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The Game Production Handbook, 3rd Edition

Book Description

The Game Production Handbook, Third Edition gives producers, leads, and studio managers all the information they need in order to successfully develop a game from concept to release-ready gold master. Fully revised and updated to reflect the rapidly evolving game development landscape, the third edition of this definitive and best-selling text covers pre-production, production, testing, and code release, as well as more specific topics including voiceovers, mo-cap shoots, marketing, localizations, managing external contractors, writing documentation, and project management practices. All-new material in the third edition includes new sections on mobile gaming and product management, an overview of useful production tools, and new interviews with industry professionals who offer an insider’s view of successful game development as well as highly relevant real-world examples that contextualize the resources provided by the text. A detailed case study of a fictitious game project illustrates the production cycle, documentation, and other key production concepts. Accessible enough for beginners and comprehensive enough for experienced developers, The Game Production Handbook, Third Edition is an invaluable standalone text for students and professionals alike. Prepare students to successfully enter the exciting world of game development with The Game Production Handbook, Third Edition. New to the Third Edition: -Offers new interviews with industry experts who discuss insider knowledge and real world examples of what works and what doesn’t work in game development. -Contains new sections on product management, audio as it relates to the production process, financing options, and the latest relevant production tools.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
    1. Acknowledgments
    2. About the Author
  6. Part I: General Production Overview
    1. Chapter 1: Game Production Overview
      1. 1.1 Introduction
      2. 1.2 Production Cycle
      3. 1.3 Preproduction
        1. Game Concept
        2. Game Requirements
        3. Game Plan
        4. Preproduction Checklist
      4. 1.4 Production
        1. Plan Implementation
        2. Tracking Progress
        3. Task Completion
        4. Production Checklist
      5. 1.5 Testing
        1. Plan Validation
        2. Code Release
        3. Testing Checklist
      6. 1.6 Postproduction
        1. Learning from Experience
        2. Archiving the Plan
        3. Postproduction Checklist
      7. 1.7 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 2: Roles on the Team
      1. 2.1 Introduction
      2. 2.2 Production
        1. Executive Producer
        2. Producer
        3. Associate Producer
        4. Background and Training
      3. 2.3 Art
        1. Art Director
        2. Lead Artist
        3. Concept Artist
        4. World Builder or Level Designer
        5. Asset Artist
        6. Animator
        7. Technical Artist
        8. Marketing Artist
        9. Background and Training
      4. 2.4 Engineering
        1. Technical Director
        2. Lead Engineer
        3. Engineer
        4. Background and Training
      5. 2.5 Design
        1. Creative Director
        2. Lead Designer
        3. Designer
        4. Writer
        5. Background and Training
      6. 2.6 Audio
        1. Sound Designer
        2. Composer
        3. Background and Training
      7. 2.7 Quality Assurance Testing
        1. Lead QA Tester
        2. QA Tester
        3. Background and Training
      8. 2.8 Team Organization
      9. 2.9 Corporate
        1. Marketing and Public Relations
        2. Creative Services
        3. Sales
      10. 2.10 Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 3: Project Management Methods
