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 Project workflow

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HVDisc
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Join date : 2011-08-22
Age : 26
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PostSubject: Project workflow   Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:03 pm

Hi guys, I'm just sharing my idea and imitate how some indie company make their work flow efficient.
I think there is many different kind of work flow out there but mostly the only much difference is how triple A company and indie company has different workflow. In this topic I would like to talk about how we can make our workflow more efficient by mixing how the triple A company work with Indie company. Whats the different between triple A company and indie company? I think in Indie company people have multi role on the project like, a 3d artist is also the concept artist. Triple A company also has a lot of budget and manpower to create better visual with tool such as projection mapping, which is what indie company not normally do, due to time restrain ( and manpower). This is just my idea and suggestion if you have any disagreement please dont get offended and you can discuss it here =).

First Phase

-Idea

Person involved: Art director, Story writer

In this phase we definitely lots and lots of document on what kind of game we are making, the document will contain the information about the game play, visual ( environment concept, style, ect), deadline (time estimation for project to complete), workflow style, Job assign ( whos the modeler, texture, lighting artist , ect). The document can also contain story of the game world and the character contain in it. Having a good game story board also help the over all look for the game.
Art director: Directing the overall look of the game
Story writer: Create the story and story board

-Reference

Person involved: Concept artist, Art director

We will gather tons of picture that visualized the game idea. We will take reference for the environment but also reference for the character or object that would be involved in the game.

Art Director: Accepting the styles, make everything consistent
Concept Artist: Getting idea for the concept

-Concept art

Person involved: Art Director, Concept artist, UI designer

In this phase we will describe every idea from the text into a visual with really rough sketch or maybe speed paint. The concept artist will draw the environment that the player will take place in. After sketching the enviroment the concept artist would then draw the concept art for the character or monster. And we can also create the first person concept and paint the UI into the drawing so we can see a clear view of what the first person would look like with the UI added in.

Art Director: Accepting the style for the UI and the concept
Concept artist: Create the concept, visualized the game idea
UI designer: Create the concept for the UI

-Story board

Person involved: Story writer, Art director, Programmer

The story board should be done in idea phase with just writing, but now we will take it into the next level. We will draw the event that will happen to the player. The event should be drawn in story manner, example the first event that the player will experince is waking up in a room ( draw the room with the player) then the player find a key and open the door ( draw in panel 2 where the key located and how player going to get it), then it goes on till the event finish (level finish, or game finish). To get a clear story board, we should make as much as panel as we can to show clear our idea on how you expect the player to interact with its surrounding and how he aproach to the next level.

Story writer: Creating the story event
Art director: Accepting the event
Programmer: Decide whether is do able or not

Second phase

-Level Design

Person involved: Level Designer, Art director, Concept artist

In this phase the level designer will design a map/level layout for the game. The level designer will need to take account of what level they are making and create the sense of space and scale in the game.
Level designer: Create the map layout and adjust it to be playable.
Art director: Observing the workflow and pointing the error or conflict between the concept level with the level blocking out
Concept artist: Create the environment concept and defining what will be in it.

-Level Blockout

Person involved: Level designer, Game tester

In UDK a process of creating the block out for the map/level is by using CSG brush. CSG brush is a tool that can be used to create fast wall, floor, stair ect. With CSG brush the level designer will create a level for the game with a basic object such as wall, door, window, celling. This process is important as it will determine the sense of space or scale in the game later on.
Level Designer: Create the blockout and the layout of the level
Game tester: Test the game and report any kind of obstacle that prevent the tester to play the game.

-Level testing and game roughing

Person involved: Game tester, Level designer, Programmer

In level setting the game tester will play as a player and goes around the level and see if it easy to maneuver or move in the game space, or if the scaling of the object in the game looks right. The game tester will write a report about the level on how the overall level looks like or if he stumble upon obstacle. The level designer will readjust the map/level if there is need for further adjustment, otherwise we can move to the next step. Basic game play element will be created to ensure that the level is playable with the game play.

Game tester: Moving around the game level to see if is easy to maneuver around or not.
Level designer: Do tweaking on the game level if is neceseary such as fixing/changing the map layout
Programmer: Create basic game play element ( such as walk, flashlight, opening door, ect )

-Level Lighting

Person Involved: Lighting artist, Level designer

After finish blocking out and testing now the lighting artist will tweak the level and add a basic light to create the mood and atmosphere on the game. A lighting artist might ask level designer to tweak the map layout to adjust the atmosphere.

