Production Files

This section is all about the sort of files that I produce during pre-production of an interactive project or game.

The files all share the same aim: to communicate to a client the area that the production team expects to head in – thereby ideally flagging up any difference in expectation before the work is done.

I have divided these files up into 6 groups based on my experience of how they are used. 

Text Description

These are usually I paragraph or 1 page descriptions of a game sent to a client for an early idea of what they are after.

Examples

Science of Spying

The Science Museum invited myself and a number of agency creatives to a workshop developing this new national exhibit. The game ideas for the online strand of this work were documented here. 

Duplicity – Lizard’s Lair

This one-pager is a console game format I wrote for National Games Week, London, was awarded one of the ten places in a Channel 4 pitch event with industry luminaries such as Peter Molyneux and Ian Livingstone.

Scouts – Endemol

My work running the creative Digital Media department often involved format development for new technologies. This format document built on Endemol’s good relationship with the Scout movement in America. 

Russian Tourettes – Victoria Real

The digital web agency had a requirement for cheap provocative online TV shows – so I developed this one pager.

Signs Of Life

This 3.5 hour interactive experience had 24 mini-games, requiring consistently clear communication of gameplay concepts to the entire team.

JogSaw explains a game with interactive use of movable video elements

Turn Back Time explains a game with changeable playback of video clips

Wireframes

These are usually a text document or PDF with diagrams. they exist to describe all the important elements in a game and how they relate to each other. They normally avoid having any artwork.

Storyboards

These are a sequence of images – that I usually do as a Flash Slideshow – which show the sequence of screens and game content to expect when the game is played. They may not have final artwork in them – but a sense of the size and positioning of the elements in the game is clear.

Staying Power

This format was developed with a US media company and involved large-scale online multiplay. The storyboard allowed me to explain the way numerous other players are handled, and the varied outcomes in the game.

Big Brother 9

This gaming application for BB9 has simple enough gameplay, but breaking each momentary change in the screen into separate frames allows me to communicate exact animation sequences clearly to the producer and developer, plus the client gets a good idea of the flow of the playing experience.

Baltimore Drop

This gaming app storyboard helped explain diverse outcomes and bet combinations in this game of chance

Route To Riches

This game involves the collection of items that have been broken into three fragments, so the storyboard helped illustrate how different outcomes were displayed. 

Demos

These are interactive flash movies that are a demonstration of how the interaction in the finished project could work. They may use graphics from the wireframe, the storyboard or finished artwork

Science Of Spying

Some game concepts are easier to demo than to write up. This demo, created for a pitch in an hour or so, involves gameplay that relies on the animation to make sense.

Big Brother 9

Creating this demo allowed me to ’sell’ to the client the special depth effect used in the room segments, and also to explain the intro animations, rollovers, and transition ( when you click the lounge)

Fear Factor : Nitro

A game for this hit U.S. TV show was requested by Endemol and I conceived of a format to re-work a popular blocks-type game with the stunt themes of the show. This is a demo file that is almost the complete game, but I used earlier versions to explain how complicated elements like the fire would work. 

What Frog – BBC3

This demo has adult content. It was produced to support a skit on a Children’s Television character with a perverse side. Simpler graphics in the demo allowed me to refine the scripted animations before creating final artwork  

Signs Of Life

This project had so many interactive elements, working demos were invaluable in communicating with the rest of the production team. 

A simple example is this teddy bear demo; vertical mouse movement demos how the objects in an environment should be lit, depending on how close they were.

Grit Throw demos the movement and lighting of game elements, likewise Tumble Test.

Daisy’s Vision was an example of trying out a game play mechanism; position the line by rolling on and off the pivot point– connect all the dots 

GrowSigil is a good example of showing something that is hard to explain with static imagery.

Max’s Mystical Words is a game with 3 elements interacting and needed this demo to explain it to the team; avoid the black and rollover every yellow dot to survive

Some games needed to communicate a particular clue to the player and this demo for Identify Letter Sender showed that the proposed animated effect could achieve this.

Finale Game is a good example of the power of a quickly produced demo. The climax to the whole story, it was brainstormed with the BBC client in the afternoon, coded by myself in the evening, emailed over in the morning and agreed upon. Try and keep your cursor rolled over the twinkling star as the sky rotates and ‘rewind’ the celestial events. 


Moodboards

 Moodboards are a kind of preproduction artwork. They are normally a montage of existing imagery designed to pinpoint the emotional feel that the production designers plan to give the game.

Baltimore Drop

I created this moodboard to outline a new direction for Baltimore Drop – a rather conservative looking betting game that the client was seeking a younger audience for.

Visuals

Visuals are usually static designs of parts of the game like a logo, game character or an entire screen. Artwork from visuals may end up in the final game. If the work is an animation then the visual might be an animation sample provided as a flash movie.

Examples

BattleShips – National Lottery

The Lottery is such an iconic and family brand, control of the visual feel of their web games is strong and needs a lot of communication, like this animation sample file to show the explosions in the game. 

Staying Power – Endemol U.S.

Further to the Storyboard file, this animated storyboard was useful to send overseas where the game was to be programmed – allowing the production team to understand when and how the animations should be used.

The 24 Hour Drop

This was a gaming application with a bagatelle theme. As it was developed internally and had a number or redesign, the artwork was quite developed by the time I did this demo of the animation sequences 

What Frog - BBC3 

This simple set of game screens helped the digital team sell the idea that a web game could have the same humorous feel as the What Frog television sketch ( featured on the weekly comedy Show ‘The Wall’ )

Route To Riches

These animation samples ( clicked, rollover, and splash )helped the coder understand the sequences of individual animations used in the game play.