers will then test the code to see if it’s possible for the player to break or exploit the
     game through the interface. They’ll then report back to the programmers.

     Pop-up Challenge
     Think about how the interface in your ideal game will look and function.




Draft: Page 45 of 63
     10.4 Tools

     SHOT: Use 3D Max.jpg

     CAPTION: Tools are software applications used to create content in all parts of the
     game.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Click on Info 1 – Car image top left-hand corner.

     Programmers create tools that allow designers to actually build content in, for example,
     terrain and level editors, quest editors or conversation tree builders.

     Click on info 2 – Car, bottom left hand corner.

     Pipeline tools are tools that used to convert data from one format to another ready for
     the game to load. Often programmes like SQL databases (Microsoft’s free database
     software) sit in the back ground.

     Click on Info 3 – Coloured police car, bottom right-hand corner.

     Process tools, as the name would suggest are tools that track problems in the game
     such as bugs and errors. These are very useful for programmers when they are trying to
     work out what particular piece of code has caused the game to crash.


     11 SCENE: Production

     11.1 The full demo

     SHOT: Interior, bedroom. A YOUNG MAN is sitting in front of a PC. A games magazine
     is on the desk beside him with a DVD stuck to the front of it.

     CAPTION: An important part of the production schedule is producing a full demo of the
     game.

     CAST: YOUNG MAN

     PROPS: PC, Games magazine with DVD on the front.

     Click on the monitor




Draft: Page 46 of 63
     Most PC demos will be available to download online and Xbox Live also offers this
     service for Xbox demos. The demo will need to be built into the production schedule and
     specific members of the team will be given the task of producing the demo. This demo
     will be much more polished then the publisher demo and will contain a small section of
     the game. Most demos give players between 30 minutes to two hours of play time.

     Click on the DVD

     Many demos are cover-mounted on the front of games magazines on DVDs and CD.
     This is a very good way of getting coverage for a game and magazines often compete
     for the exclusive rights to cover-mount a demo, several weeks before it is available
     anywhere else. A cover-mounted demo will also usually be accompanied by coverage in
     the magazine. This will usually give a mini evaluation of the demo and provide hints/tips
     and sometimes controls.


     11.2 Alpha and Beta

     SHOT: Two discs one marked ‘Alpha’ and one marked ‘Beta’

     CAPTION: Towards the end of production the game will enter the alpha and beta
     phases.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: 2 Discs

     Click on Alpha disc

     The alpha phase of a title’s development cycle is when the game is feature complete.
     Everything the developers have planned to be in the game has been implemented. Not
     everything will be finished or polished, but it will be present in some form.

     Click on Beta disc

     Beta is often one month apart from alpha, although it may be more depending on how
     much work the features will take to bring them up to scratch. At the beta stage the game
     will be almost finished aside from testing and polishing. It’s often at this stage that the
     game will be shown to press for previews, although this can happen at any time during
     the production cycle. The beta phase is usually when the games manual is produced
     and the localisation process starts.


     11.3 Crunching




Draft: Page 47 of 63
     SHOT: Office at night. Several team members are sitting working at their PCs. Lots of
     coffee cups and pizza/take-away boxes are strew around.

     CAPTION: When the game nears completing, the team may be required to work long
     hours to make sure the game hits its milestones. This is known as crunching.

     CAST: General team members (doesn’t have to be specific characters.)

     PROPS: PCs, coffee cups, pizza/take-away boxes

     Click on team member 1

     Crunching can take place at any stage during the production cycle, although it is most
     common towards the end. They will often be periods of mini crunching leading up to
     important milestones.

     Click on team member 2

     The amount of crunching time required on a project can vary from developer to
     developer. A project needs to be properly planned and scheduled to minimise crunch-
     time, although most developers see crunching as an unfortunate necessity of their jobs.

     Links:

     For more information on working practises visit http://www.bectu.org.uk/games/

     Click on pizza/take away boxes

     It’s in a studio’s interest to keep their staff as comfortable as possible during crunch-
     time. Studios will often have vending machines, kitchen and sometimes even beds and
     showers to help staff get by. Larger studios may have free or low-cost canteens and
     recreation rooms.


