Ever ask yourself "how are video games made?" The game development process is almost as interesting as the games themselves. If you've ever thought it might be fun to make video games, think about this the next time you play.
Video game development starts on paper.
You don't just jump into programming and coding a video game. Video game development starts on paper, with a core group of people developing the how and why of the video game world. Depending on the team, these folks may then develop storyboards or basic graphical character representations to serve as a launching point for game development.
Character creation happens early in the process.
One of the first things you do graphically in the video game creation process is to program the characters. Graphic designers and 3D animators start with sketches, and then they take days to create the character in the system and program its available movement, actions and characteristics. Some game designers use video capture suits to get the movement right, while others simply use animation simulators and 3D models to create game characters.
Next stop: The game world.
What would a character do without a game world? Once character creation is fairly sketched out, or even concurrently in some video game development companies, programmers work on creating a realistic game world. Game worlds today are extremely detailed, with complex maps made up of polygons and textures to create an immersive game world.
How are Video Games Made?
Graphic designers, artists and animators work to create the detailed characters and beautiful game worlds that gamers today have come to expect. However, all these pretty elements would be useless without the code that makes it all work. Code tells the elements how to behave and interact with one another and governs the artificial intelligence and logic engine of the game. Most computer games are written in the C programming language, and many use a 3D code engine to govern the complex graphical elements of the game.
Game testing is a vital part of the video game development process.
Game testing is one of the core components of the video game development process. Game testers don't just play the game; they do everything imaginable to test the game and find bugs, glitches or code problems. Game testers look for obvious problems, like falling through walls, but they also test the storyline, quests and game engine. Alpha testers complete the first round of tests and allow developers to fix major problems, while beta tests, often involving the public, give developers an opportunity to make final fixes and perform any last-minute game refining.
Marketing and distribution gets the product to the gamers.
The final piece of the video game development puzzle is marketing and distribution. Distribution doesn't happen until the game is completely tested and ready to go public, but marketing often starts early, even when a game is in the development phase. A game that costs $5 million to develop may spend $10 million in marketing, so marketing is definitely a vital element in the video game development process. Even the best game won't make much money if it is poorly marketed, while a well-marketed but mediocre game could bring in buckets of cash.
Learning how to make video games isn't as difficult as you might think. Depending on how you want to develop and distribute your video game, you might be able to make your very own games immediately.
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The most popular video games have sold millions, or tens of millions of copies over the lifetimes of their respective consoles. Did your favorite video games make the cut?