Game development is far from being a fun and engaging process, as many might assume. Creating that final product is quite complex and time-consuming. Bottlenecks, incorrect timings, and other problems are unfortunately pretty common in game development.
This is why it helps to follow a process that consists of gradual game development stages with clear descriptions and tasks. This enables you to optimize your workflow to make it efficient and organized. However, not many people know about these stages.
Hence, we have compiled this guide that discusses all game development phases, from conceptualization to launching a successful game.
What Are the Stages of Game Development?
While video game development can be disorganized and chaotic, there are some people that follow certain stages to meet deadlines and successfully create games. They follow a process that consists of seven main stages of game development. These include planning, pre-production, production, testing, pre-launch, launch, and post-production.Here’s a closer look at each of the stages involved in developing a successful game:
Before any game is developed, you must first plan it thoroughly. This essentially serves as the game’s roots because you have to answer tons of questions regarding it to create an impeccable game. In planning, you must figure out the story, characters, which platform to place it on, 2D or 3D, and more.
You must also decide the marketing, budget, concepts, and more here. Planning is sometimes the most time-consuming process, but it will certainly help with organization and framework.
The next game development stage discusses how to give life to the ideas and concepts you have developed in the planning process. Here, the game developers, designers, writers, and other departments discuss how to execute the plan.
This is also the stage when developers might create a game prototype to test its look and feel. You essentially want to understand what you are working with before you start the actual process of game development.
This is the most crucial stage of developing a game because this is where most of your resources, time, and money will be spent. This is also the most complicated and challenging stage in the game development process. Here you design everything, from the characters to the audio.
The production stage often takes months and years to execute since it involves many tasks. Not to mention, changes are bound to be required along the way to perfect the final result. Indeed, this stage is quite frustrating and time-consuming.
Every game needs to be tested before it is set to launch. This stage of the game development will determine how well your game is and whether it is ready for the general public to use. The game testing part of the process requires checking for errors and seeing whether the game is essentially interactive and enjoyable.
There are tons of ‘playtesters’ that can be hired to test the game by playing it. They may do their best to break the game and identify and understand the game’s fun factor.
Yet another stressful part of the game development stage is the pre-launch one. Here, you are essentially anticipating and wondering what the public’s reaction to the game will be. This is when you should start advertising the game by releasing certain graphics, images, and shots. Some major game studios may even book a slot in gaming conventions if it fits their budget.
Most of the important game development phases have been completed, and now developers are preparing for the launch of the game. This is typically when all the small and large bugs in the game are identified and squashed. Besides this, they will be polishing the game and improving it as much as possible. These would be small changes, but they are all it takes to make a game more engaging.
This is the most exciting stage of the game development process as the developers have finally launched the game and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor. However, there would still be work that needs to be done. For example, the first few months after launch are spent fixing any bugs or errors players may have encountered.
Developers will also need to provide regular software updates for the game. After a couple of months, you might even want to launch additional characters, storylines, and more.
As you can probably tell, the game development cycle is quite comprehensive and long. However, understanding these stages and following them will help reduce the game development timeline and make the process easier.
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