創建一家工作室和遊戲原型的獨立開發日記

作者:Karin E Skoog

Golden Moose Studios剛成立幾個月,趁着新年到來之際,我覺得是時候開啓我們博客中的獨立遊戲開發日記部分了。

到目前爲止我們在Golden Moose Studios都做了什麼?

我和Manne在2016年夏末創建了這家工作室。我們執行了許多不同的工作:

與公司成立相關文書

這並不是一個簡單的任務。我們的很多獨立開發者朋友都表示他們將50%的時間用於與遊戲開發無關的工作中。

我猜到我們將把許多時間花費在與業務相關的任務中,但是我卻並未意識到我們到底需要花費多少時間於文書,與律師的討論等等工作中。

這包括:

在加州的註冊

在當地城市的註冊

註冊名字從而讓我們可以使用Golden Moose Studios去執行業務(而不是Golden Moose Studios,LLC這個法律意義上的全稱)

在加州的就業發展局註冊從而讓我們能夠給予僱員超過100美元的薪資

與僱員和公司結構/所有權相關的各種文書

決定如何處理保密協議以及所有權文件轉讓從而在我們對外招人時能夠從法律上保護自己

整理銀行文書並明確Manne是否能出現在公司的銀行賬戶中,因爲他不是美國公民(這既需要與銀行進行討論也要與我們的律師和政府進行交流)

轉換電子郵件服務器,即意味着我們最初的電子郵件將不能再用

事情一樁接一樁。所有的這些事都非常重要,但是它們卻會分散掉我們所需要的開發時間。

社交媒體渠道和我們的網站

我們想要修正網站上的許多內容並添加其它元素。

決定在我們的遊戲原型中包含什麼內容並制定實現這一目標的計劃與預算

儘管我們清楚在最終遊戲中想要整合什麼內容,我們還是花了些時間去決定我們想在原型中呈現的內容。

我不止一次重新修改了原型的提綱。最初我創造了一份標準設計文件,即包含了關鍵事件,位置和遊戲設計,而現在當我們回首之前會發現,最終的提綱與最初的原型理念沒有太大偏移。

但是在那時候我意識到我們只暗示了想要添加的情感元素而並未深入研究去呈現遊戲的核心內容。

所以我便又一次重新開始,這一次我更多地專注於情感核心並使用不同元素去支持這點(遊戲邦注:如特效,攝像機角度等等。)

組建我們的核心團隊

包含編寫招聘內容並通過社交媒體進行發佈(遊戲邦注:如在Reddit,LinkeIn,Twitter,Facebook等其它和遊戲開發相關的網站)。

我們需要花時間於整個面試過程—-包括審覈申請表格和作品集,安排時間進行面試,並注意一些額外細節。

其它活動

Manne同時也創建了一份文件去分享有關我們遊戲的資源,並且他也創造了一份備份腳本,以防一些意外事件的發生,

我們還需要參與logo的創造以及帶有我們全新logo的公司名片和衣服的製作。我們也已經收到一些想要在自己的衣服上添加我們logo的請求了。

創造故事

因爲我們的遊戲是故事驅動型,所以我們需要爲遊戲的發展方向創造一個有效的故事基礎。

我們聯繫了前Pixar的故事作家(參與了《玩具總動員》和《海底總動員》的製作)。在他的幫助下我們明確了故事和角色的方向。說真的能夠和擁有強大電影故事背景的人共事真的很棒。

與資深遊戲設計師見面

到目前爲止我們已經見了來自AAA級領域以及獨立領域的一些資深遊戲設計師並告訴了他們我們的遊戲方向,同時也討論了業務/市場營銷策略。他們給予的建議都非常寶貴,並讓我們更加確定了概念的可行性。

當你身處於獨立遊戲領域時,你經常會在準備向全世界公開自己的遊戲時還未曾收到過任何外部反饋。儘管我們並不需要額外去見其他開發者,但是我們最好能夠儘早明確我們的原型想要遵循的方向。

開始遊戲開發!

這便包含系統編程,關卡設計,以及我們將在遊戲中貫穿使用的遊戲資產的創造。

IndieDevDiary1-GameDevelopment(from gamasutra)

IndieDevDiary1-GameDevelopment(from gamasutra)

爲什麼開發原型需要花費這麼長時間?

我們並非將其當成標準的“證實它可行的”原型。我們是使用這些前期製作時間去明確我們需要面對的問題並明確遊戲的發展方向。

例如創造一個更有活力的移動系統。

這意味着原型應該能夠向我們的潛在投資者呈現最終遊戲的樣子。

留給他們一些可想象的特殊功能(但是也有可能最終功能與他們所期待的有所不同)

簡單描述遊戲發展方便,不要浪費時間去探索主要機制(這也能留給投資者一些想象空間)

到目前爲止我們做了什麼?

角色和遊戲世界的最初概念圖。我們希望可以與你們分享這些內容,但似乎要等到真正公佈遊戲後才能這麼做了!

角色和故事創造與迭代—-我們與前Pixar故事作家進行合作去創造角色,遊戲世界以及整個遊戲故事。

一些3D建模。

最初審查不同的動畫集。

最初審查音樂。

編程和設計迭代—-遊戲開發需要反覆修改!

下一步是什麼呢?

我們的目標是在2017年末完成一個可遊戲的原型並將其呈現在潛在投資者面前。我們是自己掏錢創造原型。而在獲得一個能夠真正反應最終遊戲的原型前我們還有許多事要做。

在明年年初我們將與一位環境美術師合作明確遊戲的美術風格並將其帶到原型中(這意味着我們將添加3D對象,燈光,陰影等等內容讓遊戲看起來更加“真實”。)

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

IndieDev Diary: Starting Golden Moose Studios & Creating a Story-Driven Prototype

by Karin E Skoog

It’s a few months into the formation of Golden Moose Studios, and with the start of the new year approaching, now seems as good a time as ever to begin the IndieDev Diary section of our blog!

