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Stakeholder (corporate), a person, group, organization, or system who affects or can be affected by an organization's actions.
LAFS SVI Level 6 - Game Development
Survey of the Videogame Industry
The Los Angeles Film School
A video game developer is a software
developer (a business or an individual)
that creates video games
A developer may specialize in a certain
video game console, such as Sony's
PlayStation 3, or may develop for a
variety of platforms
Game Developer (Business)
Owned and run by a
An independently owned
company that may work
for different publishers
A company that develops video games is also called a
Game Studios may be:
Game Developer (Individual)
One or more individuals
A game developer may also be:
When applied to an individual, the term “game developer”
may also refer specifically to a game programmer. Game
programmers are also called:
The lone, “auteur” game developer is a
*Unless you’re Notch.
Are you Notch?
No, you are not.
Working in Games: Leader Artist (4:51)
Extra Credits, Season 4, Episode 01 - So
You Want To Be a Developer (Part 1)
Extra Credits, Season 4, Episode 02 - So
You Want To Be a Developer (Part 2)
Do I Need To Know Math?
Yes! Mathematics is not just for programmers!
Geometry is maths too. As are statistics. And
probability. And proportion. And even project
management and budgeting. Maths is
everywhere and it isn’t hard. Especially when it’s
applied. So let’s debunk that myth right here.
Game Design Document (GDD): A document
describing the game vision and how the game
Technical Design Document (TDD): A
document describing how the game will be
Prototype/First Playable: An early playable
version of the game
Detailed Schedule and Budget
Who Is Busy During Pre-
Very Busy: Producer, Lead
Programmer, Lead or Conceptual
Somewhat Busy: Other
Not Busy: Audio, Testers
The Pre-Production Problem
Extra Credits, Season 3, Episode 01 - The
Pre Production Problem (8:03)
The Pre-Production Problem
What can you do about the problem of the
rest of the team being idle while only a few
members are doing preproduction?
If possible, do preproduction on the next
project while the rest of the team is
finishing up the current project.
Team ramps up (adds more people)
All the game features (Alpha code)
All the game assets (art and audio)
All the game levels
History and even geography may need to be
“rewritten” for a given region.
China & Taiwan
Cameras and gameplay may need to be adjusted
for some regions.
The US doesn’t like “grinding,” which is highly
popular in Asia
US stories are often simplified and glorify
Americans, Japanese stories tend to be esoteric
Japan doesn’t like “searching” for items
Asia prefers linearity, the US prefers open-ended
First Person mode tends to cause negative
physical reactions in Japan
Western Vs. Asian Views On
Extra Credits, Season 2, Episode 17 - The
Myth Of The Gun (5:53)
Who Is Busy During Post-
Busiest: Programmers, Testers
Very Busy: Producer
Somewhat Busy: Designer
A Little Busy: Artists, Audio
Waterfall: A sequential process in
which development is seen as
flowing downwards (like a waterfall)
through pre-determined stages
Agile: An iterative process in which
the project is re-evaluated at the end
of each cycle
A flexible holistic strategy where a
development team works together to
reach a common goal
The word “scrum” is a rugby term,
referring to the manner of restarting
after a minor infraction
A person, group, organization, or system who affects or
can be affected by an organization's actions. They
have a vested interest in the project.
Stakeholders may have different levels of involvement
in a project. Some may be merely contribute, while
others are more committed.
Stakeholders in a Game Project
• Development Team
• Quality Assurance
Project Owner: Represents the stakeholders and
is the voice of the customer. S/he is accountable
for delivering value
Team: Responsible for delivering a shippable
project in incremental steps
Scrum Master: Enforces the rules of Scrum.
Responsible for removing obstacles to the team.
Acts as a buffer between the team and distracting
An ordered list of requirements for the product:
features, bug fixes, non-functional requirements
(such as documentation)
The items are ordered by the Product Owner based
on considerations like risk, business value, etc.
The features added to the backlog are commonly
written in a story format. (“As a user, I would like
Sprint: The basic unit of development
in Scrum. The sprint is a “timeboxed”
effort – normally between one week
and one month.
Sprint Backlog: The list of tasks to be
accomplished during that sprint.
Sprint Planning Meeting: At the
beginning of every sprint, a planning
meeting is held to decide what work is
to be done and prepare the sprint
Daily Scrum (Daily Standup)
A timeboxed meeting (usually set to 15
minutes) of the development team. It
should be held at the same time and
location every day. Each team member
answers three questions:
What have you done since yesterday?
What are you doing today?
Are there any obstacles?
End of Sprint
Sprint Review Meeting: Completed
work is reviewed with the
stakeholders (“the demo”)
Sprint Retrospective: The team
members discuss improvements to
An approach in which Scrum Sprints
occur between Waterfall Milestones
Many game studios use a Hybrid
methodology rather than a pure
G4 Icons Episode #34: Naughty Dog
Testing vs. Playing
At home, you play games to have fun. You
get to choose what to play, when to play, and
how to play it.
Testing games can still be fun, but you have
fewer choices about what, when and how to
play. Everything you do when you play has a
Purposes of Game Testing
Find defects in the code or design
Demonstrate which parts of the
game are working properly
Two Types of Testing
“It’s too hard.”
“The hats should be blue.”
“Why can’t we have bigger guns?”
“Game crashes when I do this…”
“Quest giver doesn’t reward me after I turn quest
“Barbie says ‘Ima kill you!’”
In Other Words
Gameplay Testing is subjective and opinion
Bug Testing is objective and fact based
Test Kit (PC, console, etc.)
Written by Lead Tester (or Project
Exercises every feature and asset in the
Used as the basis of check sheets
Writing a Bug Report
Location or Component
Expected Result / Actual Result (when bug is not
Steps to reproduce
A = (Blocker / Critical) Fatal flaw. No-ship
Crashes, freezes, can’t finish game
B = (Major / Normal) Serious flaw.
Features don’t work properly
C = (Minor / Trivial) Minor flaw.
Glitches in artwork, typos, minor annoyances
Step-by-step or checklist-based testing
Factual accuracy of game
Concerned about game contents
Requires a very structured, ordered,
Open-ended or outline-based testing
Realistic experience of game
Concerned about game context
Like a laid-back approach
The QA Process
QA Team tests build
QA Team reports defects
Development Team fixes defects
QA Team tests new build
QA Team verifies or rejects fixes
QA Team tests for new defects
Every Open Bug is Reviewed
As Is / ISV
Careers in QA
EA QA (Games Tester) Career Paths (9:46)