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Spore: Pre-Production Through Prototyping (29 Mar 2006)
"Prototyping", Todd declared, "is the heart of a virtuous pre-production cycle". He explained the premise of the lecture that he would be discussing the value of experimental models before dedicating one's self to any one approach to a software problem. He then explained that the following would be an "advanced" talk, that would assume you already knew what he was talking about so he wouldn't hold back in his explanations or references. Todd rattled off a list of books that the audience might do well reading, to better understand what he was about to say none of which, it turned out, were altogether necessary.

"What is pre-production?" Todd's slide asked. It answered itself: "what you are going to build" and "how you are going to do it". To put it most simply, pre-production is a working sketch of the design concepts you have buzzing in your head, that you can throw together to see if they really work and to better illustrate the ideas to the rest of your design team much as with thumbnail sketches, storyboards, or the "pre-viz" animatics used in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Pre-production is a form of planning before actually putting expensive pencil to paper, as it were.
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