     11.4 The Final Master

     SHOT: The CREATIVE DIRECTOR is shown sunning himself on a sun-lounger in a
     tropical setting, he’s holding a big drink and there’s a laptop beside him.

     CAPTION: Once the game is finished the developers can start to relax

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     PROPS: sun-lounger, big drink, laptop

     Click on the CREATIVE DIRECTOR




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     After the game has passed the alpha and beta phases a final master of the game will be
     produced which will be sent to the relevant publisher for publisher QA testing (this is not
     the same as internal QA testing, which takes place throughout the development cycle).
     The Publisher’s QA testing makes sure that the game ticks all the boxes it set out to and
     has no bugs. After this process is complete the game then goes ‘gold’ and is sent out for
     distribution and the developers can take a well-deserve rest!

     Click on the laptop

     Certain team members will need to make sure they keep in touch with their publisher just
     in case there are any questions or issues that need resolving. There may also be
     members of the team still working on localization at this point or may even have started
     work on the sequel!


     12 SCENE: Pre-release

     12.1 Testing

     SHOT: Two QA TESTERS are sitting in the testing room playing the game. They are
     both sitting on beanbags with notepads and pens next to them.

     CAPTION: Testing happens throughout the development cycle and makes sure that the
     game runs smoothly and is bug free.

     CAST: Two QA TESTERS

     PROPS: 2 consoles, 2 beanbags, notepads and pens.

     Click on QA TESTER 1

     The testers make sure that all aspects of the game are finished to as good a standard as
     possible in the available timeframe. They are also responsible for checking that the
     developer’s databases elements, such as scripts, playability, audio and mo-cap is easily
     to access and navigate through, and all links work.

     Links

     QA Tester Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4729_1.asp
     Testing is often a good starting point in the games industry – read about Sony’s QA
     program: tbc or Skillset’s Pilot QA Apprenticeship:
     http://www.skillset.org/games/business/article_4243_1.asp


     Standards:




Draft: Page 49 of 63
     IM22 Test electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6582.pdf


     Click on QA TESTER 2

     The publisher will have their own testing team, who are likely to be involved at different
     stages of the game. This usually starts around pre-alpha but sometimes publisher-based
     testers won’t receive a game until it’s nearly finished. Unlike internal testers, these
     testers can only make minor input suggestions, such as balancing issues.

     Links

     QA Tester Job Profile: http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/article_4729_1.asp
     You can also read Edge Magazine’s guide to working in testing: http://www.edge-
     online.co.uk/archives/2006/06/a_bugs_life.php

     Standards:
     IM22 Test electronic games: http://www.skillset.org/uploads/pdf/asset_6582.pdf


     Click on notepad

     Testers do spend a lot of time playing games, but they also spend a great deal of time
     filling out long checklists. They must try and break the game in every way possible so
     that the team can make sure that players won’t be able to do it in the final version.
     Central to this is bug hunting. Bugs are things like bad camera angles, falling through
     maps, getting stuck in the environment and spelling errors.


     12.2 Localisation

     SHOT: Screen is split into 3. In each section there is one character on the phone with a
     copy of the script in front of them. The characters are the CREATIVE DIRECTOR, the
     GERMAN LOCALISATION MANAGER and the JAPANESE LOCALISATION
     MANAGER.

     CAPTION: Localisation adapts the game for distribution in other countries.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, GERMAN LOCALISATION MANGER, JAPANESE
     LOCALISATION MANAGER.

     PROPS: Phones, desks 3x copies of the script.

     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     The developer must give each localisation manager a list of all the words used in the
     game. Predominantly this will be the script, but also any text used in the game’s



Draft: Page 50 of 63
     interface, in-game option screens and mission text. Items like the copy for the game’s
     box and the manual will also need to be localised as well. The core versions of a game
     will usually appear in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Suomi (Finnish).

