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,
But it always gets resolved cause our team is experienced and solution oriented..
And then and hour or later…
You must be logged in to post a comment.