Everything You Must Know About Game Development

    Everything You Must Know About Game Development

    Game developers help transform perception into a playable reality by creating features that make the video game exciting for players. Moreover, developers assess the game mechanics, rewards, player engagement, and level design while designing and developing a game.

    What is Game Development

    Game development combines creative and technical concepts to design and produce interactive, immersive video games. It comprises concept building, designing, game mechanisms, and AI characteristics.

    Adequate designing, testing, and reviewing are required to deliver an immersive video game experience.

    Stages of Game Development

    1. Pre-Production

    While every game development stage is vital, the initial planning phases are crucial as they affect the subsequent cycles. Developers must start the game development by collecting data about the future product.

    After gathering the project information and requirements, a Game Design Document (GDD) is made. It consists of additional and distinctive requirements for a game. Firms can then define goals and map the core concept.

    2. Production

    The production stage is long and labor-intensive and is divided into five stages-

    • Prototyping

    The first stage is the creation of a prototype. It involves a playtest of the core mechanics used in the game.

    • Visual Content Creation

    The visual content concept includes the gaming characters, props, game assets, and environment. The gaming format (2D/3D) will wildly impact the time spent on it.

    • Game Level Design Development

    At this level, game developers develop the game-level logic for each game. The level designer creates game mechanics and plots. They also develop valuable details like leading players and level transitions.

    • Audio Design and Voice Acting

    Sound specialists create game soundtracks and sound effects for multiple game scenarios. These effects give players que about danger, victory, or defeat.

    • Coding

    With all the gaming elements ready, developers must code to combine the entire content using game engines. Game developers must consider all the potential technical factors to create a positive user experience.

    3. Quality Assurance

    The game must be bug-free and function without errors. Before releasing, developers must conduct functional, non-functional, Alpha, and Beta testing.

    4. Launch

    The launch is the final development phase. Mainly, there are few errors and flaws even when a game is ready. Therefore, even after the launch, the development team continues bringing more details and improvements to the game.

    Also, at this stage, testers collect the first feedback from real users.

    5. Post Production

    After the game launch, developers must monitor the improvements to double-check the stability and performance levels. Firms will continue to release updates to meet the platforms’ requirements.

    Challenges of Game Development

    1. Feature Creep

    During the initial life cycle, most games have features. Developers add new features to make the game more impactful and boost revenue. However, these features will likely backfire- a phenomenon called “Feature Creep.”

    Feature creep distracts the player from a game’s core user experience, making the game unstable. Instability leads to crashes, bugs, and performance issues. 

    • How to Avoid Feature Creep?

    Before adding the new features, developers must evaluate the value it adds or takes away from the game. They need to ensure that the new features enhance the core gaming experience rather than causing a distraction.

    2. Lack of Documentation

    A good GDD consists of basic information and technical requirements about the game. It gives the development process structure, eliminating confusion and conflicts.

    The lack of documentation restricts developers’ creativity and flexibility to change their game development approach.

    • How to Ensure a Proper Documentation?

    Firms must ensure that the GDD does not have static and rigid rules. Instead, the document must have proper guidelines for the developers to follow.

    More importantly, if the information in the GDD adversely affects the game quality, it needs to be changed. Firms can also do this during development.

    3. Finding the Right Tools and Talent

    Finding the right tools is challenging as it directly influences the gaming experience. This is one of the reasons some companies build their game engines in-house.

    Furthermore, companies spend time and money to find skilled developers. A lack of skills can derail the game’s development.

    As per a recent report by Perforce, “2022 Game Development Trends & Forecast,”

    43% of businesses said they had difficulties recruiting talent. 23% of applicants lack sufficient skill or knowledge.

    Skilled developers can help build better games at scale. Therefore, assembling the right team is challenging, especially in the highly competitive market.

    • How to Find the Right Tools and Talent?

    Firms must outline the game specifications- concept, genre, and art style. They must assess whether the game is a personal project or a commercial one.

    Perforce’s report also states that 31% of businesses said funding was a top challenge in game development.

    Evaluate the budget and visit multiple game engine websites to understand their features and pricing. It helps firms pick the best tool and game engine that fulfills the game’s specifications and budget.

    Companies must assemble a good team of developers who share the same vision, core values, and diversity of thoughts. To assemble such a team, it is essential to dedicate time when hiring each developer. Understand whether or not their experience matches the requirements.

    4. Finding the Target Audience

    It is challenging to make every audience love the game. This is a counterproductive factor that might end up ruining the game.

    • How to Find the Target Audience?

    The best way to find the game’s target audience is to assess the competitors’ audience and narrow the list of similar games. It will help know the audience details, like age and gender.

    These insights help create a target audience persona and tailor the game towards these audiences. This helps seek the right users for the game.

    5. Paradox of Choice

    Multiple choices mean having to evaluate numerous possibilities.

    Narrowing down and finding the right one is challenging, as too many choices can hinder decision-making. In game development, a paradox of choice refers to choosing the right tools and ideas to develop.

    • How to Overcome This?

    The solution to the Paradox of Choice is to pick an option and commit to it. This means choosing a suitable game engine and idea and disregarding other choices.

    Noting down all the choices and their pros and cons can help get an objective overview. At the same time, picking an option that matches the values of game development is important.

    Is the core value to be creative or innovative? Addressing this question can help firms pick the right choice and core values.

    Also Read: Top Game-Development Tools

    Future of Game Development

    New tech and advancements have reshaped the gaming industry. As per a recent report by Research and Markets, “Video Games: Global Markets,”

    the global video games market is anticipated to grow to USD 473.5 Billion in 2027 with a CAGR of 14.2%.

    With increasing competition, game developers must stay abreast with the latest trends. Here are a few-

    • AR/VR

    VR and AR help build a link between the real and virtual worlds. VR provides a better experience by letting gamers project themselves in the virtual world. In AR, the real world becomes a part of the virtual world. Both technologies increase the experience and engagement levels.

    • Realistic Experience

    Traditional and VR games offer the best levels of entertainment, content, graphics, and characteristics. Game developers develop games with dense graphics and 360-degree videos. Integrating 360-degree videos and VR provides the best experiences close to the real world.

    • Face and Voice Recognition

    Face recognition is a 3D tech-based feature developers use to enhance a game’s security capabilities. In 2024, the gaming industry expects to see the use of face recognition in games.

    However, voice recognition is used in game development but is unexplored. Adding voice recognition leads to multiple game enhancements, like better user experience and more interaction.

    In 2024, gamers can witness the use of voice recognition in game development with more features.

    • Cloud Gaming and Esports

    Earlier, the player selection in online games was limited to device selection. For example, mobile gamers will compete only with other mobile gamers. Now that cross-playing is trending, gamers can compete on different devices, like desktops and game consoles.

    This level of interaction is achievable with the cloud gaming feature. It allows users to access the game with web browsers easily. With gaming trends shifting to electronic mediums, eSports, VR, and AR can elevate the gaming industry.