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Game Development Concepts

Game development is one of the most exciting fields of computer science and a major part of the software development industry. Computer games comprise of a large and ever expanding market world-wide.

Interactive digital media and games along with entertainment applications have an enormous craze amongst the daily users of PCs and play an important role in providing economical strength(as games are not free), a factor which cannot be easily neglected.

So game development will also continue giving birth to new ideas and interactive devices for making the game play more attractive and exciting. For this game developers need to be well trained and equipped with their development skills.

An important characteristic of game development is that learners and developers should come up with new ideas and a catchy plot, leave the rest on this course, as by the end of this tutorial you will have the specific skills required for game development. It has been observed in Germany that the country gave rise to facilities to willing learners to develop games by establishing game academies in every location of Germany that focuses on specific training related to game development.

Here, Studytonight is offering readers a free opportunity to setup your own academy to learn at your own pace and develop games based on your own ideas and skills.

How to develop a Good Game?

Becoming a good Game developer needs a lot of practice, working on your ideas and a step by step approach.

First step, is to come up with a plan/blueprint of the game. Games that doesn't follow proper development methodologies suffer from issues like:

  • Time taken for development is more.
  • Runs over budget.
  • Tends to be unreasonably more buggy.

So, an advice for the new game developers, before proceeding with designing and coding the game, mend a clear goal and figure out what your game needs. This phase of game development is called Requirement capture or Planning phase. You can also use formalized languages like Unified Modeling Language (UML), (which we will discuss in details in our later chapter). In the "Requirement capture" or "planning phase", game developers can use case diagrams, for quickly collecting the insights about the requirements (e.g. how many designers, coders, testers required or developing tools needed - Game Engine, Animation tools and other modeling tools along with the game play or story line or objectives and levels of game) to effectively manage and successfully complete your game development.

Game Engineering Team Management

There are certain challenges which your developing team will have to face (if you are not developing games alone). Some of the issues which you or the team members may face are:

  • Every day new features and tools are released online and your team members will have to manage and upgrade their skills.
  • There may be internal dispute or personal issues which your team manager should tactfully manage.
  • Good tester(s) should have to be hired to make your game bug-free or else your game may not achieve the considerable popularity or even meet your set target.

So for that the project manager should choose proper and skilled designers, developers and testers to make the team work with coordination.

Game Development is Software Development

The steps and stages required for a game's development follow similar stages like that of software development, along with a few extra stages for successful completion of the game. Since game development is a major part of the software development industry, therefore game development also goes through the various phases of SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) along with some extra phases. Let's explain these phases in details.

Software Development Life Cycle is a well-structured and arranged sequence of phases in software engineering for developing the intended software product. Same structure needs to be followed by a game developer also. These stages are:

  1. Communication:

    Here, the user initiates the request to develop a desired game. Then he/she contacts the developer or project managing firm and tries to discuss the terms. Then after a successful agreement, stage 2 will begin. If the user himself is a hame developer, then it starts from stage 2 directly.

  2. Requirement Gathering:

    In this stage, the game development team discusses the requirements to carry on the project and the project manager will decide the number of human resources required for the project. The team will carry out the discussion with varied stakeholders to discuss problems with various domains with a motive to bring out as much information as possible based on their requirements.

  3. System Analysis:

    In this stage, the developers will decide the roadmap of the plan for a successful game development till release and try to come up with the best software model (we will discuss about software engineering models in next chapter, in details) appropriate for the project. This phase also includes a proper understanding of the product's limitations or changes required in existing systems beforehand.

  4. Systems Design:

    In this phase of development, desired features and detailed work, which includes game-play, setting up of objectives and levels, screen layouts, player and game object model; creating animations in game, business rules, process diagrams (UML, DFD), pseudo-code and other documentations (GDDs) are done.

  5. Development Phase:

    The real code for your game will be written in this phase. This can be from a pseudo code or a set of algorithms written in the GDD (Game Design Document).

  6. Integration and Testing Phase:

    In this phase, a demo version of the game is released, with a trial period of 15 days or 1 month. This is done officially by the team itself to check for errors and popularity. With this partial release of game, the promotion is also started on websites like YouTube and other gaming sites. At the same time tester(s) are hired to check for bugs in the game.

  7. Final Release Phase:

    After completion of testing and promotion, final release of the game is done.

  8. Maintenance Phase:

    In this phase of development, proper maintenance of the game is ensured. It is checked that whether the game is working smooth or becoming obsolete, and along with that feedbacks from the users of that game is collected, analyzed and used to improve the game itself.

  9. Patches and Cheat-Codes:

    The team themselves release patches(hot fixes for bugs) and cheat codes so that the players which are newbie are also motivated to play the complete game and find interest in proceeding the levels at ease. Also mods (modifiers) are also released after 6-10 months of game release, which are also patches that updates the game to add additional features and functionalities (adding new bikes or inserting new model of guns).

So all these stages must be followed to make a game and to make it successful.