      1. 3.1 Introduction
      2. 3.2 Pros and Cons
      3. 3.3 Personal Software Process (PSP)
      4. 3.4 Scrum
      5. 3.5 Project Management Institute (PMI)
      6. 3.6 Chapter Summary
  7. Part II: Business Information
    1. Chapter 4: Legal Information
      1. 4.1 Introduction
      2. 4.2 Intellectual Property Rights
        1. Legal Information
        2. Copyrights
        3. Trademarks
        4. Trade Secrets
        5. Patents
      3. 4.3 Legal Agreements
        1. Employee–Consultant Agreements
        2. Work for Hire
        3. Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs)
        4. Development Contracts
        5. End User License Agreements (EULAs)
        6. Terms of Service (TOS)
      4. 4.4 Licenses
      5. 4.5 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 5: Developer and Publisher Relationships
      1. 5.1 Introduction
      2. 5.2 Pitching a Game to a Publisher
      3. 5.3 Financing Options
      4. 5.4 Managing the Developer–Publisher Relationship
        1. Independent Developer
        2. Publisher-Owned Developer
      5. 5.5 Third-Party Game Approvals
      6. 5.6 Chapter Summary
  8. Part III: Managing People
    1. Chapter 6: Hiring and Retaining Talent
      1. 6.1 Introduction
      2. 6.2 Hiring Talent
        1. Screening Resumes
        2. Interviewing Talent
        3. Providing Feedback
      3. 6.3 Retaining Talent
      4. 6.4 Training
        1. Game Development Resources
        2. Organizations
        3. Conferences and Trade Shows
        4. General Game Industry Information
      5. 6.5 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 7: Teams
      1. 7.1 Introduction
      2. 7.2 Project Leadership
      3. 7.3 Picking Leads
      4. 7.4 Team Building
        1. Getting to Know Each Other
        2. Role Definition
        3. Cross-Training
        4. Seating Arrangements
        5. Team Meetings
        6. Team Website
      5. 7.5 Team Buy-In and Motivation
        1. Warning Signs
        2. Addressing the Warning Signs
        3. Showing Appreciation
        4. Sharing Vision
        5. Team Survey
      6. 7.6 Quality of Life
      7. 7.7 Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 8: Effective Communication
      1. 8.1 Introduction
      2. 8.2 Written Communication
      3. 8.3 Oral Communication
      4. 8.4 Nonverbal Communication
      5. 8.5 Establishing Communication Norms
      6. 8.6 Communication Challenges
        1. Resolving Conflict
        2. Consensus
        3. Delivering Bad News
        4. Giving Effective Feedback
      7. 8.7 Chapter Summary
  9. Part IV: Preproduction
    1. Chapter 9: Game Concept
      1. 9.1 Introduction
      2. 9.2 Beginning the Process
        1. Brainstorming
        2. Initial Concept
        3. Genre
        4. Platform
        5. Revenue Model
        6. SWOT Analysis
        7. Competitive Analysis
        8. Approval
      3. 9.3 Define Concept
        1. Mission Statement
        2. Game Setting
        3. Gameplay Mechanics
        4. Story Synopsis
        5. Concept Art
        6. Audio Elements
      4. 9.4 Prototyping
      5. 9.5 Risk Analysis
      6. 9.6 Pitch Idea
      7. 9.7 Project Kick-Off
      8. 9.8 Concept Outline
      9. 9.9 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 10: Game Requirements
      1. 10.1 Introduction
      2. 10.2 Define Game Features
      3. 10.3 Define Milestones and Deliverables
      4. 10.4 Evaluate Technology
      5. 10.5 Define Tools and Pipeline
      6. 10.6 Documentation
        1. Design
        2. Art
        3. Technical
      7. 10.7 Risk Analysis
      8. 10.8 Approval
      9. 10.9 Game Requirements Outline
      10. 10.10 Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 11: Game Plan
      1. 11.1 Introduction
      2. 11.2 Dependencies
      3. 11.3 Schedules
