1st Edition

Talking to Artists / Talking to Programmers
How to Get Programmers and Artists Communicating

ISBN 9781498700733
Published December 22, 2016 by A K Peters/CRC Press
132 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Artists and programmers often work together on complex projects in stressful environments and things don’t always go smoothly. Miscommunication and misunderstandings are common as these two disciplines often use the same words to mean different things when they talk to each other. Unintentional slights can turn into long-held grudges and productivity grinds to a crawl.

This is a "flip book" that contains two narratives in one. Turn the book one way and read one perspective; turn the book over and upside down and read the other perspective. The narratives can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. Talking to Artists / Talking to Programmers can help anyone who wants to improve communication with artists and programmers. It’s set up like a foreign language dictionary, so it addresses the cultural norms, attitudes and customs surrounding the words each group uses, so you’ll know not just what the words in the glossary mean, you’ll know why they’re used that way and how to get communication flowing again.

It addresses common reasons for communication problems between these two groups and provides specific suggestions for solutions. The unusual format allows for each side to be given equal weight - learn how to talk to artists starting on one side of the book, turn it over and learn how to talk to programmers. The whole book stresses the things artists and programmers have in common.

Focused primarily on videogame developers, it also applies to other fields where tech and art have to work together, including web developers and teams building mobile apps. Anyone who wants to communicate better with programmers or artists - this book can help



  • Lists of common problems and strategies for solving them
  • Specific ideas for building bridges between departments
  • Case studies from real teams
  • Glossary of terms causing the most confusion
  • Explanations for common friction points
  • Approaches for fostering goodwill
  • Solutions for team dynamics problems
  • Specific suggestions for providing feedback
  • Ideas for holding successful meetings


Table of Contents

For Artists:

Chapter 1 Making Sense.

Chapter  2 Working Together.

Chapter  3 The Way We Think.

Chapter 4 Providing Feedback.

Chapter  5Taking Feedback.

Chapter  6 Giving It Back.

Chapter 7  Professional Courtesy.

Chapter  8 Danger Signs.

Chapter  9 Mending Fences.

Chapter  10 Eating Crow.

Chapter  11 Artist. Programmer Dictionary.

For Programmers:

Chapter  1 Making Sense.

Chapter  2 Working Together.

Chapter  3 The Way We Think.

Chapter  4 Providing Feedback.

Chapter  5 Taking Feedback.

Chapter  6 Giving It Back.

Chapter  7 Professional Courtesy.

Chapter  8 Danger Signs.

Chapter  9 Mending Fences.

Chapter  10 Eating Crow.

Chapter  11 Programmer Artist Dictionary.

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Wendy Despain is a video game writer and narrative designer with more than a decade of experience spearheading digital media projects. She has worked with teams around the world as a team leader, designer and consultant on console and PC games, mobile apps, online experiences, alternate reality games (ARG) and augmented reality. Some of her credits include an ARG for Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, Jetset Secrets on Facebook, and Fusion Fall from Cartoon Network. She’s currently teaching teambuilding and production strategies at SMU Guildhall in Plano, TX. Her other books include:

  • Professional Techniques for Videogame Writing
  • Writing For Videogame Genres: From FPS to RPG
  • 100 Principles of Game Design