Organization Czar


#1

Hello fellow forumers!

So back in February I was hired for the first time as a technical artist (have always been a ‘3D artist’). I’m the studio’s first technical artist, so the studio director encouraged me to make the position my own. I’ve found plenty of things to do to help the studio, like making tools for the artists, helping the engineering and the art department not kill each other, etc. But I have another idea of how I can help out, and I could use some advice on how I could go about it.

I’d like to appoint myself as the studio Organization Czar.

As someone who has borderline OCD, and as someone with a deep love of naming conventions, when I come across the following things my lower left eyelid begins to twitch.
[ul]
[li]A mislabeled asset in the game engine.
[/li][li]A folder called Common with another folder within called Generic.
[/li][li]A set of source files with no way of telling which is the most current. Model_new002 or Model_final_05?!
[/li][li]underscores_after_every_single_word_in_the_file_name.png
[/li][/ul]

I’d love to just take charge and come down from the mountain with a pair of stone-etched naming conventions and best practices, but I have a feeling the direct approach may not be the best approach.

I’d very much appreciate a discussion from people who have experience helping a studio or project stay organized.


#2

I would suggest you to write some tools that give you some statistics back that you can easily share and compare.

Excel is awesome for prototyping these kind of visualizations, but at some point you want to streamline this and make it part of your pipeline.

We do this a lot for our textures and materials and FPS related data.

This way, when you do some cleaning, you can easily say why you go into details for a certain things because it fits the big picture and you can visualize you process of keeping things clean and easy to work with.


#3

it’s a noble, but futile, effort :slight_smile:


#4

[QUOTE=Nysuatro;30061]I would suggest you to write some tools that give you some statistics back that you can easily share and compare.

Excel is awesome for prototyping these kind of visualizations, but at some point you want to streamline this and make it part of your pipeline.

We do this a lot for our textures and materials and FPS related data.

This way, when you do some cleaning, you can easily say why you go into details for a certain things because it fits the big picture and you can visualize you process of keeping things clean and easy to work with.[/QUOTE]

What I’m working on at the moment is an ‘Art Checker’, which looks at each asset in the game and makes sure it’s not over budget (poly count, textures size, alpha, etc). I’m using a Google Spreadsheet and it’s script editor to parse the data I generate from the game engine, does Excel have similar code capabilities? Specifically, json parsing?

I like what you said about the ‘big picture’. I’m definitely finding that it’s super important to be able to back up my actions with hard data.


#5

We do almost everything with C#, but I am quite sure there is many good solutions for this.

An art checker/ validator is definitely great as you can start logging extra information on a database to then analyze and keep track of its history.

Another tip I would give is to make a training in parallel. As good data is great for teaching good habits.
Especial one you setup a good data driven pipeline ( analytic point of view ) your team can became very pro-active and you can start focusing on other cool problems.

To give you an example. When we ask someone to keep a folder for general materials, we show them how it has an effect on the total memory usage but also consistency for art and efficient art production.

So whenever you track something, always think of difference ways to visualize the cluster of dependencies in terms of influence.
Its also easier for people to see it in context and remember.


#6

Thanks for the tips, Nysuatro!