video game development Process
Video Game Design is one of the most exciting career routes in the IT sector. However, designing a video game is a process that requires many difficult steps all different from each other. Also, learning video games design is a challenging task.
In general, the initial goal of the video game design process is the production of a final game design proposal. This proposal usually needs to be visually compelling and needs to include a written description of all the aspects and mechanics of the game. This proposal typically happens at the end of the game design process. Once the project gets the green light, the production process of the game starts, and game designers assist in production, and they make sure their design is realized.
Step 1: Presenting a project
The video game design process starts with adapting ideas into possible goals. Video game designers take different game platforms, available technologies, interfaces, and genres into consideration during this first step. They need to study the gaming market to be able to create a project that would sell as a product. This studies show which platforms, genres, features and popular trends would be profitable. So, they adapt their raw ideas into sellable project outlines. So, being a successful video game designer involves learning how to read the gaming market too.
Step 2: Production
In today’s video game business, making a successful game requires more than a single video game designer doing all the work. These days, during the production of video games, game designers work together with programmers and artists to create all the aspects of the video game. So, game designers can focus on designing aspect of the project rather than developing or arts. Some professionals in the business didn’t spend their time on improving their programming skills or artistic skills at all, but they mastered their game design vision and knowledge. And, with a team of specialists, every aspect of a game can be in a quality only achieved by a professional of that subject.
Game designers guide their production team on the details of the game mechanics, level layout, and artistic styles they need for the project. During this step, it is critical for video game designers to be knowledgeable about the technical and artistic limitations of the chosen platforms and frameworks. High expectations can ruin a video game project and cause poor optimizations which will lead to failure in the sales.
Step 3: Playtesting
Video game designers should be ready to deal with problems, bugs, glitches, and design flaws they will encounter during the production. These flaws are common in production, however, if the team cannot manage to solve them in time or ignore them, the project can fail upon release. This is why “playtesting” is vital for video game design. During the playtest, testers can point out visual problems, programming bugs, as well as design flaws such as sluggish gameplay, confusing levels, unbalanced difficulty, or overly complex mechanics. With some feedback, Video game designers can fix all these aspects of the game before the final release.
This step is so important that commonly game projects go back to production from the start all over again after playtesting and feedbacks, even though they were technically complete and ready to release. It is worth to spend more money and time if it turns out that the game couldn’t create the feeling you hoped.
Step 4: Marketing
After a game project reaches certain point companies start to promote the game in the market. These marketing works actually sells the main promise of the game. As the production make progress, the company can show more and more features of their new title. Sometimes even these features that took place in marketing content change after the playtesting. As long as the main promise is intact, the marketing should help the sales on the release.
Step 5: Release
Even with a professional team, only around 40% of video game projects can actually achieve a release date. Through the extensive costs, bug fixes and negative playtest feedbacks many projects lose their funds or the motivation. But, for the rest of the projects, after the production, playtesting, and final changes, the game design team or studio releases the game and submits it to their publisher. The rest goes with publisher company’s marketing team. Thus, the game that is a fruit of the labor from the designers and the whole team would be joining a market that is worth $135 billion.
If everything goes well, the sales can exceed the cost of production that can be over millions of dollars, and make an incredible profit in this vast market. Thanks to online distribution methods, these days a well-received game potentially can make a profit of hundreds of million dollars in just a few days.
Of course, you would love to be in the design team of such a successful game because of the joy of pride and the handsome paychecks. But first, if you are determined to chase a career in this business, you need to learn how to make video games. In our website TopGameDesignSchools.com, we hope to help people with this goal. You should read about the industry in our other articles if you are interested in game design. Also, you can learn about game design schools in our review articles.