        1. Creating a Schedule
        2. Initial Schedule
        3. Work Breakdown Structure
        4. Detailed Schedule
        5. Tracking Tasks
      4. 11.4 Staffing
      5. 11.5 Budgets
        1. Creating a Budget
        2. Managing a Budget
      6. 11.6 Outsourcing
      7. 11.7 Middleware
      8. 11.8 Game Plan Outline
      9. 11.9 Chapter Summary
  10. Part V: Production
    1. Chapter 12: Production Cycle
      1. 12.1 Introduction
      2. 12.2 Design Production Cycle
      3. 12.3 Art Production Cycle
      4. 12.4 Engineering Production Cycle
      5. 12.5 Working Together
      6. 12.6 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 13: Production Techniques
      1. 13.1 Introduction
      2. 13.2 Getting a Project Back on Track
      3. 13.3 Project Reviews
        1. Conducting a Project Review
        2. Benefits
      4. 13.4 Critical Stage Analysis
      5. 13.5 Weekly Status Reports
        1. For the Development Team
        2. For Management
      6. 13.6 Running Meetings
      7. 13.7 Resource Allocation
      8. 13.8 Preventing Feature Creep
        1. Prioritizing Features
        2. Change Requests
      9. 13.9 Establishing Approval Processes
        1. Keep it Simple
        2. Define and Publish
        3. Centralize the Tracking
      10. 13.10 Task Forces or Strike Teams
      11. 13.11 Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 14: Making Builds
      1. 14.1 Introduction
      2. 14.2 Build Process
        1. Build Schedule
        2. Automated Builds
      3. 14.3 Multilingual Builds
      4. 14.4 Build Notes
        1. For the Development Team
        2. For Management
        3. For Marketing and PR
      5. 14.5 Preventing Piracy
      6. 14.6 Chapter Summary
  11. Part VI: Testing
    1. Chapter 15: Testing
      1. 15.1 Introduction
      2. 15.2 Testing Schedule
      3. 15.3 Test Plans
      4. 15.4 Testing Pipeline
        1. Bug-Tracking Database
        2. Bug Definitions
      5. 15.5 Testing Cycle
        1. Writing Bugs
        2. Assigning and Closing Bugs
        3. Checking Technical Requirements
      6. 15.6 External Testing
      7. 15.7 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 16: Code Releasing
      1. 16.1 Introduction
      2. 16.2 Determining Code Release
      3. 16.3 Code Release Checklist
      4. 16.4 Gold Masters
      5. 16.5 Chapter Summary
  12. Part VII: Postproduction
    1. Chapter 17: Postmortems
      1. 17.1 Introduction
      2. 17.2 Purpose of a Postmortem
      3. 17.3 Conducting a Postmortem
        1. Involve the Entire Team
        2. Prepare for the Postmortem
        3. Maintain Focus
      4. 17.4 Lessons Learned Document
      5. 17.5 Chapter Summary
    2. Chapter 18: Closing Kits
      1. 18.1 Introduction
      2. 18.2 Defining Closing Kits
      3. 18.3 Creating Closing Kits
        1. Assets
        2. Text Assets
        3. Voiceover Assets
        4. Art Assets
        5. Cinematic Assets
        6. Localization Assets
        7. Packaging Assets
        8. Tools
        9. Game Code
        10. Documentation
        11. Game Documentation
        12. Technical Guidelines
        13. General Product Information
      4. 18.4 Organizing Content
      5. 18.5 Finalizing Closing Kits
      6. 18.6 Closing Kit Checklist
      7. 18.7 Chapter Summary
    3. Chapter 19: Software Ratings
      1. 19.1 Introduction
      2. 19.2 Software Age Ratings
      3. 19.3 ESRB (United States)
      4. 19.4 PEGI (Europe)
      5. 19.5 USK (Germany)
      6. 19.6 ACB (Australia)
      7. 19.7 CERO (Japan)
      8. 19.8 KMRB (Korea)
      9. 19.9 Chapter Summary
    4. Chapter 20: Localization
      1. 20.1 Introduction
      2. 20.2 Creating International Content
      3. 20.3 Localization-Friendly Code
        1. Language Assets
        2. Text Assets
        3. Art Assets
        4. Voiceover Assets
