The process creators go through to create and produce a video game is called Video Game Development. This process is a very long, tedious, and complex one that often takes many years to complete. Game developers are responsible for completing this process. Some games may only need one developer, while other, more complex, games take international teams to produce a new gaming product.
Funding for computer and console games typically come from a publisher which is the company that the game is made by and appears on the product’s case somewhere as well as when the game is booting up. Smaller developers create smaller games at a much lower cost, and these types of games are known as “indie games.” Indie games also tend to take a lot less time to process than a more complex game that’s being funded by a large publisher.
Independent games have been growing over time, and they have become quite trendy. Due to online distribution channels, indie games are much easier to get a hold of, particularly in software like Steam and Uplay on the market. App stores are also making game distribution easier because gamers can purchase and download a new game right to their phone whenever and wherever they want.
Video game production began in the 1960’s but needed a mainframe computer to work. These games were not yet available to the public. When the 1970’s rolled around, video games began mass, commercial production and became accessible to the public. The Apple I and other first-generations gaming consoles enabled the public to start purchasing and playing video games.
Games were so simple in the 1960’s and 1970’s that a single developer could create a game from start to finish. These games were also relatively cheap to produce, which is why the market saw such an influx of games throughout these years.
As technology advanced, computer processing power increased substantially which allowed for computers to process a lot more at once, enabling developers to produce more complex games and create entire worlds within one game. As this increased, consumers became hungry for more complex, real-life games caused the introduction of full teams of developers because one game became much too complicated for a single developer to produce from start to finish.
The cost of video game development has been on the rise since the 1970’s. A consensus in 2000 found that video game production costs increase to $4 million. Six years later, the average price for mainstream video game production increased to $5 million. Now, video games cost upwards of $20 million to produce from beginning to end.
Video game development typically happens in stages so that there is a clear process for the production of a new gaming product. The start of the process involves brainstorming, idea pitches, preproduction activities, game design documents, and often, the team will even develop a prototype. After the plan is approved, the development team receives funding from its publisher or elsewhere and then the actual construction begins. A development team can consist of 20 individuals or 100 team members, depending on the size of the project. All of these members have different jobs to complete in the video game development process.
Video game development will continue to expand as technology becomes more advanced, making more complex gaming systems. 3D games are in production, and the advancement won’t stop there, so it will be interesting to see where video games go over the next 40 years after watching how they have advanced already since the 1970’s.