Feature Lockdown and the Fuzzy Beta Definition

A game is typically worked on until the last minute, meaning that content and code are changed until the game is burned to a CD, given a rather complicated series of tests, and packaged to ship to stores. This happens even at Electronic Arts, which boasts a postproduction segment in its development cycle, and nowhere is it more difficult to finalize than in audio. In the production of most big-budget feature films, the film is done before audio is mixed and music scored. Not so with games. Let's see how we can handle this challenge and squeeze more out of postproduction. But first, I'll define terms that apply to the final stages of a project's schedule: feature/content lockdown, alpha, beta, RC ...

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