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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Making the Cut

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We have hit the home stretch of development with our RC date for the Wii coming up in exactly 5 weeks and 1 day! What does this mean? Lots of overtime, focusing on essential remaining tasks, and making the cut list.

Over the past week especially we have gone back and forth a bit with the publisher on the cut list, and coming up with that list is always a tricky balance. I present below a list of considerations that have to be taken into account to ensure your game is going to ship when it needs to -

1) Contractual Obligations - Yikes! This is the stickiest part, because there are always certain metrics defined in your contract. If the RC date is set though, and there isn't enough time remaining to get all of that in, contract discussions have to take place. As the Producer this is slightly over my head on this project in particular, but if you are in a small indie team with a contract then you need to keep yourself and your publisher in constant check of the realities defined in your contract.

2) Making the Publisher Happy - Do you ever want to work with them again? Do you want them to actually sign off on your milestone deliveries? I'd imagine you're going to answer yes to at least one of these questions, so this problem is going to apply to you. Publishers always expect the world to be delivered on the drop of a dime, so if you want them to be happy then you'll have to make conceptually ridiculous demands. Does this mean burning longer hours at work? Does this mean spending more of the budget that you'd like? Sometimes.

3) X Amount of Remaining Work and Y Amount of Remaining Resources - Happens to everyone, and I can guarantee you Y is less than X in this situation. How badly do you want to crunch your team and yourself? What is going to make the publisher at least somewhat happy? What is essential that is remaining? What is just 'fluff' that is remaining? Answering these questions means leaning hard on your leads, lots of e-mails and phone calls with the publisher, and a bit of battling with QA.

No one likes to cut anything. The publisher doesn't want anything cut, and you don't want to cut anything because the feeling is always that the more content there is the better. You'll you have to cut work that has already been done, because the required work to finish a feature, mini-games, etc. is going to be too much in relation to the more essential content remaining. Sometimes less is more though, which is always a hard sell to the publisher, because they have fewer bullets for the back of the box. Do we half ass all the remaining features/content, or do we cut off all the fat and make sure that what we do ship glistens?

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