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  • Lessons Learned In Game Art Production: Part 2

    - Ricardo Bess

  • "The room" was a little different, because we didn't have the beat board at first. But when we arrived at it, the game designers had already had time to work it out. Now that we had a briefing of the story and gameplay we took a step back and made some "beat boards" for it.

    Image 7 - The beat board for "the room"

    Once everybody was happy with these images we proceeded with the actual production pipeline: blocking - rough lighting - VR validation - 3D asset creation and tech artists in parallel.

    Image 8  - The room blocking (notice that we managed to reuse many assets the 3D artists had already done)

    One happy accident about the "beat boards" was that they were used by the UI designer to present his first previsualization of the UI for the game.

    Image 9 - The UI previz

    During this period the original art director came back from vacation and after he took the time to be aware of the decisions and paths that were taken I stepped out of the project coming back to work on the marketing material on a latter stage.

    Lessons learned

    • Just as in the other project: It's OK to change the core of the game, but never lose sight of what the stakeholders are expecting from the final product. Always plan to make a game whose production fits the time you have. Maybe you just don't have the resources you need to make the masterpiece you want to.
    • This time we didn't have time for 360° concept art creation, but we managed to deliver more finished blocked scenes in VR which was a good advance in our pipeline. I believe the next step would be trying to incorporate VR scene creation (with tools like Quill) and compare it to our previous experiences.
    • Once again looking for what's preventing people from doing their best work (and fixing it) is of great importance. The team has to be aware of their goals, deadlines and pipelines. Make sure everybody understands what it's trying to be achieved, how late the project is and how their work affects other team members.
    • Try not to get too personally attached to the projects you're working on. You never know when you'll be inserted into a new project and taken away from the one you are now. Try always to look ahead.


    Looking in a broad scope, I believe the most important lessons I could take from this two productions were:

    • All ideas start floating in people's heads. Make all you can to turn it into reality as fast as you can. This way everybody can start realizing what works and fixing what doesn't.
    • Don't lose focus of the stakeholders goals.
    • Don't lose focus of your media. At the end it doesn't matter if you have great game design theories (or if the concept art is looking good, or if you have great level design skills), but that's not tangible to the user when he has the headset on.
    • Be aware of production bottlenecks during the project, make all you can to avoid or at least minimize them.

    If you have any doubt or suggestion for other posts, please leave a comment or write me a message.



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