What Have We Been Doing at Golden Moose Studios?

Manne and I started the studio at the end of summer 2016. This involved many different components:

Paperwork related to company formation.

This was no simple task. A lot of my indie developer friends spoke previously about 50% or more of their time consumed with non-game development type work.

I assumed a large portion of time would be spent on business-related tasks, but I didn’t realize to what extent my time would be consumed with straight up paperwork, lawyer discussions, etc.!

This included:

Registration with the state of California

Registration with the city

Registration for a fictitious name so we could do business as Golden Moose Studios (rather than as Golden Moose Studios, LLC – our full, legal name)

Registering with California’s Employment Development Department so we could legally pay employees over $100

Misc. paperwork related to employees and company structure/ownership

Deciding how to handle NDAs and transfer of ownership documents so that when we hired externally, both the contractor and our company were legally protected (DoContract.com works well for this)

Sorting out bank paperwork and figuring out if it was possible to get Manne on the company’s bank account, given that he isn’t a US citizen (This required discussion with not only our bank but also our lawyer and the government.)

Switching e-mail servers, which meant some of our initial e-mails were lost to the great abyss

It goes on and on. Let’s just say, I’m glad this part of starting the company is over! All of this is important to do, but it definitely took away from development time.

Social media channels and our website.

Fairly straightforward. There’s more on the website we’d like to fix and other elements we’d like to add, but it works.

Deciding what to include in our game’s prototype and creating a roadmap and budget to get there.

While we know what we want to incorporate in the final game, it took a while to nail down exactly what we wanted to show in the prototype.

I redid the outline for our prototype more than once. Initially, I created a standard design document, with a walkthrough of key events, places, and game design, and looking back, the final outline hasn’t deviated much from our initial ideas for the prototype.

There came a point however, where I realized I was only hinting at the emotional elements we wanted to incorporate. I hadn’t delved deep enough yet to demonstrate the heart of the game.

I started over, this time focusing on the emotional core and pushing different elements to support this (effects, camera angles, etc.).

Assembling our core team.

This involved writing jobs posts and submitting them across social media (Reddit, art-specific pages, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, other sites/groups specific to game development).

It is time consuming to go through the entire interview process – reviewing applications and portfolios, scheduling and holding interviews, and sorting through additional details.

Other misc. activities

Manne also set up a file sharing repository for our game and worked on a backup script, just in case the game exploded into a million pieces (all right, games don’t actually explode in that sense…but if files became corrupt or something else happened, we would still have a working version of the game).

We also oversaw logo creation and ordered business cards and company shirts with our new logo. We already received requests from some of you who want to order your own shirts with our logo!

(Once we find a good merchandise company for this, we’ll be sure to add some merchandise to our site. If you have any recommendations, let us know!)

Working out the story.

Since our game is story-driven, we needed to develop a solid narrative foundation for the direction our game is heading.

We reached out to a former Pixar story writer (Toy Story, Finding Nemo). With his help, we are developing our vision for the story and characters. It has been both enlightening and interesting to work with someone who has such a strong narrative background in movies!

Meeting with experienced game designers.

So far, we met with a few veteran game designers from both the AAA and indie space to talk through our vision for our game and discuss business/marketing strategy. The advice we received was invaluable, and it confirmed we are indeed onto something with our concept!

When you’re in the indie space, it’s easy to work entirely in a bubble without receiving any external feedback until you’re ready to announce your game to the world. While we didn’t need to take this extra step in meeting with other developers, it was a good step to take early on and helped identify the direction we wanted to take with our prototype.

(On a side note, if you know of any veteran game designers who might be interested in serving as a mentor/consultant on a story-driven game, please let us know at [email protected]! We are looking for someone to work with in the long term.)

Starting on game development!

This included systems programming, level design, and creating prefabs for game assets we will use throughout the game.

Why does it take so long to develop a prototype?

Well, we aren’t treating this as a standard, “just-prove-it-works” prototype. We are using this pre-production time to sort out issues we would otherwise need to work out down the road (physics, etc.), as well as to demonstrate our vision for the game.

An example of this is creating a more robust movement system (instead of generic movement that could be finished in less than a day).

This means that the prototype will more closely show potential investors how the final game will look, rather than…

leaving certain features to their imaginations (and running the risk of these features turning out differently than they might expect) or

simply demonstrating our vision for the game, while not taking the time to explore main mechanics (which could leave potential investors wondering whether or not we can actually pull off the mechanics we have in mind).

What Has Been Done to Date?

Initial concept art for the characters and world. We wish we could share some of these with you, but we’ll have to wait until later on, when we announce the game!

Characters & story work and iteration – We worked closely with a former Pixar story writer (prior works include Toy Story, Finding Nemo, etc.) to further develop our characters, the world/lore, and overall story for our game.

Some 3D models.

A first pass at different animation sets.

A first pass at unique music.

Programming & design iteration – Game development requires a lot of rework!

What is Next?

Our goal is to have a playable prototype later in 2017 to show potential investors. We are using our own funds to create the prototype (and pay freelancers!). We still have plenty of work to do before we’re at a point where the prototype reflects our vision for the final game.

After the start of the new year, we will work with an environment artist to dig deeper into the artstyle for the game and reflect that within the prototype. (This means taking a grey-boxed level and adding 3D objects, lighting, shaders, etc. to make the game “come to life” artistically.)(source:gamasutra