All Phases of Game Developing
Many of those who want to start in the world of video game development often wonder where to start and what they should take into consideration to make a video game. There may be important differences between projects related to investment in time and other resources. However, there are several phases common to any typical video game development project that can be your guide for all possible scenarios.
The Big Dream
It all starts with a great idea, usually ambiguous. It is usually an idea of the type: “it would be great to have a little man that jumps and has an anti-alien laser weapon,” or “it would be cool to implement this numerical type puzzle,” or “it would be great to have a video game of Cristalab vs. The Web where you hit annoying customers, “and so on. From this idea, the shape of the gameplay must be defined, that is, the mechanics of the game with its rules and details. This initial idea is the starting point and will be full of illusions and many impossible things, like every great dream, and many features that will be perfected as the project progresses, so that the finished video game will differ greatly from our first vision.
Previous Market Evaluation
Before starting the development, it is necessary to determine the current consumption trends of video games. The graphic, musical, technical, genre and even commercial aspects are evaluated. In this phase, data is gathered to guide the ideas conceived towards commercially profitable objectives or to generate ideas that allow us to define the type of video game that we can develop according to the target we want to address. There are profound differences between a game for users of high technological profile (a geek, say) and another for grandmothers.
Market evaluation is a broad and complex phase that requires some research capacity. It will allow you to glimpse what type of video game has more demand, which marketing system favors you more, if your ideas have already been implemented, are they too complex or do not fit the marketing standard, graphic and technical trends, etc..
In this phase, you must determine for which platform you will develop and the technology that you will use according to your gameplay and graphic style. In this sense, once the platform is defined, which can cover from PC, console, mobile devices, web, and even television, you should investigate what technology will allow you to develop your video game more comfortably, including the libraries that you may require. For example, if you plan to develop a 3D strategy video game, for various platforms, including web and mobile devices, you could program it in Java and use jMonkeyEngine, which is a development environment and includes great libraries. However, if you want to develop a visual novel you can use Ren’Py, program your video game with Python and have it for several platforms. Everything will depend on your gameplay and the platforms for which you want to develop.
Conceptualization and Design
In this phase, the development of the video game itself is determined and documented. The gameplay, the genre, number of players, the storyboard, the intro, the end, the scenarios, the sound, the conceptual art and everything that will be developed are defined in detail.
It is documented with the intention of facilitating subsequent work and accurately determining the necessary resources, translated into human resources, graphic assets, sound, among others. Additionally, if for some reason someone else joins the project, only by reading that document, they will understand what they intend to develop, both globally and their specific tasks. On the other hand, if modifications are necessary, it can be better appreciated if the logic of the video game is altered in some way from the beginning to the end.
After defining everything, the tasks necessary to develop the game are identified and structured into activities that will be assigned to each member of the work team. Likewise, the time periods for the development of each activity are set.
It is about the development itself, the execution of everything planned. It covers programming, creation of graphic assets including the videogame interface, the design of 3D models, animations, voice recording, production of sound and visual effects, the design of music and all the elements that make up the videogame.
Before starting with all the development, it is advisable to first program a functional prototype in order to determine if the planned can be implemented and if any important change in the gameplay should be introduced. It may be the case that when making the functional prototype you notice that the video game is not as fun as you thought or requires certain adjustments. To program the functional prototype it is not necessary to have the graphics ready, you can use squares, balls or other images.
It is the last phase of development. Alpha tests are performed, with the members of the development team and beta tests with people who have not had any type of development intervention. This phase is oriented to the detection of bugs, stability in different hardware and software platforms, gameplay evaluation, adjustment of details, among other activities aimed at improving the game.
In the marketing phase you must decide how you will monetize the video game. Will you sell it on your own, through publishers or both options? If you plan to sell it on your own, you must prepare a sales page and make a contract with a company that has a sales platform such as Plimus. If you want to sell it through publishers, you should contact them and send them a demo of the video game; In some cases you can even send a functional prototype to assess whether they are interested in the game and receive guidance from the beginning. There are multiple publishers, such as: Big Fish Games , Steam , PlayFirst, among others; If you are starting, it is a good option to consider them.
Other ways to monetize your video game are to include advertising or sell items, as is usually done in social video games.