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Chapter 2. Workflow

Chapter 2. Workflow

There's a lot more to a plan than the plan alone. In Chapter 1, I covered the simple part: the development process map (DPM). Now I'll delve into aspects of development that are harder to document, starting with the work itself and what makes us able to do that work. Much more is involved in getting the job done than mapping it out, and we'll explore a few parts of the production cycle that most developers take for granted in a production cycle. You may expect me to start by giving you examples of a sound engine design, but that won't help you communicate a concept of your own to the programming staff, or help you know how to be in the proper mind-set before making assumptions as to what will go into the sound engine. So I begin with workflow.

Strictly defined, workflow is how actions are combined over a period of time to achieve a desired result. Obviously work doesn't happen automatically. What isn't so obvious is how to control work to make it effective. When faced with work, any member of a game production team is confronted by the need to be creative, an urge that conflicts with the need to be organized and responsible. The two seemingly opposing forces of audio and art cause the most friction. In this chapter I'll try to break down the wall between creativity and organization, so that work in an office of a ruthless giant like Electronic Arts can feel like work in the basement of a demo group house in Finland.


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