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Cinematic Game Secrets for Creative Directors and Producers

Book Description

Cinematography for Games covers the space between the game and film industries by pointing out the most relevant cinematic techniques in today's hottest games, and including interviews with the game industry's greatest luminaries (including Will Wright: Sims legend, Harvey Smith, legendary game Deus Ex, Warren Spector creator of one of the original game companies, Origin).

The convergence of games and film is a widely discussed and debated topic in the game industry. Many major publishers, along with some high-profile directors (John Woo, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Tony Scott) are exploring the middle ground between the industries. This book introduces game producers and directors to the tried and true techniques cinematographers have relied on for years.

Game developers learn how to create compelling video games by: developing quality stories and characters; visualizing scenes within the game through the eyes of a cinematographer; using tried and true film industry methods for casting, voice-over, direction, and production.

The book will also feature screen shots from some of today's hottest titles that illustrate key cinematic concepts, as well as advice from successful game industry professionals already using these techniques.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
    1. What is Cinematic?
  7. Part 1: Game Industry Primer
    1. Chapter 1. The Production Process
      1. 1.1 Lifecycle of a Video Game
      2. 1.2 Types of Games
      3. 1.3 Brainstorming and Initial Decisions
      4. 1.4 Using Game Theory
      5. Interview, Game Design and Theory: Noah Falstein, Game Developer Magazine
    2. Chapter 2. Understanding Preproduction
      1. 2.1 Script Development
      2. 2.2 Hiring the Crew
      3. 2.3 Learning to Scrum
      4. 2.4 Iterative and Waterfall Development Models
      5. 2.5 Project Management
      6. 2.6 Budgeting
      7. 2.7 Scheduling
      8. Interview: Warren Spector, Founder, Junction Point Studios
    3. Chapter 3. Production in the Game Industry
      1. 3.1 Technology and Tools
      2. 3.2 Design Production
      3. 3.3 Art Production
      4. 3.4 Engineering Production
      5. 3.5 The Team
      6. 3.6 Sound Design
      7. 3.7 Motion Capture and Voiceover
      8. 3.8 Testing and Quality Assurance
      9. Interview: Ray Pena, Senior Animator, Spacetime Studios
    4. Chapter 4. Postproduction
      1. 4.1 Code Release and Gold Master
      2. 4.2 Builds and Localization
      3. 4.3 Marketing and PR
      4. 4.4 Rating Systems, Demos, and Guides
      5. 4.5 Archiving
      6. Interview: Ron Burke, Director/Founder of GamingTrend
  8. Part 2: Incorporating Cinematic Skills
    1. Chapter 5. Writer
      1. 5.1 Format and Script Development
      2. 5.2 Character Development
      3. 5.3 Themes and Symbolism
      4. 5.4 Structure
      5. 5.5 Three-Act Structure
      6. 5.6 Style
      7. Interview: Daniel Erickson, Writer at BioWare
    2. Chapter 6. Storyboard and Concept Art
      1. 6.1 Using Basic Design Documentation
      2. 6.2 Seeing the Story
      3. 6.3 Nonlinear Thinking
      4. 6.4 Storyboarding Process
      5. 6.5 Cut-Scenes
      6. 6.6 Storyboards and Interactive Media
      7. Interview: Mathieu Raynault, Digital Matte Painter
    3. Chapter 7. Cinematography for Games
      1. 7.1 Five C’s of Cinematography
      2. 7.2 Rule of Thirds
      3. 7.3 Achieving the Look
      4. 7.4 Lighting in Games
      5. 7.5 Camera Movement
      6. 7.6 Staging
      7. 7.7 Blocking
      8. Interview: Bruce Block, Author of The Visual Story
    4. Chapter 8. Producer
      1. 8.1 Job Description
      2. 8.2 Types of Producers in the Game Industry
      3. 8.3 Honing Your Production Skills
      4. 8.4 Cinematic Development
      5. 8.5 Risk Management
      6. 8.6 Preproduction Planning
      7. 8.7 Managing Money, Assets, and Time
      8. 8.8 Postproduction
      9. Interview: Bob Sabiston, Founder of Flat Black Films
    5. Chapter 9. Casting
      1. 9.1 Casting for Voiceover
      2. 9.2 Casting for Motion Capture
      3. 9.3 Using Celebrities
      4. 9.4 Finding Talent
      5. 9.5 Sides and Character Breakdowns
      6. 9.6 Auditions
      7. Interview: Donise Hardy, Casting Director
    6. Chapter 10. Directing
      1. 10.1 The Concept Meeting
      2. 10.2 Communicating Vision
      3. 10.3 Location Scouting
      4. 10.4 Working with the Cinematographer
      5. 10.5 Directing Talent
      6. 10.6 Script Supervision and Continuity
      7. 10.7 Directing Cut-Scenes
      8. 10.8 Cut-Scenes Versus In-Game Cinematics
      9. Interview: Jay Duplass, Director
    7. Chapter 11. Sound Design
      1. 11.1 Cinematic Music
      2. 11.2 Tools for Great Sound
      3. 11.3 Sound Effects and Sampling
      4. 11.4 Effective Sound Design
      5. Interview: Marc Schaefgen, Sound Designer
  9. Part 3: Creating Your Own Cinematic Project
    1. Chapter 12. Getting Started
      1. 12.1 Setting Up Your Video Game Company
      2. 12.2 Maintaining Your Studio
      3. 12.3 Getting Noticed
      4. 12.4 Protecting Your Idea
      5. 12.5 Your Concept
      6. 12.6 Attracting the Game Industry
      7. 12.7 Using Your Soft Skills
      8. 12.8 Learning How to Pitch
      9. Interview: Richard Rouse III, Game Designer
    2. Chapter 13. The Game Business
      1. 13.1 Business Plan
      2. 13.2 Mission Statement and Risk Analysis
      3. 13.3 Crossover Appeal
      4. 13.4 Success with Marketing
      5. 13.5 Incentives and Fundraising
      6. 13.6 Publishing 101
      7. Interview: Patrick Hamilton, President of Wardog Studios
    3. Chapter 14. Legal Issues
      1. 14.1 Intellectual Property
      2. 14.2 Copyrights and Trademarks
      3. 14.3 Nondisclosure Agreements and Contracts
      4. 14.4 Developer and Publisher Agreements
      5. 14.5 Covering the Bases
      6. Interview: Tom Buscaglia, Game Attorney
  10. Postmortem
  11. Appendix A: Extras
    1. Sample Game Design/Concept
    2. Production Flowchart
    3. Sample Basic Schedule
    4. Sample Budget
    5. Sample Staffing Plan
    6. Sample Script Breakdown
    7. Sample Character Breakdown
  12. Interview Credits
  13. Bibliography
  14. Glossary
  15. Index