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Tools Summit: Build Workflows, Not Tools: One Weird Trick to Make Artists Happy

Jim Levasseur (Prototyping Artist, Bungie)

Location: Room 3004, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 16

Time: 9:30am - 10:30am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

What if your art pipeline rotted away while you were busy shipping updates in another branch? What if you hired a team of world-class artists and they spent more time struggling with poor workflows than making content? And what if all your engineers disappeared indefinitely to solve bigger problems? What if everything was, in fact, your fault?

This humorous talk will explore the challenges of supporting a complex legacy art pipeline on Destiny 2; discuss the formation of a rag-tag team to build cohesive workflows on tight deadlines; and examine how the team substantially increased artists’ happiness by focusing on user-centered experience design rather than engineering firepower.


Attendees will leave with tangible insight into developing cohesive workflows from the perspective of a technically-minded artist, including observing ‘desire paths’ to understand artists’ goals; harnessing ‘nudge theory’ to set smart defaults and hide complexity from users; and implementing small details so that tools reach the ‘polished and delightful’ stage and keep users in a state of flow.

Intended Audience

Tools engineers, tech artists, and anyone interested in employing user-centered experience design to develop polished workflows for artists. No prerequisite knowledge required, although experience with game editors and/or DCC apps (such as Maya) will be helpful.