     Click on GERMAN LOCALISATION MANAGER

     Developers have to be aware of certain constraints when developing for the German
     market. Germany has very strict laws on the depiction of blood and gore in their games,
     and any inclusion of these will automatically mean that a game is given a mature rating.
     Consequently, bloodless versions of games are often released in Germany to retain a
     lower rating. The German language is also significantly longer than the English language
     meaning that features like the interface menus and any depiction of text on scene have
     to be designed with that in mind.

     Click on JAPANESE LOCALISATION MANAGER

     Localising for the Japanese market usually takes longer than other territories and the
     Japanese version of the game is unlikely to be released until after the English version.
     As with German, the Japanese language comes with its own considerations. Japanese
     characters takes up twice as much memory space as English ones.


     12.3 Ratings

     SHOT: The PEGI logo at the top, underneath are the PEGI symbols, underneath those
     at the BBFC 15 & 18 logo.

     CAPTION: Ratings are a way of indicating the sensitive content of a game and the
     audience that is deemed suitable for.

     CAST: None

     PROPS: None

     Click on the PEGI logo

     Like any other entertainment form videogames have ratings. In the UK, age ratings for
     videogames are determined by a two-tier system that works within voluntary European
     guidelines known as PEGI (Pan European Games Information) and the mandatory
     BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) regulations. PEGI maybe a voluntary system
     but it received industry wide-support from software and hardware developers,
     publishers, distributors and retailers

     Links

     PEGI: http://www.pegi.info




Draft: Page 51 of 63
     BBFC: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/
     ELSPA: www.elspa.com
     Askaboutgames.com: http://www.askaboutgames.com/
     ESRB (American Ratings): http://www.esrb.org

     Click on the PEGI ratings

     The PEGI rates have two separate components. The first is an age rating. In the UK this
     is either 3+, 7+ 12+ or16+. In Continental Europe there is also an 18+ rating. The
     second part of the PEGI ratings system are 6 icons which represent the content in the
     game. These cover depictions of: violence, bad language, things that might be scary for
     young children, nudity, sexual behaviour or sexual references, references to or
     depictions of drug use and material or references to material that might encourage
     discrimination.

     Links

     PEGI: http://www.pegi.info
     BBFC: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/
     ELSPA: www.elspa.com
     Askaboutgames.com: http://www.askaboutgames.com/
     ESRB (American Ratings): http://www.esrb.org



     Click on the BBFC logos

     In the UK videogames that are expected to be suitable for an 18+ audience must be
     submitted to the BBFC where there will receive a 15 or 18 rating. Unlike the PEGI
     ratings which are set out as guidelines for players (and particularly parents), games with
     these BBFC ratings cannot be legally purchased by someone under the age outlined in
     the certificate.

     Censorship in the UK has had some interesting repercussions on videogames. Back in
     2001 oriental weapons were banned on-screen, amid fears that it would cause copycat
     incidence amongst young children. One result of this was that shurikens were replaced
     by darts, in the UK version of the game Shadow Warrior – because obviously darts are
     much harder for kids to get hold of!

     Links

     PEGI: http://www.pegi.info
     BBFC: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/
     ELSPA: www.elspa.com
     Askaboutgames.com: http://www.askaboutgames.com/
     ESRB (American Ratings): http://www.esrb.org




Draft: Page 52 of 63
     12.4 Creating a buzz

     SHOT: Scene of an E3 tradeshow. Lots of booths and developers showing off games. In
     the middle there’s a big booth where the LEAD DESIGNER is showing a game to a
     MEMBER OF THE GAMING PRESS, whilst a PRODUCT MANAGER stands beside
     them.

     CAPTION: Creating interesting in a game before it’s released is important for helping to
     generate a good buzz, which will ideally boost sales on release.

     CAST: LEAD DESIGNER, PRESS MEMBER, PRODUCT MANAGER… general people
     milling around!

     PROPS: PC, booth etc

     Click on Booth

     Trade shows like the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and GDC (Game Developers’
     Conference) are great ways of promoting a game to the world’s gaming press, and
     creating some interest and excitement.

