This book teaches game designers, aspiring game developers, and game design students how to take a digital game project from start to finish—from conceptualizing and designing to building, playtesting, and iterating—while avoiding the uncontrolled overwork known among developers as “crunch.” Written by an award-winning game designer, A Playful Production Process outlines a process that connects the creative aspects of game design with proven techniques for effective project management. The book outlines four project phases—ideation, preproduction, full production, and post-production—that give designers and developers the milestones they need to advance from the first glimmerings of an idea to a finished game.
The book covers each of the project phases in turn, proceeding from ideation through post-production. Most chapters discuss a subject related to making a game in a structured way, describing the activities that take place in each phase, the milestones that mark the beginning and end of each phase, and the deliverables due at each milestone; others cover processes used to communicate, collaborate, and manage the project. This hands-on “playcentric” approach (a term coined by Tracy Fullerton in Game Design Workshop) will help designers conceptualize and create future projects with greater efficiency, more creativity, and less pain.
Richard Lemarchand, a game designer who worked in the videogame industry for more than twenty years, is an Associate Professor in the USC Games program at the University of Southern California. During his time at Naughty Dog, he led or co-led the design of all three PlayStation 3 games in the Uncharted series, including the award-winning Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. He also helped to create the game series Gex and Soul Reaver at Crystal Dynamics. He now teaches game design, development, and production, and is working on a series of experimental game research projects as part of the USC Game Innovation Lab.
Learn more at richardlemarchand.com
Thanks to Jasmine Persephone Jupiter for her help with creating this website!