Video games in their
60-year history have changed a lot. The first gaming machine was created in
1940, but the development of video games began in the early seventies with the
first home console Odyssey and video game Pong in 1972, which has become one of
the famous, first truly successful commercial game of today. Since then
computers have become so common that anyone could create their own game.
Nowadays, creating AAA games (highest
development budgets and levels of promotion) requires large financial resources
and is associated with a high risk of failure. To reduce the risk of low sales
of the game, large companies must carefully plan production processes before
starting the game development process.
Terms of Reference
STEPHEN COLBERT (Lecturer)
has requested PIOTR GRZEBIELSKI to write a report to examine: Video Game
Development. It is a requirement of Communication, Level 6 unit, F3GB 12, and
is due to be submitted on 27 October 2017.
Research for this report
was conducted primarily via internet, by visiting reputable websites of
journals, newspapers, and official reports.
Video games are hardly ever
built in a consistent manner. Instead creative teams of up to 200 people jump
back and forth between different stages of the development process and often
entirely different companies are tasked with handling certain components like
multiplayer. In general, however the game development process starts and ends
with a number of particular phases.
The process of creating
games starts with the simple concept or idea. Usually this is an original
concept created inside the company, but it happens that the idea is taken from
outside. Often it is a continuation of the existing title, or the plot of the
game is based on movies, comics, folklore or history. Various creative and
design directors decide what kind of game they will make.
After developing the
storyline, the company needs to do a storyboard, which is a visual
representation of the plot, including sketches, concepts, and text to explain
what is going on in every section or scene of the game. At the same stage, it
analyzes how the game will play, what is the game’s purpose and rules, and maps
of different worlds or levels in the game. Software engineers decide what
exactly happens on the screen when a specific button is pressed, which may and
may not be the interaction that script events occur, and how the non-controlled
characters react to what the player is doing.
The team must (also)
consider the platform on which the game will operate, its technical
capabilities and limitations. Developers
are limited by the technical specifications of the particular platform their
game is being created for. The engine is the most important component of the
game. It compiles code and visual assets.
Phase two is the pitching
phase. A couple of documents are presented to the game publishers. Detailing
concepts fleshed out in stage one. Independent valves usually pitch their game
ideas to the public in order to raise money, generally through the help of
websites like Kickstarter.
Story development and
After defining a simple
concept and choosing a platform, producers, designers, programmers and artists
will work on issues such as storytelling, scripting and creating complete
design documents detailing game objectives, design levels, game mechanics. When
the game is created on the original concept, the authors of the scripts,
artists and designers have the freedom to create. In cases where game
development is based on a simulation of a real event or license, creative
freedom is often limited to acceptable within the real or realm world.
In this stage visual artists are tasked with gathering
reference material and designing the look and feel of the game world within the
boundaries set by the script writers. It is here that various game designers
can see if their ideas will work in practice.
In stage four concept
art is translated into the digital space. Together with professional level
designers 2d and 3d artists build everything the player will see. This step
enables the development team to use the latest in computer animation technology
to bring the game elements to life by adding colours, textures, shading and of
course movement. After developing a preliminary version of each character, the
animators superimpose a skeleton by manipulating the skeleton they make the
character move. They experiment with different movements until they decide on
which ones they’ll use for the game. Other animators work on the backgrounds
the games playing field once they have a rough version laid out they refine it
by adding details colours and textures to give a depth and dimension they use
virtual lighting to create shading and shadows to advance the storyline, video
game is interspersed with animated movies called cinematics. To make a cinematics
action look realistic they use a technique called motion capture. The animators
videotaped famous actors performing the action, then use animation software to
reproduce it on the computer
In production, producers
will collaborate with teams of designers, artists and programmers to make sure
everyone is working together and are at the same stage. Schedules are respected
to ensure that the goals of the project are adhered to throughout the
development of the game.
When the game is
theoretically starting to look like a designer’s vision, testing begins. By
performing focus tests, developers see what is difficult for the players, and
then improve or fix them. During this production phase, the original vision is
likely to change in small ways to correct errors in the design. Continuing to
focus on testing and improving the gameplay, the game is polished. Developers privately or publicly share
alpha and beta versions of their game, gathering feedback and bug reports which
can fix before release and use to make sure everything is as engrossing and compelling
as possible. Once completed the games assets and code are sent off to be
printed on disks and distributed to retail stores across the globe or release
The final stage of game development regards updates and
patches to fix more bugs and glitches, as well as either paid or free story
based or multiplayer downloadable content to key players enjoying the game a
couple years after release.
games are developing at a rapid speed, therefore developers who want to become
important competitors, must analyze the future of the gaming market. They
should be open to new distributions for their games.
Creating video games is a complex
process but giving developers great satisfaction and chances for personal
development and significant financial gains. Covers so many areas, through
creating a scenario, music, graphics, drawing and managing, that almost
everyone who want to create games finds something for themselves and can be a
co-creator of virtual entertainment history.
With a bad managing it can
last for many years, absorb a lot of financial resources and end up failing.
Therefore, besides it’s a good idea on the game and willingness it is important
to choose the necessary number of people, designate and calculate the so-called
milestones. Developers also need to determine on what platform the game will be
displayed and what technologies may appear in the near future to move the title
to the newly created devices.