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Art then story, or story then art?


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I was curious about the timeline of the creation of a game. Do designers typically have a story in mind and then create a game surrounding it, or do they have a game and then create the story to go along with it? I guess the same question applies to the individual aspects of the game too. Do you create a level layout and then decide what the area will then look like, or do you have an idea of what you want the level to look like and lay it out after that? Do you draw characters and then fit them into the story, or do you take characters from the story and model characters after them? I guess I'm just totally confused :)

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Chris Avellone:

Generally, when we do design, we start with a story overview and a TDD document of all the game features, prioritize it, and then start breaking the information down into chunks that can be delegated to members of the team. When designing areas, we start with a document that lists an area overview (to be sent to LucasArts and for internal artist reference), do art concepts based off of it, start blocking out the level geometry in the engine, and then start fleshing out the level in a second pass. The engine is robust enough to allow us to place scripts, critters, dialogues, containers, and items before the level geometry is finalized, which allows us to play through the levels and get a feel for how they play.



"When is this out. I can't wait to play it so I can talk at length about how bad it is." - Gorgon.

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