        5. International Characters and Fonts
        6. User Interface
        7. Keyboard Input
        8. PAL Versus NTSC
        9. Other Technical Considerations
      4. 20.4 Level of Localization
      5. 20.5 Localization Plan
      6. 20.6 Organizing Assets for Translation
      7. 20.7 Integrating Translated Assets
      8. 20.8 Testing
        1. Functionality Testing
        2. Linguistic Testing
      9. 20.9 Third-Party Submission
      10. 20.10 Localization Checklist
      11. 20.11 Chapter Summary
    5. Chapter 21: Voiceover
      1. 21.1 Introduction
      2. 21.2 Planning for Voiceover
        1. Voiceover Design
        2. Technical Considerations
      3. 21.3 Choosing a Sound Studio
      4. 21.4 Bid Packages
      5. 21.5 Casting Actors
        1. Union Versus Nonunion
        2. Celebrity Voices
        3. Preparing Character Descriptions
        4. Auditions
        5. Selecting and Booking Actors
      6. 21.6 Recording Voiceover
        1. Preparing for a Recording Session
        2. Directing Actors
        3. Selecting Takes
        4. Audio Deliverables
      7. 21.7 Voiceover Checklist
      8. 21.8 Chapter Summary
    6. Chapter 22: Music
      1. 22.1 Introduction
      2. 22.2 Planning for Music
        1. Music Design
        2. Technical Considerations
        3. Schedule and Staffing
        4. Bid Packages
      3. 22.3 Working with a Composer
      4. 22.4 Licensing Music
      5. 22.5 Chapter Summary
    7. Chapter 23: Motion Capture
      1. 23.1 Introduction
      2. 23.2 Planning for Motion Capture
        1. Motion Capture Requirements
        2. Motion Capture Shot List
        3. Schedule
      3. 23.3 Working with a Motion Capture Studio
      4. 23.4 Bid Packages
      5. 23.5 Preparing for a Motion Capture Shoot
      6. 23.6 Motion Capture Checklist
      7. 23.7 Chapter Summary
    8. Chapter 24: Marketing and Public Relations
      1. 24.1 Introduction
      2. 24.2 Working with Marketing
        1. Development Milestone Schedule
        2. Game Documentation
        3. Focus Groups
      3. 24.3 Packaging
        1. Manuals
        2. Box Art
        3. Keyboard Reference Cards
      4. 24.4 Demos
        1. Planning for a Demo
        2. Console Demos
        3. Localized Demos
      5. 24.5 Marketing Assets
      6. 24.6 Game Builds
        1. Working with Public Relations
        2. Press Tours
        3. Interviews
        4. Developer Diaries
        5. Tradeshows
      7. 24.7 Asset Deliverable Checklist
      8. 24.8 Chapter Summary
  13. Appendix A Case Study—Game Production Cycle
    1. A.1 Introduction
    2. A.2 Preproduction Phase
      1. A.2.1 Concept
      2. A.2.2 Define Concept
      3. A.2.3 Define Requirements
      4. A.2.4 Create Game Plan
      5. A.2.5 Completing Preproduction
    3. A.3 Technical Production
      1. A.3.1 Voiceover
      2. A.3.2 Music
      3. A.3.3 Motion Capture
      4. A.3.4 Marketing and PR
    4. A.4 Production
      1. A.4.1 Production Cycle
      2. A.4.2 Build Process
      3. A.4.3 Localization
      4. A.4.4 Production Scenarios
      5. A.4.5 Completing Production
    5. A.5 Testing Phase
      1. A.5.1 Testing
      2. A.5.2 Code Release Candidate
      3. A.5.3 Completing Testing
    6. A.6 Postproduction Phase
      1. A.6.1 Postmortem
      2. A.6.2 Closing Kit
      3. A.6.3 Completing Postproduction
  14. Appendix B Glossary
  15. Appendix C Resources
    1. Books
    2. Articles
    3. Websites
  16. Appendix D Biographies
    1. James Barrell
    2. Tom Buscaglia
    3. Melanie Cambron
    4. Carey Chico
    5. Don Daglow
    6. Stephanie O’Malley Deming
    7. Tracy Fullerton
    8. Karin Groepper
    9. Lee Jacobson
    10. Clinton Keith
    11. Jeff Matsushita
    12. Jay Powell
    13. Amanda Rubright
    14. Tobi Saulnier
    15. Tom Sloper
    16. Wade Tinney
  17. Index