Game Development Reference
Such a document, if committed to paper, would be the size of a telephone directory,
impossible to maintain, read by no one, and almost instantly out of date. Instead, put
it on your internal network as a set of Web pages. See www.openwiki.com for a
methodology that makes this easy.
Maintaining your documents as Wiki pages not only has the advantage of keeping the
design up to date, but also enables everyone on the team to have easy access to everything
at all times. The savings to the group over the course of development are enormous.
The Art Production Plan
Preproduction is when you establish the “look�? of your game and decide how the art
will be created.
The Art Bible
During preproduction, the designer, art director, and concept artist collaborate on set-
ting the artistic style of the game. The concept artist makes reference sheets for other
artists to work from. Together, the team arrives at a unified “look.�? Establishing this
art bible early on helps orient new artists coming on to the project and ensures the
final product will have a consistent style throughout.
Most of this art can take the form of pencil sketches, but it's often useful in selling the
game to develop a few glossy pieces that capture the high concept and pack a good
In the early stages of the game it's also a good idea to assemble a visual reference
library of images that reflect the direction you want the art to take. These images can
come from anywhere—magazines, travel books, movie posters, and so on—as long as
they are used only for guidance and do not find their way into the final product.
The production path is the process by which you go from concept to reality, from an
idea in someone's head to actual figures and gameplay on the screen. For example, to
create a functioning character in an action game, you must find the most efficient way
to go from a designer's spec to a concept sketch to a 3D model to a skin for the model
to animation for the figure to applying AI to the character to dropping him in the
game and seeing how he works. All the tools you select along the way must be com-
patible. They must be able to “talk�? with each other so that the work you do at one
step can be imported to the next step, manipulated, and passed up the line.