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有效避免游戏开发阶段返工的4大步骤

作者:Davi Vasc

如果你身处电子游戏产业,你便可能经历过需要修改,甚至彻底重做某些工作(游戏邦注:如图像,音乐,声音,代码等等)的情况。这些情况被称为返工。在电子游戏开发中,返工是非常浪费时间的并且会招致巨大的压力,特别是当截止日期已经非常邻近时。不过也存在某些方法能够帮你将返工降至最低程度。

不管你是一个需要返工的人(美术师,编曲者,程序员等)还是要求别人返工的人(游戏设计师,制作人,主管等),本文都能够帮助你和你的团队节省下不少时间。

起因

在我们开始阻止一个问题前,我们必须了解引起这一问题的原因。根据我的经验,招致返工的最常见的两个原因是:

设计改变。设计改变往往会引起返工,即开发者改变了原来设计中的一个或多个基本内容,并导致之前的一些工作不再匹配现有的项目。这种情况的返工是不可预测且难以阻止的(有时候根本不可能扭转)。

缺少适当的交流。这是最常见,且可阻止的一种情况,所以本文将侧重于这一情况。这种类型的返工通常是工作提供者和游戏设计师之间的交流不当所造成的,并因此导致一些工作不再与项目的美术或技术方向相匹配。

现在让我们通过一些简单的步骤去了解如何减少缺少适当交流所引起的返工:

信息如金

总是提供/询问所有有关游戏的信息。为了确保所完成的工作能够有效匹配开发者的看法,你必须确保所有人都是基于同样的工作频率。做到这点的最佳方法便是提供给承包人尽可能多的信息。

这可能听起来再正常不过,但不幸的是我们总是很难有效实践这些再正常不过的事。那些已经清楚并熟知自己想法好几个月的游戏开发者可能会下意识地将一些重要信息当成常识,而不能有效地将其传达给其他团队成员。或者稍晚加入的团队成员可能会不知觉地接收到一些有关项目的过时信息从而导致返工的出现。

阻止这种交流不当的最佳方法便是有效阻止并更新信息。像游戏设计文件,概念艺术,脚本,截图和早前游戏架构都是非常有效的例子。这对于那些之后才加入开发行列以及离线工作的团队成员来说非常重要。

如果你刚刚加入开发团队,请果断地向别人咨询更多信息。如果你是将更多新人带进团队中的开发者,请积极地提供给这些新人足够的信息。如此你们便能够有效地避免误解与不必要的返工。

有效避免游戏开发阶段返工的4大步骤

communication(from hjenglish)

学习理解

游戏开发者总是需要与不同领域的专家展开合作。但通常情况下他们都不清楚所合作的专家使用的专门用语。所以承包人在与开发者进行交流时“第六感”便非常重要。

让我们举个简单的例子来说吧,如果开发者要求编曲者提供“high energy”的音乐,那么编曲者可能会将其理解为需要更快的节奏。很多类似的情况可能更加复杂,所以需要承包人具有不错的理解能力。

而理解能力往往是源自于不同项目中的不同人的交流经验。

作为开发者,如果承包人使用专门术语与你交谈,请直接让对方做出详细的解释以避免不必要的误解。而作为承包人,有时候理解技能也不足以帮助你准确了解开发者的用意。这也将把我们带向下一个要点:

询问/提供参考资料

拥有参考资料应该是确保工作能够有效符合开发者想法的最佳方式。这能让所有人可以从同一份资料中获取灵感,并有效避免返工的情况。

承包人不仅可以将这些资料作为直接参考对象,同时也可以将它们作为研究其它相似资料的参数。承包人/开发者同时也可以要求/提供不该出现的工作的资料,从而明确划分想要与不想要的工作的界限。

除了提供参考资料外,游戏开发者也应该确保通过执行下一个步骤而有效发挥这些参考资料的作用:

事无巨细

即使提供了参考资料,误解也是很常出现的情况。如果开发者未能明确提及,承包人将很容易忽视参考资料中的一些详细内容。

关于参考资料开发者真正想要传达的是什么?关于承包人的工作哪些内容需要被反复提及?哪些内容应该被避免?明确这些细节将有效阻止之后的返工,

结论

这些步骤其实都很简单有效,但在电子游戏产业中却很少有人去实践它们。手脚麻利应该是任何产业中的人应该拥有的最佳优势,如果你能够将团队时间置于真正重要的位置,你便能够从众多竞争对手中脱颖而出。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转发,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

