CHAPTER 02 A – Scoping & Scheduling

Created By: Game Audio Resource Ltd     Date: 01/01/2018      Version: 1.00

In this guide we will highlight steps of how to scope the project for audio content.
Also, we will highlight how to then schedule all tasks for the project

You can download a few Excel examples to help with this guide below
* EXAMPLE_CUBE_Audio_Initial_Design_Document_Scope_V1.00
* EXAMPLE_CUBE_Audio_Tracker_Project_Asset_List_V1.00

Guide Steps:
* STEP 01:
Scoping – Create A Project Tracker
* STEP 02: 
Scoping – All Content For The Project + Investigate Processes
* STEP 03:
Scoping – Audio Allocation & Memory Budgets
* STEP 04:
Scheduling – Estimate Task Times & Milestones
* STEP 05:
Scheduling – De-scope & Priorities Tasks
* STEP 06:
Scheduling – Plot A Timeline Of Tasks

Task Time Needed: 1 or 2 days


Video Guide


Written Guide

Chapter 02 A – Step 01:
Scoping: Create A Project Tracker

What is a project tracker?

In its simple state it is just a list of all audio content needed for the game project which are task timed against a milestone deadline schedule.
Any audio task needed for the project will be added to this tracker, so a full overview of how the project is tracking to milestones can be viewed.
This tracker helps you diagnose if:

  • All current tasks can be completed by game release or a specific milestone.
  • How the project is tracking throughout the project.
  • If new audio tasks arise, is there available time to add them.
  • If not, what low priority tasks could be exchanged
  • Which employee has which task and each individual employee list of tasks till the end of the project.

How you set up your project tracker is up to you with the knowledge you have of excel and what information you want to see from the tracker.
For a detailed guide of the tracker we show in this video, please see the written guide.

Chapter 02 A – Step 02:
Scoping: All content for the Project + Investigate Processes

Let us start to scope the project.
Use the the above linked excel document we created for this project for an example of this step EXAMPLE_CUBE_Audio_Tracker_Project_Asset_List_V1.00
* TIP: Normally you would be able to liaise with other teams (e.g. animations, environments, etc…) for design documents and Concept artwork.
You would also look at audio tools & processes. You would diagnose if new audio tools or processes are needed or need updating
However, in the case of the Cube game the content is all there for you to reference.
Use the Cube website to gather a list of info of what is available in the game:

  • Entities Types overview
  • Vocalisation Types
  • Footstep Material Types
  • Armour Types
  • Weapon Types
  • Environments & Elements Types
  • UI available
  • Adviser

List out the basics of each component in each area and consistent audio content with each part.
It does not need to be 100% detailed with every sound event needed at this point.

Once you have an initial scoping list created, start populating the basic tasks into the tracker document.
It is also worthwhile testing some of the tech and implementation processes that you will need to use.
e.g. test how footstep material types are hooked up. (Chapter_07 highlights how to do this)
The above linked Excel document shows how our audio tracker for this project (after we had completed the project) EXAMPLE_CUBE_Audio_Tracker_Project_Asset_List_V1.00

Chapter 02 A – Step 03:
Scoping: Audio Allocation & Memory Budgets

Due to this game not being officially released and allocation for audio memory budget / disk space not being needed or mentioned on the cube site. This is not something you have to do for this project.
For further details of this content Chapter 16 B will give you some further information.

Chapter 02 A – Step 04:
Scheduling: Estimate Task Times & Milestones

This part is as simple as it sounds but is critical for the project to be tracked to milestones.
Go through all tasks you have listed in your tracker document, then start to assign how long each task will take.
Now create Milestone dates for your project to work against.

Chapter 02 A – Step 05:
Scheduling: Descope & Prioritise

You now have a full project scoped and ready to add a task priority system.
Assign a Priority value next to each task. You can now evaluate the project tasks against the milestones based on the priority system you have just added.
If you’re tasks are over your milestone deadlines, de-scope low priority tasks (DO NOT Remove the de-scoped tasks, as new free time could happen during the development process)
If you have loads of free time available before deadlines, have you listed all tasks? Are your deadlines too generous?

Chapter 02 A – Step 06:
Scheduling: Plot a Timeline of Tasks

The final task is to plot a timeline of when tasks are to be completed, assign content owners, assign tasks to dates to be worked on and how many hours each employee is available for.
As you add task dates to each person working on the project, ensure you do not over schedule tasks on one person per week.

 

This concludes a quick overview of how to scope and schedule a project for audio content.

 

 

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