It is hard to imagine our world without games – both in real and virtual life. Amazing adventures, new friends and infinite fun – these and many other things are what makes games so valued and loved by so many.
Well, we often seem to overlook the inner mechanics of things that are considered ‘daily’, like ‘how is refrigerator generating cold’, or ‘what exactly is ice cream made of’. Well, ice cream and cooling machines are actually much more simple than the process of developing a game. Nowadays, the team that takes it upon themselves to create a game of any caliber will most probably face trials and complex tasks on par with building a thirty-story house, or in some cases – digging up a tunnel under the English channel!
But, let’s look back in the middle of twentieth century, when computer was considered as only a calculating machine, that required its user to have deep knowledge of programming and hardware mechanics. Back in the day, playing a game on such device seemed a great, but irrational application of new technology, developed for military purpose. Then, in several decades, the progress made its magic.
At the very beginning of GameDev, most games were neither genius nor awe-inspiring, as technology was really far from reaching its true potential. And now, instead of being long forgotten, many of them are still valued by their fans, and have been ported to many platforms that they were not originally designed for. Some people even claim that ‘old-school’ games are, in fact, much better than modern titles, because their main purpose was really simple – to create fun for their players. This idea of ‘fun and discovery-driven’ development is what lies at the very foundation of game development as we know it now.
Time went by, bringing more and more opportunities to all people that already considered themselves ‘fans’ or ‘pioneers’ of interactive games for computers and consoles of all types.
Nowadays, not even a hundred years later, game development industry is a huge part of economics and social life on a world scale. Billions of people all over the world spend their time and money on games, creating a huge necessity for developers to bring variety of new titles – almost on a daily basis!
As we’ve said earlier, creation of the game is quite similar to building a house: it requires some of the most diverse skills that humanity developed over its existence. Development of even the simplest game will require skills of an artist, programmer, producer and marketing. Some individual developers and small companies try to get each worker to show his skills in different areas – for example, some indie projects on the market were actually made by one-man teams!
Still, even if one dedicated person is able to create a game, it is not guaranteed to become popular outside of creator’s family and friends. Creation of any video game, regardless of target platform or audience, is driven by collaboration of experienced developers with deep understanding of their area of expertise.
While knowledge and experience both are important resources, time is highly essential too. Just think about it: to craft a successful, popular game team of specialists works on it for several months, sometimes – even years! Such well-known titles as the Witcher series or Elder Scrolls games were developed for several years, meaning that each employee from about a hundred of team members worked on it for at least two thousand hours each, resulting in astonishing sum of two hundred thousand hours!
The reason for these incredible numbers is simple and difficult at the same time. As a player, you don’t want to know what exactly means Core Loop, how is ARPDAU measured and what art styles are most suited for the game that you want. But, these words actually mean a lot to any developer who wants to create a meaningful game. For example, Core loop is about what is player going to do in this game; ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user) directly affects the future ability of the company to support existing games and, of course, create new ones; and even such little thing as difference of shadow effect on a button may be the reason that you want or don’t want to play this game.
Developing a game is not as simple as putting together some pictures from the store, writing several lines of code or adding some stock music – it is a demanding process with risks and planning for so many steps ahead that it makes even the most experienced players on this field often step aside and think about some other projects.
But, is it worth it? Our answer is simple: it definitely is!