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257 - Preproduction

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:01 pm
by matt
In this dev diary, I talk about the importance of preproduction, common goals for the preproduction process, and why shortcuts in the preproduction stage can lead to bad games.

My apologies for the focus on the camera freaking out during the video. I just moved to my new place, but I haven't perfected the art of creating dev diaries here yet.

Re: 257 - Preproduction

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:57 am
by evilkinggumby
I do appreciate the fact a: you freshness sealed your shelving so it doesn't get stale, bland and tasteless. As well the fact you have your pc speakers hooked and arranged around your desk, but little else set up. :) always amusing to see what the initial bare bones necessities are for people and their

Also glad to see a nice window (albeit shuttered) in the new space. Now you can whip it open during the ay and get lot sof..glare and reflection on your monitor, making it impossible to work.. LOL. Why wouldn't you place the desk by the window so you can NOT be dealing with glare, can see outside into the beautiful magical world out here (or is it just giving you a view of a pig farm or something? )

in regards to the actual discussion.. lol... do you ever get the feeling your team is itching to go from pre-production to production nowadays? And do you think having a longer pre-production stifles or helps creativity for the team and the game? I mean I can see how brainstorming ideas and testing various things over time can be stimulating and exciting and help the game immensley, but I can also see long pre-production cycles getting frustrated because you always feel like you are working 100x capacity but not actually making any read headway, which can shut down creative thought through frustration and stagnation.

I guess, really, what do ou think is prime time length for the cycle? I am not looking for a hard "2 weeks" thing so much as a more abstract "when you have the core gameplay, art direction and context of the game" or "when the team starts packing sharp implements for the weekly meeting" or "when we all have creative fatigue" or " when the money runs out" lol

Re: 257 - Preproduction

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:57 am
by matt
The view isn't great. it looks right at an identical house across a tiny driveway. I have a ton of shelves, so by putting the desk in the middle of the room instead of against the wall, I can cram in more shelving.

We aren't doing real pre-production stuff anymore. I imagine our vertical slice/demo will appear mostly unchanged in game. I don't know about the rest of the team, but I was itching to get started on the actual game when we were working on concepts and other tests.

I think longer pre-production helps creativity. I guess there is a little frustration like you are going in circles if you already pleased with your results but you try to get more concepts and everything to make sure you are going in the right direction.

I think the right length for preproduction is when you've answered all your questions about the project. You don't need all gameplay, art, and context. You just need the important elements - basically anything that could be risky that might take an indeterminate amount of time.