Today I would like to present you seven deadly sins of pre-production. And the reason for this talk is that every day of my game developer’s life, I’ve been thinking how to help my team to create something better or do something faster. But being a producer in a creative environment is pretty hard to define. In small teams, it’s even more difficult.
Being at Digital Dragons 2016 in Cracow was an interesting experience – both from the business point of view and also from the development perspective. Currently, I’m during holy crusade of looking for the best producers to learn how to work and lead game designers/game directors to know how they’re thinking about creating products and working with a team on a game vision. And I found Chris. This guy is a veteran that understand how a game production process works and how to manage a large team to achieve a high-quality goal.
It has just opened my eyes. Or not 🙂 When I really earn a senior producer title in Vivid Games, I thought that I really know how to create games. It was because the Real Boxing (Mac/PC) development, was really good peace of teamwork and production work. Why? Because we made really good and productive pre-production. When I started my journey in ATGames, I thought that I’ll be able to do the same. But looking at the Puzzle Craft 2 development and Full of Stars pre-production, I failed my team in this area.
But I hope that I found the way to redeem my guilt – I’ve shown them this – Mark Cerny and his Method. And it was really refreshing. During one hour Mark is talking about his game development approach setting proper goals and approach for pre-production, production and gameplay testing. The core is to define what is publishable first playable for the end of the pre-production and differs macro and micro design. What is more, he’s arguing with some common myths and mistakes made by developers:
- “It’s possible to plan and schedule the creation of your game.”
- “Working productively means not throwing out good work.”
- “Frequent project review is essential to good management.”
- ALPHA = FIRST PLAYABLE
- “A cancelled project is a sign of bad management or a bad team.”
- “The more defined your initial vision, the better.”
- “If you want to make a hit, listen to the consumer.”
And more I’m in this business, the more I agree with Mark. Maybe it’s just a matter of experience 🙂 And now – this is my new game developer bible.
Even we didn’t meet, I’m more than sure that Cliff is a really good designer. Titles like Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal or Gears of War proves it the best. But more than this, he is also pretty good influencer and salesman. Some of the game developers I know treats him as a poseur. But to be honest – he just seems to be just really passionate about what he does. And maybe this is everything about being a good designer?
Before I describe this talk I wanted to explain two things. First of all this post and the most of new ones will be in English. There are two simple reasons about that: I would like to go a little bit more global and I think this is understandable for you and I just want to improve my English skills – and to be honest there’s no better way than just use it 😉 The second thing is why I’m just posting here someone’s talk. It’s because I strongly believe that this place, will become a source of knowledge for game developers and students. From the other point of view, I’m not able to produce enough articles during my common week on my own, so I’ll preparing for you the game development content that is really interesting and recommendable in my opinion.
Czy miewasz często problemy ze słomianym zapałem? A może jeszcze częściej boisz się wykonać ruch i coś zdobyć? Jeśli odpowiedź brzmi ‘Nie’ to znaczy, że czytając ten artykuł przypomnisz sobie kilka śmiesznych sytuacji z Twojego życia, które zmotywowały Cię do ważnej zmiany. Jeśli jednak Twój wewnętrzny głos podpowiada Ci ‘Tak’ to znaczy, że czytając ostatnią linijkę tego tekstu, coś istotnego zmieni się w postrzeganiu Twojego rozwoju.
Pierwszy wniosek, który nasunął mi się po ZTG był taki, że takie spotkania są bardzo potrzebne naszej branży. Częstsze spotkania zaowocowałyby szerszą wymianą doświadczeń przez co rozwijalibyśmy się my oraz nasze produktu.
Jak więc rozwinąłem się ja? Generalnie pomijając wszelkie aspekty towarzyskie takich imprez, warto czasami wstać rano i wybrać się na jedną z prelekcji – choć PŁ zapewniła streaming video o ułatwiło wielu osobom udział.