Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Other Technical Roles
Some roles on the game team aren't specific to one particular discipline. They might
be staffed by people who have broad skills experience. Unless you are part of a very
small game team or game company, these are roles you grow into over time after gain-
ing experience and showing aptitude, usually with some time previously spent being
mentored by someone in that same position.
Project Manager
The project manager's job is to see that the game gets done on time and within budget.
Both the game developer and the game publisher may each employ their own project
manager, who is also referred to as the game's producer. To help accomplish this, a
schedule is made with dates for particular “milestones,�? which define a set of tasks or
goals that should be achieved. The milestone provides an indication that the game is
making sufficient progress and builds confidence that the game will be ready on time.
In addition to the milestones, schedules may assign specific detailed tasks to specific
people or job roles, along with a due date for each task. At any point in time on the
schedule, the project manager can know how many people are needed, which tasks
should have been completed, and which tasks should be in progress. Adding up all of
the people at each point in time provides a staffing budget.
In addition to staffing, which translates into wages, the project manager may need to
budget monetary expenses for equipment, supplies, and services. This includes new
computers, hardware, and software tool licenses for programmers, artists, and testers.
The staffing, scheduling, and budgeting details may get written into a formal Software
Project Management Plan. This plan makes the project plan visible to the team and
the game company.
A Risk Management Plan may also be created and provided as a separate document
or as part of the project management plan. This document lists risks that the project
manager has identified as being possible for the current project. These risks may be
based on the team's experience with previous games, or on new factors. Some examples
of project risks are:
Two games will be tested at the same time; may not be enough testers for both.
Next-gen console hardware may not be ready in time to begin testing on schedule.
New graphics concept depends on rendering tool plug-in that is not yet available.
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