Manager In A Strange Land: Dependencies, Part One (13 Oct 2004)
The more involved game development gets, the more we need rigorous processes to prevent screw-ups. We insert control gates and signing-off procedures to make sure Joe doesn't start building a level until we're happy with the original design, to make sure Fred doesn't use a placeholder sound with the wrong name, to make sure we don't put a character in the game that's going to be turned down later by the licensor, and so on. We make pipelines - flow charts describing the path an asset takes from being a twinkle in a designer's eye to an in-game element. The more steps these pipelines have, the more professional the documents describing them seem, but adding more steps creates more dependencies.
Of course, sometimes it's worth it to create those dependencies. Slowing down the project now to prevent chaos later is often a good thing. But more process isn't automatically better - it's a judgment call.
Article URL: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20041013/fristrom_01.shtml
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