     Links

     E3: http://www.e3expo.com
     GDC: http://www.gdconf.com
     Leipzig: http://www.gc-germany.com
     London Games Festival: http://www.londongamesfestival.co.uk

     Pop-up Challenge
     As well as big industry shows like E3 and GDC there are plenty of smaller shows that
     run throughout the year in the UK. Often they will be dedicated to particular themes such
     as women in games, serious games or retro games. These are great ways to meet and
     network with industry professionals. Find out if there are any shows in the UK that you
     could attend.

     Click on LEAD DESIGNER

     There will be several members of the development team responsible for working on the
     show floor helping demo the game to the press. However, certain demos might take
     place behind closed doors, under exclusive invitation only. If a developer is still looking
     for a publisher, then trade shows are good for liaising with and demoing to potential
     publishers.

     Click on PRESS MEMBER




Draft: Page 53 of 63
     The gaming press will be keen to see what kind of games are in development and to be
     shown as much as possible about a title. However, most developers only show a certain
     section of a game at a trade event, or allow press to play a certain level or mission for
     themselves.

     Click on PRODUCT MANAGER

     The product manager’s role is centered on creating and running the marketing campaign
     set up around a game and running the marketing team. They help define the market
     position of a game and how it should be best advertised and promoted in the run up to
     release. Product managers usually work for publishers, or for external companies that
     work for publishers. Occasionally, if a developer is suitably large enough they may have
     their own internal product manager.

     Links
     Product Manager Job Profile: tbc

     Standards:
     PSG 33-36 Marketing Published Products:
     http://www.train4publishing.co.uk/content/occstd/marketing.doc



     13 SCENE: Getting it to the players

     13.1 Previews and reviews

     SHOT: A GAMES REVIEWER is sitting in front of their PC playing a review copy of the
     game (the screen should show ‘review build’ in the top left-hand corner just to
     emphasise this). Next to him is a document with ‘Anomia Studios – Review build notes’
     on it.

     CAPTION: Towards the end of a game’s development cycle the publisher will require
     the game to be previewed and reviewed by the world’s gaming press.

     CAST: REVIEWER

     PROPS: PC, desk, review build notes, magazines.

     Click on the PC
     The preview version of the game will usually be from beta onwards, or a specific number
     of fully finished levels. Review code will ideally be from the gold version of the game.

     Click on the REVIEWER




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     Usually the game will be given to a member of the reviewing team who has a specific
     interest in the genre or has been following the development of the game for some time.

     Links

     Eurogamer: www.eurogamer.net
     Edge: www.edge-online.co.uk
     And many others…

     Click on the review build notes doc

     Depending on the state of the code that gets sent out, review build notes might need to
     accompany it. This highlights any problems with the game which the developers are
     aware of and still working on. It also might include cheat codes and manual information.




     Pop-up Challenge
     Writing previews and reviews for games can be a great way of getting to know the
     industry and learning to break a game down into its different elements. Although full-time
     jobs writing about games are few and far between, there are plenty of fan-run sites who
     take contributions. You could even start your own site. Marketing and PR departments
     are now recognising the importance of fan websites and regularly send out review and
     preview code to them. Why not try writing your own review of a recent game?



     13.2 Distribution

     SHOT: Inside the distribution warehouse (I imagine it being a little like the warehouse at
     the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc). The scene needs to show a packed-up box of games
     as well as DVD copies of the game (perhaps spilled out of a box). Some part of the
     warehouse needs to clickable as well.

     CAPTION: Once the game has been signed off by the publisher it goes to be
     manufactured and distributed.

     CAST: None (although could have warehouse workers)

     PROPS: DVD boxed copy of the game, box of games.

     Click on the DVD game box

     During the last phases of a game’s production the box art and copy will be created.
     Logos and images may take a while to complete and be approved, as the game will
     have to have a strong image that stands out on the shelf and everyone will have an




Draft: Page 55 of 63
     opinion on how that should be achieved. The back of the box text will have to accurately
     sum up the game and ideally help lure a browser into purchasing the game.

     Click on the box of games

     From the distributor’s warehouse these then go to the individual store’s warehouses, if
     they are big enough to have them (GAME, GameStation, Tesco’s etc) or they get
     dropped at specific shops (independent retailers such as CEX).