Lighting artist: Create the mood and atmosphere on the game, Placing the lighting
Level designer: Tweak the level design if asked by lighting artist to match the atmosphere.

Third Phase

-Creating the asset

Person involved: Art director, 3d Modeler, Tech Artist, Level designer

In this phase the 3d modeler will create an environment or object base on the concept art that the concept artist done. The 3d model shouldn't be textured yet and have to be shown to art director whether he approve or not. After consulting to Art director the 3d modeler have to ask the tech artist for final approval. When the object are accepted the 3d modeler should unwrap and create a light map ( do not texture the models!).
After the object is unwrapped now is time to export them into the game engine. In the game engine the level designer will put everything in the place and create the mood for it. When a room or part of level has all the asset it have now we can create the texture.

Art director: Guide the style and make everything consistent
3d Modeler: Creating the asset
Level designer: Placing the model and build the level
Tech Artist: Limiting the texture and poly count in the game

-Texturing Person involved: 3d Modeler, Tech artist
In texturing phase it would involved mainly in creating the diffuse material, bump, spec, AO ( ambient occlusion). The texture limit will be determied by the tech artist whether it would be good to run in the engine or not.

3d modeler: Texturing the 3d model
Tech Artist: Limiting the texture size

-Material

Person involved: Tech Artist

The tech artist are responsible on creating the material, example a lamp. The lamp has a material where it would glow off and on. The tech artist are responsible to create the material and get it working on the game.

Tech Artist: Create the material and get it working on the game
-Character creation Person involved: 3d modeler, Art director, Tech artist
3d modeler will create a character base on the concept art that has been done by the concept artist.
Art Director: Accepting the style of the characther or whether it meet's the quality or not
Tech artist: Accepting the performance (restricting polygon limit and texture size)
3d modeler: Create the 3d model characther

Fourth Phase

-Game play

Person involved: Art director, Programmer, UI designer, Animator, Level designer

In this phase the Art director, programmer, animator, UI designer, and level designer will work together to create the game play. The team will follow the game play concept and create it.

UI designer: Create the game menu, Create the UI on the game (example health bar, inventory system, ect)
-Game testing Person involved: Programmer, Game tester
The game tester will keep testing the map and write a report whether there is an issue such as bug or imbalance game play in the game. The game tester will also write a report on the over all look of the game.

-Sound

Person involved: Sound designer, Programmer

When the game play is implemented, now its time to put the sound on the game level. The sound designer will be tasked on creating the mood of the game as well finding/creating high quality sample. The sound designer will work on programer, the programer will implement the sound in the game while the sound artist create the sound/or music ( soundtrack ).

]u]Final phase[/u]

-Post processing effect

Person involved: Tech artist, Art director

The post processing effect will be done by tech artist. Effect such as scene desatruation, or cut scene effect would be done by the Tech artist with the art director setting the style.

Tech artist: Tweak and exaggerate the atmosphere on the game by using post processing effect
Art director: Accepting the style of the game

-Performance optimasion

Person involved: Programer, Tech artist

This process will involve level streaming, or polygon reducing (simpolygon) or changing the element that cause lag on the game (coding bug, ect).

Programer: Tweak the performance by using level streaming, or reducing polygon when neceseary. Creating LOD can also help the performance.
Tech artist: Tweak the material or other visual bug if neceseary.
-Final test Person involved: Game tester
The game tester will test the game again and write a report if there is any need to tweak the game or not. Once is done the game finnaly complete =).
Game tester: Test the game

-Patch Person involved: Programmer

Creating a patch for the game maybe neceseary for indie project as it cannot spot all the bug that happen into the game. Further report from the player can help the programer to indentified the bug and fix it by creating a new patch.

Programmer: Create a patch to fix bug

-HVDisc


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PostSubject: Re: Project workflow   Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:17 pm

This looks like a pretty damn solid plan!

Depending on how many game elements we introduce we might want to start paper prototyping (in a way) a lot of this stuff much earlier than stage three though! Even if we're just working out GUI's and stuff early on.

Also I think we might want to break flow somewhat and start blending stages 2 and 3 together. As our goal is to make something look as good as we can I think it's important to start getting everything into UDK as quick as possible.

Looking forward to getting all this off the ground = D
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