Here is a look into an art and development pipeline of a mini-game inside a bigger slots game we are currently working on. This mini-game is dubbed ‘Pirate Planks’ and is a simple pick-game.
Staying true to our small studio philosophy of ‘lean startup’ (validated learning) and to be pushing daily code and production, we went from game design concept to completed production in less than a week with a team of 3 pulling 10+hours a day. Everything is custom created and the game is cross-platform browser friendly (except IE right now – working on that still!) because it is built in HTML5.
The way our team coordinates is through HipChat, and here is a screen-cap of how a day in the life of our remote process works. Someone at Lucky Lady Games seems to always be available online at any given time 24/7 – so if we get lonely, we just go here and ping each other for a quick chat! We have a team that is half early-birds and half night-owls! In our studio it seems, marketing team are night owls, developers are early risers… so not sure if this is opposite of other teams but it works well for me. Can you guess which group I fall in? 🙂
So going back to Pirate Planks…
To start a project, it starts with the Project Manager/Game Designer (which currently is me) telling the guys what I am looking to create. We discuss quickly in HipChat, then we add it to our Timelines and Deliverables Schedule. We all share this schedule in Google Docs so we all can see what each member is working on without having to micro-manage. We work in a task-based environment and find this is fantastic for nurturing creativity, which I have heard many game studios lack!
I will send our Art Director some high-level wire frame of how the game design works along with a game design documentation for development. It can be something as simple as this to show the mechanics of how the game is art-up:
Then we go in and talk about color palettes… and decide as a team what we should do. We went with Dusk til Dawn, this is the color direction we went with…
…but Im wishing we went with a warmer finish for the finals, but because we currently don’t have the luxury of time and resources to go back on our decisions, I have to bite the bullet leave it alone for production timelines sake.
I know some art directors and project managers will go back and make their art team change this, but I believe in picking my battles. And on a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 6 for me… so I will usually wait for 8-10s before really going into things like a complete over-haul. I think anything that is not overly “crucial” we can go back and edit later when we have that luxury. Right now, our goal is to push forward and get this game out for our launch date which is less than 2 months from now.
Plus, I always keep in mind that what I like might not be exactly what the general public likes, even though Im currently where the buck stops (as our CTO so kindly puts it), it is always best to A/B test everything we push out in a real world scenario.
Now that the art is wired up, the development and art team will work together to make it work. They will run through different animation & development issues such as making the planks lay properly and making it disappear upon click.
but invisible boxes
well the browser doesn’t know it is invisible…
so when you click on the invisible portion sitting over another plank, it’ll remove the wrong plank…hmm…”
But it always gets resolved cause our team is experienced and solution oriented..
And then and hour or later…
Pirate Planks Slots Bonus Round Final
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Per a report from Inside Asian Gaming, which cite[...]
Pennsylvania is considered as the second gambling [...]
Driving the speed of technological innovation are [...]
You can play for REAL Money in Kash Karnival Sept [...]
“I just forced myself into a relationship with P[...]
Thank you for your continued informative posts on the social games industry. I had the chance to meet you at the social games conference and think you have the best looking HTML5 slots I have ever seen. Best of Luck.
I've always wanted to learn how to card count and really love how simple your online article is on it! Great site... it is clear you guys are passionate about the gaming world and know what you are talking about.
Your poker advice helped me cash the last 2 local poker tournaments at Tulalip Casino! Would love for you to do a review of our casino here as we always have an amazing time when we visit. Will check out some of your other game advice now so I can win more!
Very cool site! I've always been a casino lover and never played slots online before, but tried it today and was very fun. Love the lucky lady slots and would love more free coins to play!