How To Reduce Reworks During Video Game Development

by Davi Vasc

If you work in the video game industry, you have probably experienced in one way or another a situation in which some kind of work (art, music, sound, code, etc) needs to be revised, corrected or even redone entirely. These situations a commonly referred to as reworks. In video game development, reworks can be massively time consuming and stress inducing, especially when a deadline is quickly approaching. The good news is that there are ways to ensure that reworks are kept at a minimum.

Whether you are the one doing the reworks (artists, composers, programmers, etc) or the one asking for them (game designers, producers, directors, etc), this article should help you save a potentially massive amount of time for you and your team.

The Causes:

Before we start preventing a problem, we must know what are the causes. In my experience, the two most common causes for reworks are:

Design changes. Reworks caused by design changes occur when one or more fundamental aspects of the game’s design is changed by the developers, making the previously approved work unfitting for the project. Reworks of this kind can be quite unpredictable and difficult (sometimes impossible) to prevent.

Lack of proper communication. This is the most common, preventable issue and will be the focus of this article. Reworks of this type are caused by miscommunication between the work provider and the game designers, resulting in work that does not fit the artistic and/or technical direction of the project.

Now, let’s go through some easy steps that will allow us to drastically reduce the occurrence of reworks caused by lack of proper communication:

Information is Gold:

Always provide/ask for all the relevant information about the game. To increase the chances of creating work that perfectly matches the vision of the developers, it is important to make sure that everyone is working on the same wave length. The best way to do this is to have as much information as possible available for the contractors.

This may sound like common sense, because it is. But unfortunately, common sense is not always common practice. Game developers who have been living and breathing their vision for months may unintentionally regard a certain piece of important information as common knowledge, failing to disclose it clearly to other team members. Or, a team member who comes in later at the development may unknowingly receive outdated information about the project, resulting in work that must be remade.

The best way to prevent this kind of miscommunication is to have organized and up to date sources of information. Good examples are game design documents, concept art, script, screenshots and early game builds. This is especially relevant to team members coming in later in development and also to those working off-site.

If you are new in the development team, never hesitate to ask for more information. If you are a developer bringing someone new to the team, be proactive to provide it. This will for sure prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary reworks.

Learn to Interpret:

Game developers work in co-operation with professionals of many different areas. It is almost impossible to know the technical vocabulary proper to the expertise of everyone they work with. Because of this, it is important for contractors to develop a “sixth sense” when communicating with the developers.

For a simple example, if a developer asks a composer for a “high energy” music track, the musician could probably interpret that as a reference to fast tempo. Some situations like this can be much more complex, requiring better interpretation skills from the contractor.

The ability to interpret will come largely from the accumulation of experience in dealing with different people in different projects.

As a developer, if a contractor speaks to you in technical terms, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification in order to avoid misunderstandings. As a contractor, sometimes your interpretation skills won’t be enough to give you a clear picture of what the developer means. This brings me to my next point:

Ask For/Provide Reference Material:

Having reference material available is probably the best way to make sure the work will turn out to be as close as possible to the developer’s vision. It makes it possible for everyone to take inspiration from the same sources, making the request for a rework less likely.

Contractors can use this material not only as direct reference, but also as a parameter for their own research on other material similar to the one(s) provided. It is also possible to provide/ask for reference for what kind of work should NOT be done, making the boundaries between what is desired and what is undesired very clear.

In addition to providing the reference, the game developers should make sure to use it to its full potential by implementing what is described in my next point:

Be Specific:

Is not uncommon for misunderstandings to happen even when reference is provided. A relevant detail in the reference, if not mentioned, can easily go completely unnoticed by the contractor.

What exactly the developer likes about the reference material? What elements should be replicated in the contractor’s work? What elements should be avoided? Having these details settled in advance will prevent having to rework them later.

Conclusion:

These steps are very simple and effective but are not always practiced in the video game industry. Working fast is one of the best qualities someone can have in almost any industry and you will certainly stand out among others when word comes out that you value your team’s time.( source:gamasutra )

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