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Production of UAT Game Studio: Ascendance (Part 1)

A brief introduction to UAT Game Studio project: Ascendance, the new co-producer Joshua, and Joshua's thoughts on his new adventure in game production.

UAT Game Studio? Ascendance?

Before I start in about my new adventure, I highly recommend that you checkout the introduction video for Ascendance and the UAT Game Studio Facebook page.  UAT Game Studio is an amazing place where UAT students get to create some innovative games.  The games that get to be developed are chosen from pitches given at the UAT Greenlight pitch event by game faculty.  Ascendance is one of the sweet game projects that are currently in development. 

 

Ascendance Introduction Video: https://youtu.be/Bih4cGV5jAI

UAT Game Studio Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/uatgamestudios?fref=ts

 

A brief history of the author

I have been a professional embedded programmer in critical infrastructure industry for about 6 years writing firmware for transmission line protective relays.  I decided to move away from embedded development into the gaming field to find a more exciting and fulfilling career earlier this year.  In order to accomplish my goal of joining the interesting world of game development I chose to start pursuing a masters degree in Game Production and Management at UAT.  I started my course work this summer and have been learning a lot about what is involved in being a game producer in the modern day. 

 

Check out the co-producer: Samy Dib

As I mentioned in the summary, I am one of the co-producers of Ascendance and Samy is the other.  Please check out his blog for his thoughts on the production process.  I know he has created some valuable insight.

 

Samy’s project blog: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/SamyDib/20150710/248235/A_Journey_into_Production_Part_I.php

 

The adventure so far

My part on this game has just started, but as you can see from the introduction video Ascendance has made some decent progress.  Since I have not have much time to work with the team yet, I will be discussing my research on what it takes to be a producer along with my thoughts and fears about this new journey.  Most of this week research came from the books listed below under the “Readings:” header.  These books together give a detailed look at what roles a producer plays in game development and personal accounts of some amazing gaming companies.   

 

In the introduction chapter of The Game Producers Handbook the key roles of a producer are covered along with common software development process.  The software development processes covered were code-like-hell, fix-like-hell method, increments-to-completion approach, the cascade approach, iterate until you drop method, and agile.  Other topics covered in this chapter are the differences between top-down planning vs bottom-up planning.  Most of the concepts for software development and planning were not new concepts to me.  I will not go into detail on these, please read the book for more information. 

 

The main concepts that I gained from these reads were that producers really need to know their team, be knowledgeable about all aspects of the game development from art to programming, the importance of funding and marketing, but probably most importantly is creating a feasible but flexible plan for creating and marketing the amazing game that you want to create.  My past experiences have given me some hands on experience leading a development team but have left me lacking any marketing knowledge.  I am new to the producer role but I know that I can be great at it if/when I am able to learn and apply confidently the marketing and public relations side of producing.  Please leave your initial reactions to Ascendance along with recommendations for resources and your own game production stories in the comments.  I hope that you will keep up with my posts to see how Ascendance is coming along and thanks for your time.    

 

Readings:

The Game Producers Handbook by Dan Irish (2005)

Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play by Morgan Ramsay (2012)

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