Gearbox Software Production Pipeline – Jobs Titles – Job Descriptions
Phase 1: Concept • Create an original idea or story or use an existing franchise to steer the development of a video game • The initial idea for a game starts small and is expanded on in Pre-Production • Concept could be as simple as making a sequel
Phase 2: Pre-Production • Core development of story, concept art, and storyboards • a comprehensive design document for the game includes the designers blue print (menu screens, controls, goal, win/lose rules, in game levels/world) • What hardware limitations are there? • If It is a sequel, what are some critiques fans of the game have?
Phase 3: Production • Development of the game • Game designers make sure that the design documents are being implemented. Come up with solutions if there are technical limitations or designs/ ideas don’t work. • Artists build animation and art (create environments, assets, characters, menus, textures, animations) • Programmers working on coding game’s library, engine, and AI. • Once these base elements are implemented by both artists and programmers, production team will then work on optimizing the game.
Phase 4: Post-Production • All code is written and art is completed, game is considered “Feature Complete” • Alpha and Beta versions are created to test for bugs and major flaws • Bugs are documented and attempted to be fixed, in order of importance • Game is made sure to meet the standards of the console manufacturer • After bugs get fixed, a final version is sent to manufacturer and gets distributed
Game Designer Game designers develop the plot, theme and rules of a video or computer game. Once a basic story and framework is developed, designers take their ideas to artists and sound designers who create the visual and audio portions of the game.
Concept Artist Using principles of art and graphic design, responsibilities include creation and design of environments, backgrounds, characters and color schemes of gaming production from concept to completion based on ideas presented by art directors and development teams.
Level Designer Level designers try to create levels that build upon the skills that the gamer has developed while still offering enough difference to give the gamer variety and complexity. The level must fulfill a variety of roles. It must fit in with the mood and thematic elements of the game. The level must integrate smoothly into the overall storyline of the game. The level designer must carefully plan how the player will interact with the environment
Programmer Game programmers take the creative plans developed by game designers and artists and then use mathematics and special computer languages to write the programs necessary to make games work properly. Programmers complete games in stages and then run tests to see how games work, making corrections as needed.
Animator Animators work primarily on the moving aspects of game characters and elements. They design this motion through hand-drawn sketches or computer renders, and create final digital versions for the game. During this process, game animators work closely with programmers to ensure the different elements of the game remain compatible.
FX Artist Responsible for designing and creating animated environments and characters, drawing or modeling storyboards, and ensuring that the animation corresponds to both the script and the soundtrack.
Art Director Oversees the entire creative process of the organization including, but not limited to, meeting with clients, creating the initial design concepts and approving final drafts.
Producer Responsible for pulling together the resources needed to create a game. Game producers organize the developers, tasks and assets within a project and ensure adherence to a schedule they have created according to the publisher's specifications. If the project is not going smoothly or meeting its targets, the game producer is expected to resolve the issues or rework the schedule.
Platform Specialist Responsible for guiding programmers to develop on a specific platform (PC, PS3, Xbox 360). Coordinates with the platform manufacturer for latest technology updates. Works closely with the development and QA team to ensure proper implementation.
Quality Assurance (QA) Tester Responsible for testing and evaluating the game during the course of its development. Quality Assurance Testers report to the Lead Quality Assurance Tester and provide reports on game quality to the rest of the development team as needed. Generally testing for bugs and major flaws.
Sources • http://gearboxsoftware.com/ • http://www.ign.com/articles/2006/03/16/the-game-production-pipeline-concept-to-completion • http://gearboxsoftware.com/jobs/106/concept-artist • http://www.ehow.com/about_5339512_art-director-position-description.html • http://www.ehow.com/about_6522759_job-description-game-producer.html • http://www.ehow.com/facts_6001706_job-description-game-programmer.html • http://gearboxsoftware.com/jobs/93/gameplay-level-designer • http://www.ehow.com/about_6506986_video-game-animator-job-description.html • http://www.ehow.com/facts_6021619_game-designer-job-description.html