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Game Development Manifesto
by Jason Taylor on 04/01/13 02:53:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Game Development Manifesto v.1.0

Spend more effort prototyping gameplay than writing design docs.

Spend more effort prototyping gameplay than doing market research. (My friend Ethan adds: Putting a prototype in front of a player is the only market research that matters.)

Reduce scope brutally.

Designers need the ability to easily and quickly test tweaks from day one.

Before you have two engineers you need to document a coding standard and a branching strategy.

Before you work on a real feature you need source control, automated builds, and push-button deployment.

If you are ever going to localize you should build the framework before you complete a single user-facing feature.

Figure out your art and data pipelines before you add any art or data. (Once the pipelines are in place engineers should not be required.)

Figure out how to add and remove assets without breaking the game.

Figure out how to do non-ugly screen transitions before you show the game to someone outside the dev team.

Don't use new technology unless that's the only new thing about your game.

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Ethan Levy
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Sounds like a dream set up, JT! I would love to hear the trials, tribulations and results of implementing these processes 100% on a game's development. I hope you are able to see them through and look forward to playing whatever you work on next.

Jonathan Jennings
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it's funny a couple of times in the past my superiors have wanted to hide the game until it was perfect before showing unfamiliar faces or letting people outside the studio but that's the absolute opposite of what you want to do in my opinion . We work on our games for hundreds if not thousands of hours , therefore we are in the worst place to judge our games subjectively because we see our games too much to usually appreciate what someone who has never seen our game before thinks or wants . i love seeing people play games for the first time I have worked on and they truly do offer the best insight in my experience!