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Please Note. There is a ton of useful information in the notes of these presentations. Please download these presentations and enjoy them in MS PowerPoint locally. Thanks!. Production. The thrilling world of workflow. When is production?. When you’ve got: A plan/GDD A budget

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Please Note

There is a ton of useful information in the notes of these presentations.

Please download these presentations and enjoy them in MS PowerPoint locally.

Thanks!


Production

  • The thrilling world of workflow


When is production?

  • When you’ve got:

    • A plan/GDD

    • A budget

    • A prototype/VS

    • A timeline

    • Tools

    • Fun!


Level Design


Workflow/Pipeline

Image courtesy of rickz


Why Bother?

  • Who wants red tape?

  • Save time

  • Avoid frustration

  • Control iteration

  • Manage budget

  • Avoid crunch, delays


The Frontlines Pipeline


The Handoff


The phases

  • Phase 0: it exists

  • Phase 1: it’s got stuff in it

  • Phase 2: even more stuff!

  • Phase 3: The GM says it’s done

  • Not all bad: as a designer, it’s kind of fun!


Why did it happen?


Our current process


Stages

  • Contain steps

  • Time boxed

  • Clear deliverables

  • Approvers

  • Responsibilities


What is locked?


The Process

  • Research & Concept

  • Blockout & test

  • Iteration & Vetting

  • Refinement & Playtesting

  • Optimization, Art content, bug fixing


A less crazy document


How’s it going?

  • - Time estimates off

  • + collaboration improved

  • + No cut maps


Key Ingredients

  • Unambiguous goals

  • Defined stages

  • Established approvers

  • “The courage to be clear”

  • It’s not about feelings


Single player process

Image courtesy of max_westby


Process breakdown


The Swarm


Positives

  • Focus

  • Team work

  • Coherency

  • Specialization


How do we do it?

  • Unreal – architected for sharing


Submaps


The tangled web


Map Lead

  • Produces known-good builds

  • Insures seamless linking between sections

  • Handles save/load issues


Drawbacks

  • Loss of mission ownership

  • Technically challenging


Will it work for you?

  • Does it fit your game?

  • Can your tools support it?

  • Will it work for the developers?


How’s about Fallout 3?

  • Take it Joel


What Came Before?

55 Ayleid Ruins

57 Imperial Forts

24 Mines

09 Sewers

19 Oblivion Realms

91 Caves .

255 Dungeons

Oblivion

Dungeons

1 Dungeon Art Lead

4 Dungeon Artists

3 Level Designers (late)

8 Busy Individuals

Oblivion Staff


How do 8 people build 255 dungeons/levels?

  • Build Kits in 3ds Max

  • Clutter/Light/FX “Warehouse”

  • Layout & Populate

  • Ship it!*

  • *Some exceptions may apply

    • Major Locations Got More Love


What Now?

13 Metro Tunnels

12 DC Neighborhoods

26 Office Buildings

06 Vaults

15 Other

8 Caves

68 “Z” Cells .

148 LD Locations

Fallout 3 Spaces

Fallout3

Staff

6 Level Designers (peak)

4 Environment Artists


Fallout 3 LD Workflow

  • Iterative Passes, Formal Collaboration

  • Pass 1: Basic Layout

  • Pass 2: Refine, Populate, Script

  • Art Pass: Lighting, Detail Clutter

  • Pass 3: Polish for Ship

  • Pass 4: Bonus Polish Time

  • 1-5 Days per pass, depending on Size

  • Passes Scheduled to match dependency

  • Shared ownership, one party accountable


In Conclusion

  • Production is hard

  • Develop a pipeline

  • Communicate concrete goals

  • Stay flexible


Contact

  • [email protected]

  • @stuckbug


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