Generating Useful, Meaningful (and Beautiful) Project Data from Perforce

BeautifulPerforce.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 6 MB

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Perforce is great for managing assets and storing detailed information about your project - if you can just get to it. This session will show producers how to mine this data to answer simple questions, such as who worked on what projects and when. A deeper analysis of this data can yield interesting and even surprising results. The analysis can show the effectiveness of core policy changes, such as crunch time or how a project is utilizing resources. More importantly, this information is predictive, allowing accurate evidence-based scheduling that could drastically improve the accuracy of project planning.

The download contains the Powerpoint deck I used at the lecture and the scripts you'll need to implement this anywhere Perforce is used.

Bend Microsoft Project to Your Will, Again!

McShaffry-GDC10.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 40 MB

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This lecture is an updated and improved version of the popular lecture first given at every GDC 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Almost everyone agrees that scheduling game production with Microsoft Project is somewhere between difficult to impossible. This lecture teaches Microsoft Project tricks learned over ten years of consistent use. You will learn how to organize your schedules, why you should never use the link button, how to schedule milestones, how to set custom working schedules, and how to enter extra data to keep everything in order. You will also see how to keep their schedule up to date, even in an agile environment, making it a consistent and near-perfect picture of the current state of your project.

The download includes the complete PowerPoint deck, notes, sample projects, movies, and everything you need to make your scheduling job a sane one again.

Let's Reboot the Developer/Publisher Relationship

RebootDevPub.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 7 MB

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I originally gave this lecture at the IGDA Leadership Forum in November, 2008.

Everyone wishes the developer/publisher relationship was better - one look at the boilerplate dev/pub agreement tells a sad story of everything that has ever gone wrong during game development. This lecture is not a rant, and it won't be from a single point of view. Rather, I'm using my contacts in development, publishing, legal, and agency to collect opinions, sometimes anonymous ones, about what can be done to bring our professional relationships back to a happier middle ground. These people all want the same thing - a smoother way to propose, fund, develop, and publish new game ideas - but the bumps and bruises of the past are getting in the way. This lecture is more than just presenting the results of my research - it will present a new standard that can guide us during good times and bad, and propose radical changes in our relationships.

Anatomy of the Perfect Pitch

Pitching Your Game.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 7 MB

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Ever wondered what to say to publishers when you pitch your game? Well, I was asked to present a lecture at the Independent Games Conference in Austin, Texas in November 2007 where I covered exactly that.

The download contains the Powerpoint deck I used at the lecture, a template deck you can use to create your own pitch, and the text of the article I wrote on my production blog.

Thief's Third Person Camera

Thief3rdPersonCamera.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 49 MB

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This presentation covers the 3rd person camera technology I wrote for Thief: Deadly Shadows during my time at Ion Storm.
It includes almost two dozen movies of bad camera movement, tolerable camera movement, and great camera movement (if I do say so myself). Each section shows what happens to a camera if you don't handle a particular case of third person camera movement, such as linear movement, fast rotations, and negotiating geometry in the environment or the player.

This lecture was originally given at Game Focus Germany 2008 in Hannover.

Debugging Your Game (or...That's Not Supposed to Happen)

Debugging Your Game.zip

60 Minute Lecture

Download size: 1.3 MB

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This lecture presents special debugging techniques for computer games; includes interpreting the call stack, saving and using minidumps, debugging techniques for particularly nasty game flaws such as unpredictable hangs, memory leaks, and release mode only issues.

This lecture was originally given at the Austin Game Conference in 2003 and again at a University of Texas student group lecture in 2004. I recently updated it for a November 2007 lecture at FullSail.

The download contains both Powerpoint 2003 and 2007 decks...

Spare No Expense! Starbucks and Aeron Chairs for Everyone

Starbucks and Aeron Chairs.zip

Download size: 1 MB

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This presentation covers how my small studio, Compulsive Entertainment, spent our money and whether this money was considered effective. It was originally given at GDC 2004.