Have you ever wondered how to make a game while playing one? Or you want to create one but don’t know where to start? In this article, we will talk about Game Development: What is it? Which are the roles in it and the process of creating a game.
What is Game Development?
Game development is the art of creating games, from the concept to playable reality. As a game continuously grows, it may involve a lot of developers, designers, artists, writers, sound engineers, and testers,... in the process or be done by a single indie game developer.
Creating new realities or theories may sound unachievable in the real world but it is possible in the game development world. A Game Developer does more than just the coding or programming required to create a game. They can be incharge of coding visual elements, programming features, testing iterations until a game is ready for market and maintain it after releasing. If you are interested in working with computers or developing games, this is a bright career path for you.
Roles in Game Development
Designers: They are responsible for decisions about what the game should be and how it should work: creating storyline, rules and structure, level and world design, characters,... for the game.
Artists: It can be 2D/3D models. They decide the feel of the game. Art in video games can include game texture, game lighting, 3D modeling of characters, objects, and create an animated world where the game takes place.
Audio Engineers: They are technical professionals responsible for realistic sound effects. Audio is an essential part of a game, it builds emotions, tone of the story. Sometimes they’re also incharge of composing the musical side or even managing voice-over for characters.
Programming: This role usually is a software engineer who translates all the visible concepts into code. This requires various coding languages like C#, C++, Python,... They ensure the game will run smoothly.
Testers: They are a significant part of the game development process. They ensure the game works well and is entertaining. This role is detecting bugs, errors and making sure instructions are clear for players throughout the game.
The process in Game Development
This is the first step of a game's development. Pre-production defines all the game ideas: what the game is about, why it should be made, and what it’s going to take to make it.
This is the stage when the writers, artists, designers, and developers collaborate to determine the scope of the game. That includes coming up with ideas for how the game will function, its characters, its look, and its story.
This is the main stage of game development, when assets and ideas are transferred into code.
During this stage, programmers write new source codes, artists develop game assets (such as 2D/3D models, Environment,...). Sound engineers develop sound effects and composers develop music for the game. Designers create levels, dialogue for cutscenes and the game's design throughout production. Testers ensure the quality of a game product plays entertainly, and thus the testing of video games is more focused on the end-user experience rather than the accuracy of the software code's performance, which leads to differences in how game software is developed.
Prototype: This is the initial test of the game (which happens in pre-production and is described in detail above). Some games may never make it past this stage.
First playable: The first playable gives a much better idea of the look and gameplay. While it is still far from final, placeholders are replaced with higher-quality assets, and artwork is added.
Vertical slice: A vertical slice is a fully playable sample that can be used to pitch your game to studios or investors. Ranging from just a few minutes up to half an hour, a vertical slice provides a first-hand experience of your game.
Pre-alpha: The majority of the content is developed in the pre-alpha stage. At this point in game development, some big decisions will need to be made. Content may get cut, or new elements will need to be added to improve gameplay.
Alpha: The game is “feature complete” meaning the main features have all been added and the game is fully playable from start to finish. Some elements, such as art assets may still need to be added, but controls and functionality should be working properly. The QA testers will be making sure everything is running seamlessly and reporting errors back to the team.
Beta: At this point, all the content and assets are integrated, and the team should be focused on optimization rather than adding new functions or features.
Gold master: The game is final and ready to be sent to the publishing outlet and released to the public.
According to: cgspectrum.com
Last but not least, this is the maintenance stage for the game.
Bug-fixing. Despite the efforts of testers, most games still contain minor bugs at the moment of their launch. The first few months during the post-production stage are typically spent identifying and squashing these bugs.
New content. Post-production also includes regular software updates for the game, ranging from game-balancing patches to new DLCs.