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How are Video Games Made | The Process From Start to Finish

Let’s go through the process of how our favorite games are made.

Edmond Herrera



How are Video Games Made The Process From Start to Finish

Video games are an integral part of our lives. They give us the stress relief that we need after work, and they also help us hone our competitive drive.

For some, they can be a sustainable career. However, do we stop to consider the process of making these video games that are so important to us? Believe it or not, video games take an extensive amount of time to make.

They can take as long, if not longer, than an animated film. While there are several ways to describe the process, the most common one is the 7 stages of game development by Devin Pickell.

The 7 Stages of Game Development

Game development is pretty lengthy, and the entire process involves seven different stages which are as follows:

Stage 1: Planning

Stage 1 Planning

The first step in producing a video game is the planning phase. Like the titles, this is where the production team plans what their output should be.

There are so many things to plan at this stage. From the title, genre, and platforms to release, the possibilities are endless. Under these categories, more questions and possibilities will also appear.

Other than the stress of coming up with a concept, developers also have to receive approval from their companies. However, indie developers tend to have more freedom, albeit lacking the necessary funding for their games.

Stage 2: Pre-production

The second stage in creating a video game is the pre-production stage. This is basically just a planning stage but this delves into more specifics of the game.

In this stage, developers will plan alongside other teams such as story writers, artists, designers, engineers, and other leads. They will work on the basic framework of the game.

Other than that, the other teams will also meet with each other to ensure that they agree on the game.

Examples would be level designers meeting with the artists to ensure the map or level matches the aesthetic of the game.

A second example would be the cinematic director meeting with the sound developer to ensure that the cutscenes of the game will connote the correct emotion.

Stage 3: Production

This stage is the doing portion of the development. Once all the developers, writers, directors, and designers agree on what they want to create in the game, the development of the video game will commence.

The designers will start making character designs, The level designers will create the terrain that the game will take place in, the developers will code the engine of the game, and the project leads will set deadlines.

Stage 3 Production

Stage 4: Testing

Every aspect of the game will be tested by the development team before its alpha release. This is to ensure that the game that will be released will be 100% polished and ready for user play.

In this stage, developers usually look for bugs or exploits that impede the fairness and essence of the game. Aside from the developers, the company usually handpicks long-time fans or professional players of the game to test it.

Stage 5: Pre-launch

Stage 5 Pre launch

This stage is where the marketing aspect of the industry is highlighted. For the general public to be aware of their upcoming game, teasers, trailers, and announcements are usually released online for people to see.

Other ways to market their game are to join gaming conventions and set up a booth for people to test their game.

Stage 6: Launch

After months or years of development, marketing, and further polishing of the game, the game should be set for launch. These days, games are launched either only on one platform or on multiple platforms.

Lesser known games tend to be released on one platform while the more famous ones are released on multiple ones. Sometimes, the most famous games are released only on one platform.

Unfortunately, not every game is polished on release.

Stage 7: Post-launch

This stage is where the development team will either wallow in the despair of failure or celebrate the overwhelming success of their game.

At this point in the game development stage, they will need to observe the game’s sales. Depending on the sales, they will need to be responsive to the concerns of the players to squash bugs and fix exploits.

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