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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:48 am
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Hi, all,

I am teaching a course on economic geography, and for their papers two students have chosen to write about the video game industry. I want them to think about where all phases of production and development take place, but all they want to talk about is sales and how cool it is that the industry can adapt as platforms change. So, in the interest of getting some first-hand knowledge, could you all tell me a little bit about where different stages of development and production are taking place? What takes place in-house and what is outsourced? What does in-house mean? Do most firms have multiple locations scattered across the country (or the globe) or are things kept pretty close to a central headquarters (or apartment, in the case of some firms)? Are there countries with firms that are now specializing in outsourced code-writing? Are most programs too complicated and tied to specific art requirements to have any phase of development done elsewhere? Where are the games themselves manufactured? etc.

Any advice or places you can point me to so I can learn more would be much appreciated.

With thanks,

A curious geographer (and Ph.D. student)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:51 am 
Ankle Nibbler
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:57 pm
Posts: 142
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Hi,

I cannot say much for the video games industry itself, as I only work on games in my spare time. Nonetheless I'm located in Australia, and everything happens in-house. I do some dev work on a desktop computer, and some on a laptop. I do the whole lot - programming, artwork, marketing. It's an open-source game, so theoretically anyone could contribute from anywhere in the world, but no one has put their hand up yet to help out (hopefully some day).

Cheers,
Josh

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: burrowed
Hi geographer,

There's no definite answer to your question. Companies in the games industry are working so differently, depending on the size of the company, the budget, if it is client work or original interlectual property and other things.

Usually workload itself isn't commonly outsourced to my knowledge. Instead companies will license other third party software/libraries to smoothen their own workflow (rendering engines, physics libraries etc).

Honestly, to answer most of your inquiries will require more than a simple forum reply to answer. What you want is a breakdown of the whole industry workings, which are complicated and ever-changing. Publisher models are getting circumvented by crowdfunding and early access models, more and more platforms for games arrive (mobile, consoles, and the inbetween like ouya and steambox) aswell as new business models being presented (free to play, microtransactions). The only way to get up to speed with all of this is to read the news, giantbomb, rockpapershotgun, etc, and build an interest for yourself, otherwise your info will be outdated by the end of next year.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:48 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:14 pm 
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Location: Ferriday, LA, US
The answer ranges anywhere from all over the globe (where programmers/artist collaborate remotely from several different countries, and different phases of production -- development, publishing, distribution, advertising, and so on -- are handled in multiple locations across the planet), to "straight from a bored programmer's living room, straight to a digital distributor." With services like Google Play and the like, it is quite often the case that a game is developed 100% in one location (even by one person), and simply uploaded to a digital service for distribution and sales. One can literally create a game from scratch and start selling it without ever having to leave the comfort of home.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:23 pm 
Harmlessness does no harm
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Location: Ferriday, LA, US
Truth be told, your students are pretty smart to focus more on sales and adaptability. At this point, there are infinite possibilities as far as production phases -- some games go through dozens and dozens of phases, while most (I would say) are released after less than half a dozen phases. Some are produced in just two (a broad "development" phase, which I lump into a single phase, as everything can be completed by one person, in one place, with no changes in supplies or requirements -- and "distribution" phase... which can be as simple as uploading your game on a website).

Then again, if your assignment is intended to be comprehensive, and examine all the possibilities, and examine case studies of various production methods... the students who chose to write papers on the video game industry are nuts. Ha! ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:50 am
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Location: Queens, NY
Well for me, programming and game design occur in house, while artwork and music occurs..not in my house. Like, literally, I'm working out of my apartment, and my friend works in her apartment. We both live in New York, and I'm contracting her, because frankly I can't afford the cost of well, employment taxes and stuff.
Never mind the fact that the pay is $0+ a promised percentage.

Does that count as 'in-house' or how does that taxonomy even work?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Hello Potato!

Welcome to GPWiki. I hope you enjoy your time here.

However, I need to draw your attention to the forum rules:

Quote:
Signatures
* User signatures can not contain images.
* Signatures can be a maximum of 6 lines in length.
* Signatures are subject to the "inappropriate content" rules outlined above.


Please remove the image from your sig. The picture looks about the right size for an avatar, so you could put it there instead?

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