How to develop a game


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Essential Guide to game content development for those who think they have a great game idea, but don't know what to begin with.

The Guide covers:

pre-production - idea development, plot overview, how to staff your game development team and schedule game production,

production - game development stages, insights from real-life game development cases

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How to develop a game

  1. 1. The Essential Guide To Game Content Development How to Develop a Killer Game
  2. 2. If you’re viewing this presentation right now, it suggests at this point you have a good idea of what assets and elements you need to prepare for a game development project. But you still have questions such as “how do I construct each major component to complete my game?” and “where do I begin?”, don’t you? This Guide will show you how to effectively plan your game content development project, staff your game development team and will walk you through all stages from idea development to product finalization and release. Ready for this journey with us? Let’s go! Intro
  3. 3. Want to skip ahead? Here’s what we’re going to cover PRE-PRODUCTION 5 … Idea Development 7 … Game Plot Overview 11 ... Staffing Your Development Team 20 … Scheduling Game Production PRODUCTION 22 … Game Development Stages 14 … Insights From Real Life
  4. 4. Pre-Production Thinking your have a great game idea is not enough in the game development world. What your really need is a clear action plan envisioning all of the major pitfalls that may be awaiting you in the course of your game development project.
  5. 5. Idea Development Make sure you think your game idea through to its end in order to have a complete vision of your end product1 2 Create a list of all assets you need to create vs the timeframe of their completion in order to make the right decision about your future development team structure and skills needed to develop a game 3 Consult with a gaming industry expert or those who understand game development process to get insights and gather feedback on your game idea (basically, try to get expert answers to such questions as “is it still topical?”, “what do other similar games offer?”, “how will my game make a difference?”…)
  6. 6. Up-to-date graphics is important to capture the audience, but content is still the King! So, come up with a way to make your game truly cool and fun by offering great UX, ‘putting a new spin’ on a popular game feature, using elements that have never been used in similar genre games before… 1 2 Always think through your player’s perspective, what takeaways they’ll gain from playing your game and how they can become your game fans and advocates. Only devoted fans will ensure your game’s sustainability! Remember
  7. 7. Game Plot Overview The Story1 Game plot is needed to push the action along. The plot will help you determine the type of assets you will need to develop the actual game. Develop your game’s plot in a narrative way, just as if you were writing a fiction story. See example on the right. Source:
  8. 8. Game Plot Overview Your plot can be linear or non-linear, see below Source:
  9. 9. Your Player’s Perspective Now when you’ve developed a plot, try to draft out how your players will be exposed to the plot during the gameplay (see examples below) Game Plot Overview Source:
  10. 10. Remember
  11. 11. Staffing Your Development Team Determine the skills that will most likely be needed for your game development project. Due to the cost factor, many startup game studios make a common critical mistake – they hire few specialists to fulfill several roles. As a rule, these specialists are pretty junior and are managed by a single senior guy. Such team structures often fail to deliver quality products on time because of occupational burnout (having to work overtime to meet the deadlines, multi-tasking, etc) and lack of professional expertise. We suggest that you hire mid and senior IT and creative guys for the most complex tasks within your game development project and have one person do his own work. While this approach may sound too prodigal, it’ll prove to be a smart one in a long run when you won’t have to spend additional money and time fixing bugs at a post-release stage! 1
  12. 12. Staffing Your Development Team 2 Since timing and cost efficiency are really two most important factors in gaining a competitive advantage and winning a certain market or a niche, you should consider alternative ways to staff your game development project. Read our blog post to learn more about different successful models for game development and how offshore IT staffing can actually help you do more for less, and develop a very fast go-to-market strategy.
  13. 13. Staffing Your Development Team 1 Concept artist: •Preparation of all creative materials including sketches, drafts, creation of characters, objects (e.g., vehicles, weapons) and map layouts •2D / 3D artwork creation •Basic design Roles you’ll need for your game development project 2 Level designer: •Knowledge of 3d party design tools such as UnrealEd and 3D art packages (Max/Maya) •2D / 3D modeling •Game mapping
  14. 14. Staffing Your Development Team 3 Modeler: •Conversion of 2D artwork into 3D assets to be imported into your game •Polygonal modeling Roles you’ll need for your game development project 4 Animator: •Creation of control systems to turn your character models into the digital puppets to manipulate with •Creation of the entire game’s motion system
  15. 15. Staffing Your Development Team 5 Software developer: •Coding and integrating the whole functionality into the game •Front-end and back-end programming Roles you’ll need for your game development project 6 Project Manager (or Team Lead): •Oversees the project and makes sure each project element is completed on time and on budget •Helps unite the team, solve internal problems, increase team morale •Acts as an intermediary between client and game development service provider
  16. 16. Staffing Your Development Team 7 Web designer: •Creation of game’s webpages, online communities and other online media outlets used to promote your game •Keeping all web properties’ design up to date Roles you’ll need for your game development project 8 QA Engineer: •Oversees the project from the quality’s perspective •Checks the game for bugs and errors •Conducts full quality assurance control
  17. 17. Rough Cost of an 8-persons game development team For rough calculation and detailed information please check out our blog post on what it costs to start a game development studio USA - ~$618,000 / year Ukraine - ~$352,000 / year
  18. 18. How to ensure productive teamwork
  19. 19. Define roles clearly 1 2 3 4 Share your game’s vision and mission Place your team members according to their personality types to reach maximum compatibility and agility (hire a consultant to help you out) Reward your team for meeting the deadlines or critical project milestones, finding a non-trivial solution, ‘re-inventing a bicycle’, etc. Meet with your team regularly and collect their feedback 5 Read real-life stories of effective offshore Agile team management, and distributed development team management
  20. 20. SCHEDULING YOUR GAME PRODUCTION Create an individual schedule for each team member stating specific details and timeframes for each task assigned to the person Compile all of the individual schedules into a Master Schedule and build your Agile Scrum practice around it
  21. 21. 1 Your PM / team lead follows both the team as a whole and each individual team member’s progress and keeps everyone on schedule After production has officially kicked off, make sure 2 Your PM / team lead only uses constructive rather than destructive criticism to maintain a healthy team morale Game Production 3 Your PM / team lead is able to minimize (inevitable) delays in the delivery
  22. 22. 1 Integrating all completed project assets into a functional game (level designers and developers are mostly involved here) Game development stages 2 Testing and feedback collection Game Production • Alpha testing (internal testing) – done in-house among team members and testers • Beta testing (external testing) – done within a selected circle of external users minding high security aimed to prevent game’s leakage to the public
  23. 23. 3 Remodeling and finalizing Game development stages Game Production • Your game is fully built and undergoing final testing • You’re wrapping up your beta testing • Your web designer starts promoting the launch date 4 Releasing your game to the app stores and game centers
  24. 24. Listen to experts discussing how to set up a software development team offsite and sharing best practices of external Agile development team management play podcast
  25. 25. BY INTERSOG Intersog is a global provider of IT Staffing and managed web, mobile and game development services. Founded in 2005, Intersog has developed more than 200 native apps for the Apple’s App Store and more than 70 apps for Google Play and received several industry recognition awards including "Best iPhone Development Company 2011" by the Best Web Agency, “Best App Ever Award 2011 & 2012”, AppPicker’s Best Project Management Apps for iPad (2013), etc. Check out our Game Development Portfolio or contact us for client references!
  26. 26. Follow us @Intersog
  27. 27. THANK YOU! Have Questions and/or Requests? CONTACT US NOW 2013