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July 21, 2019
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Features » Resource Guide
Postmortem: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 2
by Wu Dong Hao [07.14.03]
When Splinter Cell had to be ported from the Xbox to the Playstation 2, Ubi Soft threw everything at the project to it out by the end of its fiscal year. The project brought developers from Ubi Soft's studios in France and Italy to its studio in Shanghai, China, where the project was underway. This provided unique challenges for the producer, who had to overcome team cultural and communication problems, scheduling challenges, asset management issues, and organizational hurdles that arose when the team grew into the largest in the company's history.
Postmortem, Production, Resource Guide

Production Testing and Bug Tracking  
by Jamie Fristrom [07.14.03]
Identifying and fixing bugs needs to be done early and often. One reason we keep forgetting this is because of that phase of the project we call "alpha" or "feature complete." The fact that we have this phase implies that we're not supposed to fix our bugs now; we're supposed to get the features in, and then we'll fix all the bugs later in the alpha phase. That's not a good development process. In this article from our Game Production Resource Guide, Jamie Fristom explains why and presents methods to help your team fix bugs before moving on.
Production, Resource Guide

Three Inspirations for Creative Level Design  
by Paul Warne [07.16.01]
While Level Designers can learn a lot from classical and contemporary ideas in structural architecture, they are free from many of the constraints of real world builders and architechs. Paul Warne presents the works of three great visionary designers and architechs to inspire new thoughts on the nature of spatial design, and consequently new ideas on particular aspects of the art of level design.
Design, Resource Guide

GDC 2001: The Architecture of Level Design  
by Duncan Brown, Steve Chen [07.16.01]
The bar for the visual quality of environments in games keeps getting higher. To meet that bar and push it even further will require the integration of real world design skills as well as a keen sense of gameplay and game design. Attending an architectural design or any sort of design school is of course not absolutely necessary to be a good level designer, but it can help widen your scope of experience. Architectural Design and Level Design are two very different pursuits, the point is really to investigate how looking beyond traditional and often overused game design references and approaches can help to bring an added dimension to the experience of making and playing games.
Design, Resource Guide, GDC 2001

Great Expectations: Building a Player Vocabulary  
by Brett Johnson [07.16.01]
As level designers, we can carefully build a vocabulary of game mechanics and shape what the player knows about the environment -- and when they know it. When the player pushes a button to call an elevator, they expect the elevator to arrive. Imagine their surprise when the elevator suddenly comes crashing down with a group of screaming scientists on board! Players come to your game with a vast amount of knowledge and expectations that you can use, as a designer, can use to your advantage.
Design, Resource Guide

Where's the Design in Level Design? (Part One)  
by Tito Pagán [07.16.01]
If you are a game level designer or artist who wants to create 3D interior levels that stand out and get your product noticed, creating a well-designed, believable environment is a sure way to do it. Play-balancing aside, real-time gaming "worlds" of the recent past, made up of planar-surface corridors wallpapered in repeating patterns that show off their pixel components, should be put away bearing a label that reads "For Nostalgic Purposes Only."
Design, Resource Guide

Where's the Design in Level Design? (Part Two)  
by Tito Pagán [07.16.01]
This isn't a "how-to" tutorial on designing, modeling, or texturing a game level. Instead it is a collection of considerations to help you with a more efficient execution of good design for your level modeling and texture work. As promised last time, I will also walk you through the steps of prequalifying level assets so that you can avoid making costly mistakes, thus saving you time and money better spent elsewhere.
Design, Resource Guide

GDC 2001 Interview: Paul Jaquays  
by John McLean-Foreman [07.16.01]
Paul Jaquays has been designing levels for id since 1997, but he's been making games (video as well as tabletop) since 1976. Paul discusses the Game Developers Conference, getting along with programmers, and the ongoing PC-versus-console debate.
Design, Resource Guide, Interview

Audio Content for Diablo and Diablo 2: Tools, Teams and Products 1
by Matt Uelmen [05.15.01]
Diablo and its sequel have established themselves as two of the most commercially successful and influential PC games of the past decade. This article discusses some of the nuts and bolts of one particular aspect of the development of this series: music and sound effects.
Audio, Resource Guide

Adaptive Music  
by Andrew Clark, Kurt Akeley [05.15.01]
Despite the title "Adaptive Music," this feature doesn't talk about music at all -- except by analogy. Because language is much easier than music to demonstrate and discuss in the written medium, Andrew Clark delves into adaptive art by exploring the world of interactive poetry. Writing adaptive poetry sounds impossible, doesn't it? It's essentially the same challenge that an adaptive music composer faces
Audio, Resource Guide