Creating video games is a vast and complex process that can take many months, or even years, to complete. There are many different parts of the process that need to be optimized to create the best possible game. This article will explore the facets of game development that need to be optimized to create a successful game.
A vital aspect of game development is the design process. The design of a video game determines how the game will play and look. It is vital to get the design right since it can be challenging to change once the game has been completed. Many important design choices need to be made to influence how the game is played. Some of these include:
- Level layouts;
- Game mechanics (e.g., jumping, driving);
- The player navigates through the world (e.g., map, mini-map).
All of these choices need to be made carefully to create a well-balanced and enjoyable game.
One of the most vital aspects of game development is programming. The programming code makes the game run and controls all of the different elements that make up the game. Therefore, it is essential to get the programming code right as it can be tough to change after the game has been completed. Many important choices need to be made when writing the code, including:
- How animations will look;
- What sounds can be played, and what those sounds will sound like;
- How input from the user should be handled (e.g., how the player moves, what buttons will do).
- How enemies act in the game;
- How complex/powerful each weapon is.
These code choices need to be carefully considered before being used to make sure they are balanced correctly and do not cause performance issues.
A vital part of the process is to get the art right. The art in a video game can be seen as being split into two different parts: visual art and sound effects/music. A video game to look good requires much work from both the artist and the programmer. The artist needs to create all of the different textures and models used in the game, while the programmer needs to make sure that all of these assets can be rendered correctly and do not cause any performance issues.
Another critical aspect of art is sound effects and music. For a video game to feel immersive, it needs to have suitable sound effects and music. However, this is tricky to get right as both of these should fit with the game’s overall theme. If they are too jarring or do not fit with the game’s overall tone, then this can ruin the player’s experience.
Testing is another critical aspect of game development and should be done as early as possible in the process. Testing makes sure that everything functions correctly and that all bugs have been identified and removed from the game. In order to test a video game properly, it needs to be played through from start to finish several times before being released.
For testing to run smoothly, the game should be split into several ‘levels,’ making it easier to find any problems that might not have been noticed. Furthermore, if possible, the game should be tested by somebody other than the person who created it as this can lead to interpersonal issues and cause stress which can affect the quality of testing.
Once the game has been completed, and all the bugs have been fixed, it is ready to be published. For a video game to be successful, it is vital to have a good marketing campaign behind it. This process usually involves submitting the game to a publisher, then marketing and selling the game to the developer. This will help to promote the game and encourage gamers to buy it.
This can be very important for certain types of games, especially those considered niche or ‘hardcore,’ as they often need more time spent on marketing to make sure they are successful. An excellent example of this is first-person shooters, which generally have a smaller audience than games such as Mario Party.