Everyone involved in video game production knows that the development process is complex and vital. It is essential to be able to master it to produce a great product. However, not all companies are able to create the right workflow. Things can quickly get out of control due to poor management and chaos.
It is important to understand and follow a videogame development pipeline. This is a detailed description of each stage of a project. This will allow you to organize and optimize your work flow.
This article will cover the major stages of game development and their peculiarities. You’ll also learn about game development tips and how you can find a trusted partner for custom-made game development.
What are the stages of game development?
The game development process usually consists of five main stages: preproduction, production and quality assurance.
Stage 1. Pre-production in game development
Every stage of the game-creation process is important, but the initial planning phase directly impacts all subsequent cycles. It is crucial to begin the computer game development process with information about future products, such as technical specifications. Managers and product owners collaborate to establish the business and goals of the project, and then map out the core concept.
- Analyze the market and competitors. It is important to identify what is most popular in the gaming industry, and which brings the greatest profit.
- Your target audience. To ensure that your game is developed according to their interests, it is crucial to identify who will be interested in the product.
- Selecting a platform. The popularity of the platform and the company’s coding abilities are usually factors that influence the choice.
- Allocation of resources. It is important to determine the required number of specialists and equipment as well as the timeline for game development that will be needed in order to execute a project.
- Concept art. Concept artists create characters, environments, props and other game assets.
- Types of monetization How do you make money with ads, in-game purchases or selling a product at a fixed price?
- Risk analysis. This involves calculating all potential risks and determining damage mitigation methods.
- Marketing strategy. You need to consider how to appeal to as many people as possible.
Once you have collected all the information and requirements, a Game Design Document is created. This document contains more specific requirements for a particular game. These include the concept, genre, plot, type and level of gameplay, level design, environment, and mechanics.
Stage 2. Stage 2.
The production stage, which is the longest and labor-intensive phase in a videogame production pipeline, can be broken down into multiple internal stages.
The creation of a prototype is the first stage of production. This is a playtest of key mechanics that will be used during the game’s development. This is illustrated by the Swedish warship Vasa which was built in 17th century Sweden.
It was built by hundreds of artisans, costing a lot of money and required a large amount of labor. The end result was impressive. Poor design caused the ship to capsize and sink at its first sail. This shows that even the most brilliant ideas and expert work must be tested at this stage of game design.
Visual content creation
Visual content refers to everything in a game that is visual. It includes characters, props and environment. The game’s format (D/3D) will have a huge impact on how much time you spend on it.
2D games go through the same development process as 3D, but require less technology and take less time to develop. Flat visual content requires drawing, coloring and animation. The process is generally quite straightforward and fast, but it all depends on how detailed the content is.
3D games can be more difficult to create. They require many stages, including polygonal modelling (creating a basic model with polygonal figures), texturing, rigging and animation. Artists require more sophisticated software and tools. 3D modeling also requires more knowledge and skills for professional development.
Game level design development
Specialists create the logic for the game levels at the level design stage. This is different for every genre. This can be used to increase the difficulty level after completing a linear quest, or exploring an open world.
The level designer also develops the game’s mechanics, plot, and game economy design.
Voice acting and audio design
Immersive game design is a major part of audio. Sound designers create sound effects and game soundtracks for various situations. Sound effects can also be used to give players specific messages about victory, danger, and defeat.
You may also find natural sounds, such as character steps, an explosion or shot, or water and wind. Voice actors are required to voice the characters in addition to the sounds and music. Voice actors record each dialogue, monologue, or individual character line and then import them into the software.
Developers write thousands of lines code to connect all the elements together. Often, they use game engines to accomplish this task. This is where the difficulty lies. A game must be designed as a puzzle and not have mutually exclusive mechanics. It should also work without any errors or failures. Game developers strive to make sure that every technical aspect is considered and provide a positive user experience.
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3. Stage 3.
Testing is necessary for any game that has a lot of complexity. This ensures that the game works without errors and is free from bugs. Because a single bug can have a serious impact on the user experience and overall game experience, Functional testing, non-functional testing and Alpha and Beta testing are all done.
Types of functional types:
- Testing interoperability games
- Regression game testing
- Smoke game testing
- Localization game testing
- Security access control game testing
- Acceptance testing for users
Types of testing that are not functional:
- Performance testing
- Load-game testing
- Stress testing
- Stability testing
- Test your volume game
- Testing usability
- Compliance game
- Installation game testing
- Configuration game testing
- Disaster recovery game testing
These are the main types of game testing. You can also find some game testing tips.
Once functionality, performance and compatibility have been tested, all bugs have been fixed, it is time to move on to the Alpha and Beta game development stages. Alpha testing is where QA engineers verify and correct any errors. Sometimes, it is followed by Beta testing. This is done by amateurs who imitate end-users.
Stage 4. Stage 4.
Everyone eagerly anticipates the product launch, which is the last phase of game development. Launch is only the beginning. There are often enough flaws and errors even after a game is released. The game development team keeps working on improving the game. Developers can also benefit from the feedback of testers, who collect first-hand feedback.
Stage 5. Post-production
Once a game has been released to the marketplace, it is necessary to monitor the game for any fixes or improvements. This will ensure that the game’s stability and performance are maintained. Studio releases updates as necessary to meet technical requirements for platforms.
Many companies also update their in-game content, sometimes adding new mechanics to keep players engaged. This requires constant maintenance and frequent testing to ensure quality.
How to make your game development project perfect
Experiential professionals are always aware of the small details that make a game more enjoyable. We will be sharing some of the valuable tips we have learned over the years.
- Your users will be guided. Visual hints can be added for difficult gameplay moments, especially the first levels. Highlight key objects using a bright color or sound prompts. This is what the creators of Half-Life, Mirrors Edge and Mirrors Edge did.
- Look for great references.It is important to study and collect references. It is important to explore as many options as you can, analyze your competition and highlight the most attractive and valuable features of each reference. You can then bring the best to every stage of game development.
- Your game should be uniqueIt is useful to analyze competitors and take examples from successful products. However, it is equally important to add unique features to a product in order to make it stand out from the rest. Find out what’s missing from other products, and create a unique feature that will be remembered by even the most experienced gamers.
- Use game engines. Unity and Unreal Engine were specifically designed for full-cycle game development. The engine comes with tools that can be used to execute almost any stage of development. It also includes documentation with tips and instructions. You can also test engine features.
- Don’t hesitate to delegate. It is hard to manage a large-scale, complex process like game development on a timescale that doesn’t compromise quality. It is possible to outsource some or all of these processes to professional development providers.
Game Development Services can help you create a flawless product
We have shown that creating a game takes many steps. Each step can be broken down into various stages of development. Some companies may not be able to handle full-cycle development. Others might need assistance in critical phases.
Game-Ace is an experienced development studio that has a large team ready to help with all aspects of the process, from concept art to coding, product test, and maintenance. Our portfolio contains dozens of highly successful commercial games for many platforms, including mobile devices, consoles and PCs as well as VR headsets.
Do you need a stress-free and stunning game development service? We are happy to help you with your project! We are available to help you with any questions or details about your product.