Unit 22

Based on the Developer's experiences, what are the skills required to create a videogame?
  • The developers needed to have so much determination to just keep on going even when they came up against huge issues.
  • They basically had to commit themselves 100% to working on the game, their social lives and sometimes their relationships with the people around them almost always suffered from this.
  • The guys that made Super Meat Boy split the workload into primarily the Programming aspects and the Art and Design aspects. By doing this they share the work load and capitalize on their individual talents and strengths.


Werewolf is a game that can be played by many players at once. It involves giving each player a town role or job, i.e. Baker, Butcher, Inn Keeper, etc. when everybody has their role the werewolves will know that they are the werewolves but no one else will. It's their job to blend in with the villagers, gain their trust, and then murder one every night when everyone is asleep. It's the villagers job to stop them by voting on one person every day to shoot with a silver bullet, if they by chance find shoot the werewolves then their town will be safe and they'll be the winners



- video games production pipeline -

P1 A notes from the Naughty Dog videos -

The Programmers are tasked with taking basic code, letters and numbers, and spinning them into programs that allow the entire game to function. the lead programmers at Naughty Dog say that a huge part of their jobs as programmers is being good at Maths and thinking numerically about things. Being able to sit down with someone and think their way around a problem is a vital part of their role.

Game Designers
The game designers do a bit of everything, some art, some animation, at Naughty Dog there are no producers so the game designers take on a lot of that role too, i.e. making sure all the other departments are running smoothly and on schedule. They also deal with a lot of writing and scripting in the game along with the actual gameplay, the way the characters act and talk or how they would react to a certain situation for example.

VFX artists
The VFX artists primarily deal with the natural effect that are seen in the game, like water, rain, smoke, fire, explosions. It's their job to make the game feel alive when the people are playing it. They described VFX as being half art and half programming.

Environmental artists
The environmental artists are responsible for piecing together everything the player sees as they move through the game. They don't actually model the trees or rocks or create the high detail textures, they take these things and piece them together to create realistic and immersive words the player can explore and feel like their really experiencing it.

P1 A notes from the Creative Skill Set website -

They are responsible for creating all of the computer code that runs and controls the game. They're also responsible for producing the technical specification of the game and generally managing the overall code development process.They need to be creative and innovative, have advanced programming skills, and be composed under pressure while working comfortably in a group.

Game designers
The game designers devise what a game consists of and how it will play, and they design all the core elements of the game. They're also responsible for communicating this information to the rest of the development team who will then create the art assets and computer code that actually make up the game. To be game designers they need to possess a thorough understanding of game play theory, have storytelling and narrative development skills, and be reasonably fluent in a range of 2D and 3D graphics and animation packages, such as 3D Studio Max, NUKE or Maya.

General Artists
The artists that work on a game or it's pre production elements are responsible for the overall look of a game. The bulk of their work consists of devising the game’s visual style and directing the production of all visual material throughout the game’s development. In order to fulfil this role properly the artists need to have traditional and computer art and design skills, have knowledge of 2D and 3D modelling and animation packages, and have a passion for games and a good understanding of what makes a game visually appealing and fun to play.

Level Designers
Level designers need to be good at designing and creating interactive architecture for a segment of a game, including the landscape, buildings and objects. Their role is very similar to the Environmental Artists from Naughty Dog. In order to be a good Level Designer you need to have good spatial and layout design skills, have a solid knowledge of 3D modelling, and be able to work both independently and as part of a team.

Role Cards

P2 -

Related imageEdmund McMillen

Edmund McMillen is best known for his work in Team Meat as the game designer and artist behind popular games like Super Meat Boy (2010), The Binding Of Isaac (2011), and The End Is Nigh (2017).

The original version of Super Meat Boy was made in Flash but the graphics were totally upgraded when the game was release as a full console game. Edmund used a mix of Photoshop and Flash to create the graphics for the game.

"There weren't many tools used with Super Meat Boy. The in-game level editor was invaluable because it provided Edmund the ability to make levels with a "what you see is what you get" mindset.

The only other tool we had was the Flash Exporter I made. Basically it was a script that packed all the Flash symbols into one texture and exported animation information with sound cues. This paid for itself with the very first export of Meat Boy that Ed did. We had sounds, animations, and everything with one quick export that the engine could easily manipulate and call when needed."
 - Tommy Refenes

So much of the inspiration and early concept designs for Edmund's work come from his own childhood drawings. He went to school at Soquel High School and he was always especially fond of drawing, his favourite things to draw being monsters. Edmund spent most of his childhood with his grandmother, whom he considers to be the greatest source of support in his creative endeavours. Later in his life, Edmund received a box from his grandmother that contained all of his drawings as a child. Many of these drawings can be seen by unlocking The Box in one of his games, The Basement Collection. Edmund took courses on both Photoshop and Flash but failed both, despite this he continued to learn and develop his skills independently.


Comparing Edmund and Tommy

In the concept phase I think that Edmund probably contributed the most as he created the entire concept of the game as well and as well as the original flash game Meat Boy. Tommy didn't have as much influence on this phase.

The pre-production phase was largely Edmund as well as he further developed everything important from the concept phase namely the art and game design elements. It wasn't all Edmund however, Tommy created essential assets for the production phase in the form of extensions, tools, and a production engine.

While Edmund did a lot of work with the graphic portion of the the production phase Tommy did far more in programming every single asset and piecing them together to form every technical aspect of the game.

