sexta-feira, novembro 02, 2007

Profissão multidisciplinar

Raph Koster publica hoje no seu blog aquilo que ele considera serem as posições de uma equipa de produção de videojogos AAA. Como pessoa da indústria assumimos que ele sabe do que está a falar e desse modo adaptei o seu esboço para algo mais facilmente compreensível ao qual adicionei informação relevante já catalogada por Olivia Crosby.

· Executive Producer (owner)

Gestão
· Producer (process owner)
· Director (vision owner or lead designer)
· Technical Director (manager of programmers or lead programmer)
· Art Director (manager of artists)
· Lead Designer (manager of designers)

Equipas
· Specialty lead (lead client programmer, lead systems designer, lead animator, etc)
· Specialists (systems designer, scripter, environment artist, rigger, UI programmer)

Especialidades de Programação
· Rendering: the complex programming required to get pictures on the screen.
· Network programming: programming for network based play is its own speciality.
· Database programming: so is programming to interact with databases.
· Engine programming: usually the guts of how a game works.
· Gameplay programming: usually systems specific to a game.
· UI programming: usually someone has to be devoted to just the HUD and controls.
· Tools programming: every team has someone who makes tools for everyone else. Maya exporters, placement tools, etc.
· FX programming: stuff like particle systems often consume insane amounts of time.
. AI programming

Educação em Programação
«Because they are translating ideas into numerical equations, programmers need strong math skills (trigonometry, linear algebra, and analytical geometry...) These subjects teach programmers to describe how the objects in a video game move through space and hone programmers' ability to manipulate numbers.

Game programmers should learn C and C++, as these are the programming languages most often used in the industry. Many jobs also require assembly language. Standards change quickly in the industry; programmers need to learn new languages and techniques throughout their careers. Most game programmers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, although some major in related subjects, such as cognitive science and electrical engineering. Those working on complex problems, such as a new artificial intelligence system, sometimes have advanced degrees.»

Especialidades de Arte
· Texturing: making pretty textures.
· Technical artist: may write shaders in code. May help set the tech specs for the art.
· Environment creation: a specialty of artist that is good at making places.
· Lighting: often pushed off on one artist, but there’s a bunch of chops required.
· Writing: what it says on the tin.
· Foley: sound effects.
· Composer
· Cutscene people

Educação em Artes
«Game artists need a visual imagination. They find inspiration by observing nature; studying movies, comics, and fine art; and experimenting with new ideas. Game artists must also be able to apply basic math concepts, especially when working on 3-D games. "When you add a third axis, you really have to understand geometry". Artists working in 3-D should know how to use modeling and animating software and should be able to teach themselves new features and techniques. Ability to communicate with programmers is another must.

Most people in these occupations have formal training in fine arts or art-related subjects, such as animation or industrial design. They study drawing, painting, color theory, sculpture, and graphic design. Those with bachelor’s degrees are usually more likely to be hired. "It is very important to get a traditional education in the arts.. The degree of artistic skill required is rising."»

Especialidades de Design

· Systems design: designing how the gameplay will actually work.
· Game balance: running numbers, mostly. A highly valuable (and rare) subspecialty.
· User interface design: often pushed off on artists or lead designers.
· Behavioral scripting: adding new game behaviors — this is what we usually think of as “scripting designers.”
· Content design: quest writing, itemization, etc (filling in data in tables, usually).
· Level design: map building. Straddles the line between art and design, usually.
· Modeling: making 3d meshes.
· Rigging: setting them up to animate.
· Animating: actually animating them. These two are not the same thing, and some people are better at one than the other.

Educação em Design
«Communication is one of a designer’s most important skills. Need a strong ability to write, to communicate ideas, to persuade and manage. Creative writing, English, theater, and other liberal arts classes help many designers to strengthen those skills. Designers work with artists, programmers, and musicians throughout development. In fact, sometimes a designer is also the lead programmer, artist, or producer. But even if designers have other duties, their role is unique. They oversee the entire game playing experience, instead of concentrating on one element. "Artists might want to paint beautifully intricate art, and that’s good.. but if the art slows down the game too much, it can't be used."

Designers need technical skills as well: They need to understand computer programming and software design. To be a good designer, you have to understand how games work. Designers have to be able to understand the technical hurdles programmers face. Most designers earn a college degree. The most common degree concentrations are English, Art and computer science. However, a designer’s most significant training comes from experience. Designers usually begin their careers as game artists, programmers, testers, or producers.»


Finalmente e sobre o facto de se poder notar nesta descrição a omnipresença da programação ou código, recuperei um outro post do Raph Koster que fala exactamente da necessidade dos designers saberem programar pelo menos um minimo. E é para isso mesmo que existem as tais Scripting Languages, linguagens de alto nivel mais próximas da linguagem natural e que permitem um acesso facilitado a quem não tem grandes conhecimentos de programação. Assim Koster diz,

"At the very least you need to seat designer and programmer together to work like Siamese twins — like a lyricist and the composer. But better yet is to acknowledge that systems, for better or worse, are defined in code. And therefore knowing how to code at least a little is like saying that a painter needs to know how to use a paintbrush, or a composer really should play at least one instrument even if not as master (..) scripting designer prototype and iterate, and then port the final result over to a robust programmer-created system (..) again, it’s not about being as good as a professional programmer. It’s about understanding the tools of your chosen medium well enough to actually work with them."
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