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MykC

Is there a software/hardware checklist?

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Hello, I've recently started a project that will have my friends and I working on a game project over the next 18 months (projected). The project will most likely not exceed 10 people (artists, programmers, sound and music). I'm looking to build a checklist here to see if there is anything we are missing or anything we should do differently to make things easier/cheaper/faster. Server Software: OS: Linux Source Control: Perforce Webserver: Apache Forums: Tiki Wiki Wiki: Tiki Wiki Bug Tracking: Mantis or Tiki Wiki Sever Hardware: Computers Hardware for Developers: Dual Screen Quad Core Mid Range Video Networking: Router/Switches: General Software: Build tool: NAnt Game Engine: ? Unreal, Gamebyro, Visual3D VPN: ? OS: MS Windows 7 Pro Productivity: MS Office/OpenOffice Communication: Outlook/MSN/Skype/Ventrilo Virus Protection: ? Programming Tools: Visual Studio 2008 Art Tools: Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, Autodesk Maya Anything I should add or consider? Remove or change? [Edited by - MykC on February 21, 2010 7:36:48 AM]

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I think it's funny that the only thing you put a price tag on is webcam and mouse.

Quote:
to see if there is anything we are missing or anything we should do differently


Right now you listed a hammer, bunch of screws and super glue.

Instead, you should start by describing what the result will be. Then describe the constraints. Based upon that, the tools are selected as very last step.

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I thought I could get started with just a general list that every team project would need. Good suggestion about selecting based on the desired result, since getting specific would require that.

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I thought I could get started with just a general list that every team project would need. Good suggestion about selecting based on the desired result, since getting specific would require that.

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Original post by MykC
Lamps:

If I had a dime for every time I had to stop development midway because it was getting too dark.. [grin]

I think you want to organize things on a higher level. For instance, it might make sense to have a mailing list to inform everybody on the project's progress, whether an individual uses Outlook or some other mail client isn't really relevant. Or it's important to have a good content pipeline so that everyone can easily import assets into the game; whether your artists prefer Maya or Max shouldn't be too much of a factor.

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Original post by MykC
I thought I could get started with just a general list that every team project would need. Good suggestion about selecting based on the desired result, since getting specific would require that.


There is no every team. Some teams work from home or garage, others have penthouse suites, third have cubicles, someone works from coffee shops. Some are collocated, others work remotely, some bring machines together in dorm room.

If collocated, will there be parking space, will you require ticket validation, if not enough room, where will they park or how will they arrive, are there any special taxes on traffic, ....

What is power supply like, will the building you are in provide enough power, are there any other restrictions, what about UPS/backup generators.

Heating/air-conditioning....

Those may seem obvious, but that means you have some tacit knowledge which is crucial in decision and cannot be guessed by any of us to give an educated guess.


Server: Why custom software, why not one of online services. Where is the build and integration server - how will you build and test Windows software on Linux machines. How many of those will you need, which type of license will you purchase. If Linux development, how will you test hardware.

NAnt - so it will be a .Net project.
Why do developers have mid-range video?
Why Photoshop/Maya? Do they integrate well with whatever engine you'll use? How much custom work will be needed, which server will they run on?
No backup? You cannot use online services for assets, simply too large. Which type of backup, tapes, disks? Where will they be stored off-site?
Printers? Shredder? Copier? What for high-quality graphics?
How many spare keyboards, mice, hard drives, power supplies? With 10 people (15+ machines) over 18 months, those will fail.
Outlook/Exchange server - who and how will administer it? If third-party email provider - why outlook?
Skype - will people be in same room? In cubicles? Sharing the desk? Then developers will not be happy over people chatting out loud. Will there be a conference room instead? How will it be equipped?
VS8 - why? 2010 is coming out. Will you ignore it? Plan for transition? Not need it?
Sound/Music - no hardware/software is listed for those. Where will they work? Will they record everything on their own? Will you license stock material? What kind of extra hardware will they need to compose?

Did you do the price check on the software licenses needed? The hardware? I'd say that the list for 10 people will be $60,000-$100,000 even without some big iron hardware for servers.

So make sure to know what you want the result to be first. Then start trimming the list down until it falls into affordable range, making compromises along the way. Also set the constraints. If you choose a Windows engine, that affects everything else. If you choose office, then you'll need a VMS that will deal well with these documents.

Managing 10 people in this way is a full time job for at least one person, and a lot of time can be wasted just dealing with purchasing. Administration of such network is another full time job, or part time job for a seasoned admin.

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whether your artists prefer Maya or Max shouldn't be too much of a factor.

Except for the cost of licenses, and the fact that then two tools must be managed and administered, and merged into pipeline.
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whether an individual uses Outlook or some other mail client isn't really relevant
Of course it is, if it runs over Exchange which integrates all the calendar and scheduling functionality with custom forms.

Ad-hoc tools are common, but then they must meet some other requirements and have different infrastructure.

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