Video games have been around for over five decades. Over the years, game development has changed and progressed – you can now play video games on your phone, tablet, and even virtual reality glasses.
But designing a game doesn’t happen overnight. The game development process can take years, including the design and testing stages. Game designers and developers working on AAA games need five or more years to finish the game.
While this may seem scary, it’s not because this process always looks pretty much the same. Once you get the hang of the basics, you’ll be good to go.
So, here’s what the design process looks like.
- Conceptualize your game.
Before you start the development process, you’ll need to come up with an idea or a concept for the game and turn it into an action plan. This may seem simple, but it’s not always like that. If not handled correctly, the conceptualization process can be pretty dreadful and frustrating.
We have a couple of suggestions that should make this process a bit easier.
First, we believe that the best way to find inspiration is to look at your everyday life. Is there a way to make mopping a fun experience? Is there someone in your life who might make a good video game character? Write it all down.
Once you have a couple of them, it’s time to sort them into two groups: the good ones and the not-so-good ones.
Ask yourself why people would want to play and keep playing your game. Is it because it’s funny or exciting? Are you bringing something new to the table with this idea? And, of course, are you ready to spend the next couple of years working on it?
Once you’ve picked the idea that you like the most, it’s time to turn it into a formal document.
- Create a game design document.
A game design document (GDD) is a document that includes all the details necessary to create your game. It should include the following information:
- Basic specifications, like game concept, target audience, genre, project scope, and similar information
- Gameplay details, including objectives, game progressions, and in-game GUI
- Mechanics such as rules, combat, physics, and similar
- Game elements that include the story, characters, location, time, worldbuilding, and level design
- Additional assets like music, sound effects, 2D/3D models, etc.
Don’t forget to include charts, graphs, and concept art – you don’t want to bore people with too much text when you can show information visually. You can even make a mind map that you and the rest of your team can fill out as the game evolves.
- Design your character’s personality.
Video game characters aren’t real. But, if you want to make the gameplay more nuanced and exciting, it’s very important that you make them seem like real living people.
Now, a big part of who we are is our past. Therefore, characters should have a backstory that supports their personality. For instance, if your main character is often rude and dismissive, it could be because someone from their past neglected them and their needs.
Things like these will make them more humanlike.
Of course, not everything has to be so serious. It’s all about the little details, like their favorite food or favorite book.
- Draw your characters and the environment.
Once you’ve written all this information down, it’s time to start drawing. This part is usually done by concept artists, who are responsible for the looks and style of the game. Based on their illustrations, 3D artists and developers can understand what the game should look like.
Now, this is not an easy task. Concept artists not only need to know how to draw characters but also environments, props, weapons, and vehicles. While this part of the game development is very creative, it also takes a lot of skill because even the smallest details, like the character’s hair, can make a huge difference.
By the way, if this is something your concept artists are struggling with, send the drawing hair guide by BIOWARS. This step-by-step tutorial is easy to follow, and we highly recommend it for everyone – even those who don’t typically draw video games.
- Start coding.
At last, your developers can get their hands on the computers and start coding.
There will be a lot of trial and error during the development stage. You’ll discover that some great ideas are very hard to bring to life or don’t work well. Game testers may notice glitches or inconsistencies in the game’s story.
But this is all part of the process, and it’s completely normal. In the end, we promise it’s super exciting to watch your game come to life, and you’ll be proud of your progress.