Planning And Conception
The beginning stages of a project, not just Game Design but film and other tasks, is one of the most important steps in creating a finalised product. Its hard not to want to jump to the final, as I know all too well in illustration, but its important that correct planning is done before hand, in order to achieve a successful product.
In drawing an illustration, such as has been taught to us by Chris, starts with a set of thumbnails, and than slowly develops into a more detailed image. But there is something before the thumbnails even begins which is the planning. We are set a dead line, much like one would have in any practice, this is what we call the Brief. This brief is basically the planning to our project, we are told, how many thumbnails are needed, how long we have on the project and what it is we are to be creating. This could than be developed into a routine, so if we are given a week to do a full image, we can break the week down into sections and spend 2/7 days on thumbnails and preparation with the remaining 5/7 on the finalised image, or 6 days on preparation and 1 on the final image. That one segmented day could be broken down further into hours of the day, so planning can go quite indepth, and its very important it does, because its so easy to lose time. One of my greatest guilts is not getting out of bed untill 11am on a weekend, realising half the day has gone. When one realises they do not have enough time to do something, or time has disappeared it is down to poor planning on their part. Or in the case of waking up in the morning, thats more of a will power issue.
With a scheduled and good time management, one can assure that something can be created on time, if nothing goes wrong. Something will always go wrong, but without the schedule the amount of time wasted could double or even triple the length of the project. A efficient schedule wastes no time.
Going back to my metaphor about Visual Deisgn projects. Some students jump straight to the final image and than work backwards. It raises questions, why waste time if you already have the final image? What made them think the image they created was the best outcome they could have created? If they worked backwards and realised a better image from their thumbnails, they would have wasted all the time on a final, to make a better final.
When it comes to concepting, its pictured as a golden goblet, or a prise to the young aspiring artist, however conception is all about selling an idea. Its the packaging before the product is created. To get an idea across in a visuals is far more elaborate than in text. In a concept, you can show a person on any level ( investor, director, 3D modeller, audience, ext.) what you want and what you dont want your project to be. If you create an idea which is not liked, the image is far more editable than words, the image can be tightened and refined to strengthen the idea. How I see it, concept art is to turn a chaotic, nebula of an idea, into a a smaller area, to tighten the idea, so everyone understands it, setting limitations to what it should and should not be. If everyone can see these ideas, its easier to abide by them.
Or at least thats what I think, I dont know, Im a student.