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An Introduction to the Game Development Process

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Adam Corkett

on 16 January 2014

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Transcript of An Introduction to the Game Development Process

A Basic Introduction to Games Development:
The Process

Ideas Generation
The starting point is dependent upon who initiated the project, for example if a publisher commissions a project, either for a new concept or for an existing one (franchise) then some kind of idea generation will have already taken place - but it doesn't stop there.

Another method is for developers to produce a concept, then pitch it to a publishers in the hope that the project will gain support and the additional funding required to produce it.
All of the planning documentation is produced in order to facilitate the making of the game itself, therefore initial concepts would be worked up into finalised designs (like blue-prints for a building)
There are many stages of production, but in simple terms you would have teams working on asset production, design and animation and teams working on coding; assets are the bits and pieces you see and hear, whereas coding is the programming that makes it all work.
The final stages of games production are often overlooked, but they are integral to a successful outcome; outputting in different formats for various platforms can often provide a range of challenges, even when using 3rd party software to package for you.

This is the part of production that sees the game end up on the user's device, through whatever means are appropriate.
You might think of the Game Development Process like a conveyer-belt in a factory, each person in the team has a specific role to play and the final game can not be achieved successfully without them.
Publishers and Developers
Concept Development
Other kinds of pre-production is carried out to ensure that the production is achievable; this might include ensuring funding has been secured, resources are available and the skills exist to complete the game.
All of the production and development team need to work from designs to ensure the final product follows a unified style - professionally.

Good Communication is therefore essential
Asset Production
Examples of asset production would be:

Character, Object and Environment Modelling
FMV Production
Audio Production including Scores and Effects

Animators would usually receive the models from Modelling, and then work on them in either 3D software or Games Engines such as Unity but in smaller companies these might be the same team.
Designers are involved at an early stage and might produce plans from the concepts for Modellers to work from in production; they would also produce the designs for other elements such as additional in-game graphics and HUDs. In house designers may even be used for marketing materials to promote the game itself on smaller productions.
Coding or Programming might involve developing a full-scale game engine, or it might simply involve working within an existing development environment; coders provide two main functions:

To build the game's logic, physics and in some cases animations.
To identify and fix errors (Debugging)
This is where the magic happens...
Games Testers
Games testing is often seen as an entry point to the industry, but can be quite a challenging task.

Games Testers are essentially quality control, they find flaws and bugs in games as well as checking that everything works as planned.
Story Development
Usually there would be some kind of narrative in a game and this would need to be developed, at least in part as part of the ideas generation process.
Concept Art
Concept art is used to visualise your concept, usually this to explain and / or sell your idea to prospective publishers for example; it is also useful for your team - to explain the visual style to designers or the lighting effects to modellers for instance.
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