Perfecting Workflows: Tool Development to Empower Designers

Notes on a talk by Linda Kruse of The Good Evil (@ldacruz_)

  • Need a flexible and maintainable system that enables efficient workflow and teamwork
    • Independent of specific game mechanics
  • Pipeline: artist to programmer to game designer (scripting/logic) to build process
  • Problems with third party tools like Unity
    • Designed for beginners
    • Tedious setup 
    • Not flexible enough
    • Only for “standard mechanics”
    • Dependent on support/hard to maintain
    • Conflicts between tools (e.g., lots of assets)
  • Optimizing their workflow
    • Can we automate repetitive tasks
    • What steals creative time
    • Overlapping tasks between departments
    • Most hated tasks
    • Tools we’re using
  • Design condsiderations
    • For designers
      • Want to represent the full workflow from design to art to code to QA
      • Power for game designers (both content and logic)
      • Dialog handling (branching and localization)
    • For devs
      • Maintainable and independent
      • Flexible for future features, mechanics, iterations (easy to update)
      • Unified file management (one place for everything)
    • Most important
      • Readable and writable logic without reading the source
      • Independent of specific game mechanics
    • EvilSystem sits atop Unity to manage content management, visual scripting, and other utilities
      • Visual scripting system can trigger events in the game, in the UI, etc. 
      • includes both scene editor and flow editor
      • See video demo
      • 2d scenes can be set up in PSD file with groups named in a special way—wow!!
    • Tips for iteration
      • Create a feature test project that shows off everything the system can do (and lets you verify everything is working)
      • Analytics: make sure you know how often stuff is breaking

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