In the post production Edmund was important for the business aspects, the merchandising, and the advertising that increased sales and the popularity of the game. Tommy dedicated a lot of time to bug-fixing the game after it's release down to the tiniest detail as well as working on all the coding for the DLC Level Editor for the PC addition of the game.


Written Communication -

This is an example of my written communication, it's a write up for part of the character design unit from last year

For Written communication I would rate myself as around 2/5. I'm not great, sometimes I even struggle a little with written tasks, but I can almost always get the job done to standard without too much trouble.

Verbal Communication -

This is a power point presentation that I presented verbally to the class last year

I think that i'd give myself a 3/5 in verbal communication. I think that i'm a fairly confident speaker and that I can adequately communicate a message but I don't consider it to be something i'm particularly good at, 3/5 pretty much average.

Practical Production -

I did this edit in Photoshop

Using Adobe Premier i edited together this Trailer for the videogame I created with Justin last year

These are some rendered screenshots of the Champagne Bar Callum and I made last year in Maya

Over all for Practical Production I would rate myself as 4/5, I believe that i'm competent and able to create plenty of different things but I think I have definite room for improvement.

Creativity -

I made these T-shirt designs in Illustrator

And these head Icons also in Illustrator  
Overall I think of myself as a very creative person, I'd give myself 4.5/5 for Creativity because I love designing and creating things and I think it's one of my main strengths.

Where do I see myself in the 3 Production Roles? -

1) Art
2) Game Design/ Producer
3) Programmer

I think that of the three roles i'm best at the Art side of things as I prefer the practical production elements. It's definitely the role that I feel I could confidently do.

I think I could do the design/ producer role as i'm confident I could lead and direct a group, however I wouldn't be any help with the programming side of the production,

I have little to no confidence in my programming ability and in general I'd prefer to have no responsibility for the programming in the project.

Job Role Info-graphic -

Skills Audit -

I feel that i'm a creative person with good practical skills when it comes to creating art or designs. I think that my Written communication skills are a little lacking but as an artist this won't be a big issue. My Verbal communication is pretty good, I think that I can communicate well with the people i'm working with and as an artist I would have no problems following the direction of a Producer or Game designer. Because of this I think that i'd be a good fit for the role of Artist for the game.

Skill Gaps - 

Written Communication
I think there's a definite gap in my written communication skills as a result of my Dyslexia, I usually find a way to work around these problems but sometimes i'll hit a wall and get stuck with a piece of writing.

Verbal Communication
I think that my verbal communication is quite good, especially in group work, in presentations maybe not so good however.

Practical Production
I find my practical production skills to be quite good but there are a lot of things that I could improve on and learn about to make my practical production skills better.

Sometimes I can hit a wall and be stuck on something for hours, my mind will just go blank. This is definitely not useful when I need to create something.

How I can improve on these gaps - 

Written Communication
There's no real 'fix' for my dyslexia but using programmes that have a built in spell checker can be a huge asset.
Verbal Communication

Practical Production
I can watch tutorials on Photoshop and Illustrator to get better and expand my knowledge



Week By Week + the Gant Chart made by our game designer

Week 1
In week one I began refining the concept work of our character. To make the character's new design and began to work on variants of the character's face and facial hair. I made around 12 different head designs so that the group could decide which one we liked best. We decided on the one with the handle bar moustache.
Once I had the character's design finalised I made different emotions. These heads will be used to show emotion in the game by switching them out in different scenarios.
Now that I have the Character I started the Run Cycle. This immediately proves to be more difficult than I thought it would be and I managed to get it totally wrong at first.

Week 2
In week two our Game Designer and Programmer asked if I could start work on the assets for the carriages and the basic assets. To begin with I created stand in assets so that our Programmer could get to work on creating the game. I created stand ins for the carriages, coins, and crates. I also made a Death screen asset for when the player dies. This included a Re-spawn button and a Main Menu button.
When had these I created a frame for the Jump. We decided to give him rocket boots to make his very high jump a little more plausible in a way that compliments the genre of our game.

Week 3
In week three I restarted the run cycle and worked on the assets I started last week. The run cycle took nearly three lessons to complete and a lot of trial and error to get looking good.
I also created the background assets for the game. At first I was thinking of making the background a Dessert scene but that turned out to be quite bland and boring, so I decided on a sun setting behind mountains to fit the Western theme and to give some rich colour to the game. The background needs Parallax so I created each layer of depth on it's own layer and exported each as individual images.

Week 4
In week four I began to redesign the Robot enemies. It took a while for me to get a look I was happy with but I got there after a couple of lessons. There wasn't much animation to do for the Robots as they only need a stationary idle animation. I managed to get the designing and animation done by the end of the week.

Week 5
In week five we had people play test the game and give us feedback about the game. We spent most of this week addressing the feedback, fixing any major bugs, changing aspects of the game.
One common piece of feedback was that the obstacles were hard to distinguish from the background. To remedy this I changed the designs of the crates from the brown and silver ones to TNT and big metal ones with a very big obvious Skull and Crossbones. I also edited the background, i removed the birds as they looked a bit out of place.

Week 6
In week six I began to work on the explosion assets and the health bar assets. The explosion took several attempts to get right and implementing it in the game took a couple of weeks as our programmer couldn't quite figure out how to get the code to work.

Helping with the Game Designer and Programmer roles

these are a couple of slides I did on the Game Design Document -

And this is a screenshot of Unity. I created a particle effect top use for the explosion of the TNT crates -


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