Can you imagine how meticulous it is to make a video game that becomes popular, and has its position in the audience? It’s a whole process, and an art work to do. Developing games demands time, budget and effort and it is not an easy work that you can make on your own, but you will need assistance, and a backup from a whole team. In this article we will show you all the aspects related to the video game development process, so let’s dive in.
The process of video game development consists of three phases. Pre-production, production, and post-production. In the first stage we have to decide all the major elements of the video game like target audience, budget, the game’s type, amount of players, and the length of time it will take to produce the game. A video game concept artist will join the development team to create early visuals for the characters or environment, while the producer will keep track of logistics. The team will need to create a game design document (GDD), which is a brief for the entire project that outlines all the major details like game mechanics, genre, worldbuilding, story, and marketing strategy. Your GDD should answer any questions a potential audience might have about the game, from high-level concept down to the minutiae of aesthetic choices in visual and audio design. This document is continually updated as new developments or ideas are added (or removed) from the initial concept, and can be used to pitch potential investors. After establishing the basics of the game, developers will create a game prototype to test the idea’s viability and user experience. A prototype is a rough but playable version of a game created early in the design process. Prototyping gives developers a chance to see if their game idea is as fun or engaging as they conceptualized, and it can reveal missing pieces or present challenges that may need to be addressed.
The second phase is production: The production stage begins after a game makes it past prototyping. The production process is the longest phase of development and can last for several years. The production phase is where all the game features and assets—characters, game world, objects—are defined. During this phase, game developers begin to mold the game into its true shape, and the story is refined as more levels are built, with constant testing to ensure each element works as it needs to.
And the last one is post-production, this phase of video game development is more of a maintenance phase than a polishing one. After the game ships, additional downloadable content (DLC) may need development or routine bug testing. After enough changes have been made, developers will release the bundle of improvements as a patch that can alter the game script, updating it to a better version.
Now, let’s turn to some main roles in video game development:
There are some positions that are crucial in any game development project:
A concept artist sketches the initial look and tone of the video game, creating a visual representation of the idea for the art department in the early stages of development.
A video game producer handles the business and marketing side of game development, including budget management.
A project manager oversees all the developmental processes, ensures milestones are hit, serves as the liaison between the design team members and the executives, and anticipates any potential problems or risks they may encounter.
Game programmers involve writing the code for the game, building the game engine, and producing playable versions for prototyping and eventual release. They implement the game mechanics, create the user interface, add music and graphics, while developing necessary algorithms that help the game run smoothly.
Video game designers develop the storyline, characters, dialogue, as well as all the rules of the game. Designers determine the difficulty of gameplay, as well as the type of obstacles the player will encounter.
Game artists such as Animators, 3D artists, and FX artists are all responsible for developing the look and feel of the in-game assets. Sound designers and audio engineers are also integral to the process, as they will create all the noises heard in-game, from the opening theme to the sound effects of the menu.
A level designer creates the levels and missions in a video game. Level designers draw inspiration from the concept art and the game design document (GDD), to create a believable environment, establish the boundaries of the game, and maintain a style consistent with the game’s objectives. Level design is where the physical limitations of the world are established.
Quality assurance (QA): The quality assurance team tests a game over the course of its development. Quality assurance testers, also known as video game testers, will play through a title multiple times, making detailed reports of any bugs or crashes they experience. Quality control tests ensure that gamers will not encounter any glitches or issues which may negatively affect their playing experience.