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The Game Production Handbook, 2nd Edition by Heather Maxwell Chandler

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ROLES ON THE TEAM
In This Chapter
• Production
• Art
• Engineering
• Design
Quality Assurance Testing
• Team Organization
• Corporate
2.1 I
NTRODUCTION
T
o better understand the production cycle, it is important to know what
types of roles are normally found on a game development team. The roles
vary from team to team, depending on the project needs, the company
size, and the scope of a project. For example, if working on a mobile phone
game, the team might be four people who all fulfill multiple roles on the project.
If working on a next-generation console game, the team might have more than
80 people, with each person assigned a specific role on the project.
This chapter discusses the general roles comprising a development team
and how the teams are organized. In addition, information is presented on non-
production roles, such as sales and marketing. For more in-depth information on
roles and job descriptions, please refer to Get in the Game! by Marc Mencher,
published by New Riders.
Chapter 2Chapter 2
18 THE GAME PRODUCTION HANDBOOK, 2/E
WORKING IN GAME DEVELOPMENT
Wade Tinney and Coray Seifert
Large Animal Games
If you are working in game production, you need to have a deep understanding
of games and why people play them. It’s amazing to us how many people, who don’t
play games, apply for jobs at a game company. Would you apply for a job at a film
studio if you didn’t watch movies on a regular basis? One must not only play games,
but also think critically about them. If you don’t understand interactivity and how a
given set of choices affects a player’s game experience, it’s unlikely that you’ll be
able to effectively contribute to the development team. This ability to think critically
about gameplay is especially important for producers and designers.
Aspiring game developers must also be able to interact constructively with other
members of a creative team. Gone are the days when a commercial game could
be created by a single person. It is now imperative for developers to understand
the importance of teamwork in creating a successful product. Even team experience
from other creative industries is a good start; if you have experience working collab-
oratively on a film project, for example, or even on a school project, that experience
can help prepare you for the game industry.
In addition, you must have the discipline to complete your tasks within tight
deadlines, without handholding, and in many cases, with fewer resources than you
would really like. Frequently, smaller development teams depend on each member
to wear many different hats and to do whatever it takes to get the game done. This
can include designing parts of the game, making decisions on budgets and sched-
ules, or even creating art assets. If you are able to quickly adapt to situations like
these, you will be right at home making games.
2.2 PRODUCTION
Production roles run the gamut from production coordinator to executive pro-
ducer. People involved in game production are focused on managing and tracking
the game’s development and are the main intermediary between the develop-
ment team and anyone external to the team, even studio management. Those in
production roles should keep the team happy, motivated, and productive on the
project. Production people are not usually responsible for actually creating game
assets, as their main responsibility is to efficiently manage the people creating
the content. This management keeps the team’s time focused on actually com-
pleting game tasks instead of tracking schedules, dealing with personnel issues,

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