     Click on warehouse

     Occasionally, publishers own their own distributors which are used by themselves and
     other publishers. But usually a publisher will be responsible for locating a suitable
     distributor who has the necessary logistics for dealing with large quantities of stock, and
     the know-how and planning abilities to meet delivery deadlines for the all-important
     launch date.

     Some developers, like Introversion Software, have chosen to by-pass publishers
     altogether and just handle distribution themselves by signing deals with distributors in
     individual territories. This has the disadvantage of meaning they have to fund their own
     project. It can also mean that pre-orders from shops will be lower as if there’s no
     publisher backing there’s probably less PR and marketing gone into the title. However,
     the developer stands to make a much bigger profit if the game does well.

     13.3 Street Retail
     SHOT: The inside of a typical games shop. There’s one wall of chart games and various
     customers milling around. The is also another section marked pre-order, this contains a
     lot of empty games boxes advertising upcoming games that customers can pre-order at
     the till. There’s also a customer outside the shop, looking in the window.

     CAPTION: The majority of a typical game’s sales will come from high-street retailers
     such as GAME, GameStation, Virgin and HMV.

     CAST: Customers and sales staff

     PROPS: Shelves, game boxes, tills etc

     Click on chart

     The overall videogames charts are compiled weekly by Chart-Track. However, individual
     stores may have their own chart for each platform, which is usually based on sales.
     Some stores also operate a second-hand section where gamers can trade in their used
     games for other titles or cash.

     Links




Draft: Page 56 of 63
     ELSPA’s Chart Track Service: http://www.elspa.com/?c=/charts/uk.jsp

     Click on pre-order section

     A store will order in a certain amount of stock partly based on pre-orders and partly on
     what they believe, from experience, they’ll be able to sell. .

     Click on customer at the counter

     The number of games that a shop orders in is known as ship-in. The number of games
     that a store actually sells to customers is known as sell-through. The amount of
     royalties that a developer receives (and royalties are generally not that high in the
     games industry) will be based on the sell-through figure. A sell-through figure might be
     reduced depending on the number of games that get brought back or traded in.


     13.4 Online Retail

     SHOT: An online customer is sitting at their PC preparing to buy a game. Ideally
     Steam’s website should be shown on the PC, or at least a vague artistic rendering of it.
     There’s a shelf behind the PC with games DVD boxes on it. Next to him is a Xbox 360
     hooked up to a TV.

     CAPTION: Not all games need to have publishers to distribute them. The growing
     influence of online retail has increased straight-to-the-customer distribution.

     CAST: Online customer

     PROPS: PC, desk, shelf of games.

     Click on Steam’s webpage

     Valve’s Steam distribution system www.steampowered.com has been pivotal in
     increasing online games distributions. As well as providing online distribution for games
     that have already been in retail, such as Darwinia, Steam also now has its own Steam-
     only games, such as SiN Episodes. Online distribution allows users to download games
     straight onto their PC.

     Click on the game boxes

     Many high-street stores also have their own websites where games can be purchased
     and mailed to the player. Websites like Amazon and Play.com also have large online
     game store.

     Click on the Xbox 360




Draft: Page 57 of 63
     Xbox Live Marketplace allows players to download all kinds of content, from levels and
     character skins, to full games. Some cost money, whilst others are free or require a
     certain number of gamer points. Sony and Nintendo will also be providing downloadable
     content for their new consoles.


     14 SCENE: The Aftermath

     14.1 Feedback

     SHOT: The CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD PROGRAMMER and EXTERNAL
     PRODUCER are sitting on sofas reading games magazines. The TECHNICAL
     DIRECTOR is sitting at a PC beside them, looking at Anomia Studio’s forum.

     CAPTION: Paying attention to magazine and online reviews of a game is a good way for
     the developers to obtain professional feedback.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD PROGRAMMER, EXTERNAL PRODUCER and
     TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.

     PROPS: Sofas, PC, magazines

     Click on magazines

     Developers will play close attention to reviews and previews of their game both in
     magazines. Quotes and awards logos may even be used on the game box.

     Click on EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     The External Producer will provide feedback from the publisher to the developer about
     how they think the production process went.

