10 Stages of Game Development – ​​GameSpace.com

The development and duration of a game is determined by the game itself, the budget and the number of players. On average, a game can take 1-2 years, and for a AAA project 2-3 years. However, this is approximate. After all, someone is making Resident Evil 3 Remake in 3 years, and someone from the indie environment is spending almost 11 years working on a conditional Disco Elysium. The development stages of a game are also different, but you can reduce them to 10. Let’s talk about them briefly.

1. Idea

Much like a monkey once took a stick in its hand and thought about fighting off predators, game development begins when someone has an idea about a plot, character, or mechanic, which can become the basis for a future game.

And it’s actually a difficult step, because it’s about designing what kind of game it will be, what its genre will be, its visual style, its setting, its characters, who is the target audience for the project and what platform the game will be on. By thinking through all these details, a concept is formed, from which all further stages of game development will follow. It also includes the technical part: what engine it will be on and if a new one should be created, what budget may be needed, what kind of monetization is in the game. And much more. In addition, the whole concept should be checked by the editor, if necessary.

2. Design Document

When the concept is confirmed, many studios create a design document, consider the developers’ bible, where all ideas are brought in, from location design, atmosphere, to characters. It is continuously modified during the development process and until the launch of the game.

3. Gather a team

Usually everything described above is planned by a group of people, not entire studios [unless we are talking about a 3-person indie studio of course]. A team is being assembled to implement all the crazy plans and ideas recorded in the development document. And that’s where the fun begins. A chief game designer or simply a project manager is also appointed, dictating what and how to do it.

4. Pre-production

The newly formed group seeks to understand how to put the concepts into practice. A brainstorming of absolutely everyone begins, from game designers, artists, writers and programmers, ending with engineers, editors, project managers and other departments. They put the puzzle together piece by piece to see the whole picture.

5.Budget

If this has not happened yet, then somewhere during this period the developer should definitely kneel before the editor and humbly extend his hand, expressing a round number. If it’s a AAA project, the amounts can run into the millions and they only increase every year. When the publisher agrees, the amount is immediately doubled, since the second half of the budget is reserved for marketing, which will use the same amount of funds as development.

If you are looking for help in creating games, you should take a holistic approach to this problem and look for a reliable game development company.

6. Create a game

The most difficult stage begins – production. During this period, the entire game is collected. The levels, the design, the characters, the sound are being created, the programming is in progress, the voice acting is in progress.

7. Game test

At the testing stage, poor and tortured QA employees check the operation of the game, find bugs, malfunctions. They often do the dirty work of finding trouble.

After extensive testing, the game should be ready for alpha or beta testing. Whether open or closed. Here, some developers can cheat and release the game in early access to find new ways to create it.

8. Preparing for launch

Typically, at this stage of game development, the game is shown to the public or the press. It can be a story or gameplay trailers, or even the first level, and viewers and doodlers start scribbling their opinions on the internet. Here, developers may have doubts about what they are doing. And is everything okay?

9. Launch

This is Kotaku’s Jason Schreyer’s favorite step in video game development, as it keeps him busy for years with a never-ending story. This is where the developers called the death march when developing Max Payne 3, because everything that can be completed and everything that is possible is in progress.

10. Support after posting

The final stage of game development is to maintain and release at least one Day 1 patch. After that, other patches will also be sawed off. If it is a service game, new content is created for it, which will be constantly updated. If it’s a story game, you can post downloadable content for it.

Finally, it is worth saying that not all games are equal, and this is a conditionally general, moreover, simplified development model. Moreover, all games are different and require a different approach to their creation. That is why Resident Evil 3 Remake is created in three years, and Disco Elysium – 11 years.


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