Game Development Reference
Assets, Budgets, Tasks, and Schedules
The production plan also includes the first draft of the asset list, team task lists, equip-
ment budget, costs, and so on. Like the game design document, this plan must be
updated and kept current throughout the life of the project.
The Technical Design Document
The technical design document sets out the way your tech lead plans to transform the
game design from words on a page to software on a machine. It establishes the technical
side of the art production path, lays out the tasks of everyone involved in development,
and estimates the time to completion of those tasks. From these man-month estimates,
you learn how many people you need on the project and how long they'll be with you.
This, in turn, has a direct effect on your budget.
In addition, the TDD specifies
What core tools will be used to build the game
Which tools are already in-house
Which tools have to be bought or created
What hardware and software must be purchased
What changes must be made to your organization's infrastructure—for example,
storage capacity, backup capabilities, and network speed—in order to support
The Project Plan
The project plan is the roadmap that tells you how you're going to build the game. It
starts with the raw tasklists in the tech plan, establishes dependencies, adds overhead
hours, and turns all that into a real-world schedule. The final project plan is broken
down into several independently maintained documents.
The manpower plan is a spreadsheet that lists all the personnel on the project, when
they will start, and how much of their salaries will be applied to the project.
The resource plan calculates all the external costs of the project. It takes from the tech
plan the timing of the hardware purchases to support internal personnel, and it esti-
mates when the external costs (voice, music, video, and so on) will be incurred.