When you first start thinking of making a game, it’s quite important to consider the amount of time and energy that it will take to complete it. Some games can take years to complete – for both Indie game developers and their AAA counterparts. When working with game publishers, for example, game studios will need to be able to accurately estimate the project’s timeline and respective milestones so that the game is shipped on time. We decided to make an illustration of the game production pipeline in order to visualize the process of making a video game.
Everything starts from the ideas. Ideas can be unique or inspired by other games. It includes superficial description of game mechanics, story, genre, platform, etc.
IDEA REFINEMENT – usually termed as building storyline, it involves defining main character, plot setting and overall game theme. During this phase, devs identify the game goals, controls and start sketching game art.
Game Design Document is the output of this stage which describes various game elements as well as project plans for the development.
After the pre-production phase is complete, the development of the game enters the production phase and now larger group of producers, designers, artists and programmers are brought into the mix.
DESIGN – designer designs game art based on desired theme. Depending upon the iteration, the art can involve designing main game play, levels, bosses, menus or promotional art.
DEVELOP – programmers build game logic based on art designed for the iteration. Based on the iteration, this can be developing core game play, writing AI or implementing UI/UX.
TEST – testers validate various scenario of gameplay to ensure higher quality of game. They validate each build on target platforms to provide feedback for next iteration.
When the game is considered “feature complete” and all of the code has been written and art has been completed, it’s moved to the post-production stage.
TESTING – this stage is usually referred to as beta-testing and begins when all of the code and art has been completed. After the testing the game is being approved for the launch.
DEPLOYMENT – the game builds are deployed to the stores & platforms and are then officially released to the public.
MARKETING – post-production marketing is a process of promoting and selling the game, optimizing game discovery including market research and advertising.