What you need to create a game you can be proud of
With technological developments and continuously evolving consumer needs, companies need to adapt their strategies and business models to conform with customer demand. Innovations increasingly impact our everyday activities, the way we do business, and the way we entertain ourselves.
Gaming industry overview
Since its inception, the video game industry has been evolving through perpetual technological developments and gamer preferences. The current industry expansion is fuelled by advances in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and increasing adoption rates of mobile devices. Furthermore, E-Sports broadcasts on Twitch and YouTube have created a growing gaming community with a constantly expanding reach.
The gaming sector is booming with hardware advances and new games.
Gamers and developers have a chance to choose from a variety of gaming platforms. According to the survey on the most important gaming platforms in 2018, developers are mostly developing games for PC, smartphones and tablets, as well as Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox consoles. Some game developers choose to bring their game to as many platforms as possible to reach a broader audience. Others, due to business, resource, or design constraints decide to focus on a single platform.
As of December 2017, the bestselling games worldwide on all platforms are led by Call of Duty: WWII, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Super Mario Odyssey. Free to play titles like League of Legends, DotA, and Hearthstone remain popular with hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
The game development process
Games like any other project require strategic planning for a successful launch.
The first step is to develop a concept which provides an overview of a story and key features of a game. It helps everyone related to the process (artists, designers, programmers, etc.) understand what needs to be done. Key game features should explain what audio and visual effects will be included in the game, what platform it will be built for, and which engine it will be created on.
The design phase aims to produce a design document that is given to a product development team – programmers, artists, and designers, who turn it into a working game. The design document defines the game concept as well as its functional and technical elements. It consists of three parts: game design, technical specifications and design sections. User interface, storyboard, and other features are written into the design part. Technical requirements and game architecture - in the technical requirements. Programming and development descriptions are included in the technical design section.
Once all of the design elements have been put in place, the next step is to implement them correctly. Designers and programmers must go through many phases: develop core gameplay, put in basic graphic placeholders, implement supporting algorithms, prepare rendering and interface, create and import game content, graphics, and sounds.
The testing phase uncovers potential programming defects like in-game objects not working correctly, checks for inconsistencies in the narrative structure and artwork consistency of a game. Gameplay testing defines how engaging a game is and its level of difficulty. A game can go through several stages of redevelopment until the production team confirms that every defect is fixed and it is ready to be sent for the final approval.
Once the game is approved, the game can be deployed. Information about the target audience is used to effectively market and promote the game prior to its release. Games can also be marketed heavily during the development process to raise funds and expand their reach by offering pre-orders. Thus, by release date, a number of games would have already been sold and ready for deployment.
Every game requires a software development environment, a game engine, to turn ideas and concepts into a functioning product. Depending on a game’s technical and graphical capabilities, budget, and genre among others, certain engines will be far more suitable. 2D & 3D engines and tools they offer can be created from scratch or developed from existing engines. Even though there are free open-source engines available, proprietary ones like Unreal and Unity offer licenses much like any other software.
Unity is a powerful game engine established by Unity Technologies which is used to develop video games and simulations. This engine is compatible with all major platforms. The graphics engine can handle quality AAA games and effortlessly add cinematic content and gameplay sequences.
Unreal is a game engine developed by Epic Games. Unreal features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today. It is an incredibly mature and well maintained remote proxy system used for a comfortable multiplayer game development. Unreal gives full access to the C++ source code allowing editing and upgrading anything in the system quickly and efficiently.
The next frontier
Gaming has come a very long way from the first game almost 70 years ago to truly immersive virtual reality games we have today. Gamers have multiple platforms to choose from, a huge variety of games to play, and much higher expectations. With 2.6 billion gamers in the world, it is vital to make sure that a newly developed game gets noticed in this highly competitive market.
Forbytes offers comprehensive gaming and virtual reality development services. With our knowledge and expertise in delivering games based on Unity 3D and Unreal engines, we can help your company get to market quickly. Contact us today for more information.