     Click on internet forum

     Fan forums are also a good way for developers to get feedback on the game. This starts
     around the demo stage and continues through preview and review to final product.
     Developers have even been known to take extra time out to change a certain aspect of
     their game because of the feedback that a demo received in their forums.


     14.2 Post-mortems

     SHOT: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD, PROGRAMMER, LEAD ARTIST, INTERNAL
     PRODUCER and LEAD DESIGNER sitting together in a room. The LEAD
     PROGRAMMER and LEAD ARTIST are holding post mortem documents.



Draft: Page 58 of 63
     CAPTION: Post-mortems allow the developers to internally evaluate the pros and cons
     of the development cycle.

     CAST: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD, PROGRAMMER, LEAD ARTIST, INTERNAL
     PRODUCER AND LEAD DESIGNER.

     PROPS: Sofas, table, post mortem docs.

     Click on post mortem doc

     Post mortems are becoming much more commonplace during the post-development
     stage. Mini post-mortems are usually written after each milestone by the project leads.
     However, after the game has shipped, larger post mortems will be created which span
     the entire project.

     Click on CREATIVE DIRECTOR

     Games Developer magazine regular devotes a feature to games post-mortems.
     Although these are formatted especially for the magazine, which usually revolving
     around the basic premise of 5 things that went right with the project, and 5 things that
     went wrong. However, all the information almost always comes from a much more in-
     depth internal post mortem detailing what the developers tried to do, how it was built,
     what worked and what did not, what they were successful at doing and what they failed
     at.

     Click on INTERNAL PRODUCER

     The final post-mortem will usually be written by the game’s producer with input from the
     project leads. One of the issues surrounding post-mortems is whether they should be
     anonymous or not. If they are then this can encourage personnel issues to be raised,
     although how they are raised will be down to the diplomacy of the individual. If post-
     mortems are not anonymous then such issues can fall by the wayside.
      :



     14.3 Maintaining the fan-base

     SHOT: A LAN party. Lots of players are in the same room all sitting at their PCs playing
     games against each other (2 PCs need to be clickable). The LEAD DESIGNER and
     COMMUNITY MANAGER are standing watching them.

     CAPTION: Keeping the gaming experience alive, means keeping up momentum and
     interest in the game.

     CAST: LEAD DESIGNER, COMMUNITY MANAGER




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     PROPS: PCs, desks, cans of drink etc

     Click on PC 1

     PC games often require developers to produce patches for them in order to help tidy up
     any bugs and crashing issues that might have got missed. Patches will normally be
     distributed through the game’s main website and through gaming portals.

     All Xbox 360 games are designed with downloadable content in mind. Players can
     download new maps, levels and extra goodies via Xbox Live Marketplace, which adds to
     the longevity of the game.

     Click on PC 2

     Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) require constant maintenance and
     updates. Although the majority of this won’t include extra game content, it will address
     bugs, balancing and server issues. However, from time to time, MMO developers will
     release new content into the game, which come as part of the patching process. This
     maybe a new gaming area, or more intrinsic gameplay content such as Blizzard’s
     Battlegrounds (player versus player levels for World of Warcraft.)

     Click on players

     The players can be a developer’s best friend if they are treated right. LAN parties are
     great ways of promoting games. Traditionally, first-person shooters have been the
     mainstay of these events, but strategy games also have a sizeable following (Starcraft
     and Sudden Strike are both LAN party favourites even though they are 8 and 6 years
     old.)

     Click on COMMUNITY MANAGER

     Some developers employ community managers who are responsible for maintaining the
     game’s official website. This involves updating the content on the site, running the
     forums and generally making sure it’s the number one place that fans of the game will
     come to. Developers sometimes even sell copies of their games through their website.

     Pop-up Challenge

     Developers do pay attention to their fan-sites and mod communities. Some even recruit
     from them. The core team at the UK-based development studio, Splash Damage
     (www.splashdamage.com) comprises mod-makers and fans from the Quake community.
     They are currently working on the online game for… Quake! How would you improve
     your favourite game?


     14.4 Expanding the IP




Draft: Page 60 of 63
     SHOT: The CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER and EXTERNAL PRODUCER
     are sitting round a table plotting their next project. In the middle of a table is a document
     market ‘Sequel and franchise ideas’

     CAPTION: If a game is a success then both the developer and publisher will be keen to
     build on that through sequels and franchise development.

     CAST: The CREATIVE DIRECTOR, LEAD DESIGNER and EXTERNAL PRODUCER.

     PROPS: Desk, chairs, sequel and franchise doc.

     Click on sequel and franchise ides doc

     A game might be developed with the specific aim of creating a franchise. This means
     that part of the way through the game’s development the team would have to start
     thinking about ideas for sequels and story ideas. It’s important that this occurs at this
     stage because hints for sequels might need to be imbedded into the game’s story and
     dialogue

     Click on the EXTERNAL PRODUCER

     If a developer is independent from the publisher and the publisher is keen to keep hold
     of a franchise or potential franchise they might put in an offer to buy the development
     studio. For example, SEGA own The Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive, whilst
     Microsoft now own the developers of Black & White, Lionhead. This gives the developer
     much more financial security, but may curb how much say they have over the kinds of
     game they create and the platforms they create them for.


     14.4 The film of the Game

     SHOT: Darkened cinema showing a game to film adaptation, possibly something quite
     recognisable such as Doom. (Could either use a screen from the film, or an artist’s
     interpretation).

     CAPTION:

     CAST: Cinema audience.

     PROPS: Big screen, chairs, popcorn etc.

     Click on the movie screen
     Games have attracted the attentions of Hollywood for quite some time now, especially
     big franchises such as Tomb Raider and Resident Evil. The majority of the movies
     inspired by games have been both unpopular with reviewers and with the viewing public.
     However this hasn’t stopped movie makings from chasing them, hoping to change the




Draft: Page 61 of 63
     trend for the better. Find out more about the movie making process here (link to film
     storyboard).

     Might be nice to have another pane entitled making the sequel / making the film – the
     first goes back to the start – the second goes to the start of the film storyboard? (Note:
     Franchise is mentioned above anyway, so I’ve focused on film.)

     Links
     ‘The Business’ - Skillset’s Guide to the Film Industry:
     http://www.skillset.org/film/business/




     Multiple Choice Questions
     1) What does USP stand for?

     1) Universal Sale Price
     2) Unusual Sales Product
     3) Unique Selling Point (correct)
     4) Unpleasant Smell Processors

     2) What is the job title of the person from a game’s publisher who is responsible
     for liaising with the developers, keeping track of the game’s progress and making
     sure the needs of the publisher are met?

     1) Internal producer
     2) External producer (right answer)
     3) A pain
     4) Acquisitions Manager

     3) Which of these companies is an independent developer i.e. not owned by a
     publisher?

     1) Introversion Software (right answer)
     2) Criterion
     3) Lionhead
     4) The Creative Assembly

     4) What was the alleged real-world inspiration behind Pac-Man?

     1)A half deflated beachball.
     2) A pizza missing a slice (right answer)



Draft: Page 62 of 63
     3) A cake with a bite taken out of it.
     4) Trivial Pursuit wedges.

     5)Which of these features is the audio director *not* responsible for?

     1) Sourcing or creating the music for the game
     2) Creating textures (right answer)
     3) Creating sound effects
     4)Running the audio team

     6)The period of intense work that sometimes leads up to a project milestone is
     commonly known as what?

     1)Munching
     2) Hurting
     3) Crunching (right answer)
     4) Hunching

     7) Which of these areas will a publisher usually be predominantly responsible for?

     1) Programming
     2) Creating characters
     3) Creating the toolset
     4) Marketing and PR (right answer)

     8) Which of these is an online distribution channel?

     1)Steam (right answer)
     2)Air
     3)Liquid
     4)Gas

     9) Which of these is the odd one out?

     1)Xbox 360
     2) Wii
     3) GameCube (correct answer, all the rest are next-gen consoles)
     4) PS3

     10) Which of these is a publishing position?

     1) Acquisitions manager (correct answer)
     2) Lead programmer
     3) Texture artist
     4) Audio programmer




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