Game Development Life Cycle In a Nutshell

When planning a game development project, any entrepreneur strives to build the workflow in a way to be on time for a release date and don’t overcome budgeting. For this purpose, there’s a standard game development life cycle (GDLC) — the backbone of any project led by a professional game development company. This fundamental guide suits any gaming project and is the basis of all famous games.

Based on classy steps and principles, you can create an efficient process optimal for a particular project type. Thus, you are welcome to learn more about end-to-end game development as well as the essential steps to creating a striking and user-friendly game.

A to Z Game Development Process

Even a simple mobile game development takes time, several specialists, and multiple steps to get a project done. Eventually, a standard game development life cycle can be described in 4 stages, and each of them implies several more steps to make.

Stage 1: Pre-production

Before developers start coding and creating content, a team consisting of product managers, managers, and artists should prepare for efficient and result-driven project execution. First off, careful analysis and information gathering should be done.

Learn about the market state, review competitors, as well as their products’ strengths and drawbacks. Then, define your strategy and create a game design document (GDD) with your specialists. This file must contain technical requirements, concept art and description, scenario, and development standards.  

Stage 2: Execution

Usually, any game development starts with prototyping. Based on GDD, developers build a demo version of a game to ensure it meets general expectations. If something is wrong, edits are made before the full-scale development starts. Then, specialists create gaming content. 

If you are working on a 2D game, 2D artists make sketches in a specific piece of software, paint them, and animate scenes. In the case of 3D game development, gaming characters, environments, and props are made with a more complex process — from modeling to texturing, rigging, and VFX creation. 

Finally, developers write code in order to make a single gaming system that functions according to the script and meets established rules as well as technical requirements. 

Stage 3: Testing & Release

Once code lines are ready, testers should check them to find bugs that affect user experience and prevent a game from performing according to the requirements. Since any game consists of thousands of code lines and offers plenty of mechanics, specialists follow their own system to examine the entire product carefully. 

First of all, testers conduct the alpha testing stage, consisting of various methods and techniques that check essential game parts under different conditions. In turn, developers should fix code lines that contain bugs. Then, it’s time for the beta testing stage (open and closed beta), when a game is tested by gaming specialists who mimic user behavior, as well as by non-professionals but gamers themselves.

A game with critical issues resolved and a fine user experience approved can be released. However, the first real users will come to you with criticism of a first experience and, more likely, find some other bugs to fix.

Stage 4: Upgrades & Maintenance

The launch of a game on the market isn’t the end of a project but truly just a beginning. Further, you’ll need to improve your product with regular upgrades. Accordingly, new or improved features require testing and bug fixing, which continues permanently. Thus, your team will keep busy while your game is on track to take the leading position.

How to Develop an Outstanding Game with Limited Resources 

As you can see, even the most typical game development requires a bunch of resources, such as teams of specialists in different fields and cutting-edge technologies. Additionally, workflow organization and HR processes take a lot of time and significant budgeting. 

Yet, there’s no need to spend too much time and money handling all of that on your own. Instead, you can outsource full-cycle or partial game development to a reliable company that provides relevant services. This way, you can form your dream team from specialists who were already selected by HR specialists of an outsourcing company. 

Moreover, you don’t have to worry about team management as they are fully supervised by the outsourcing company’s PMs. Equipment, decent compensation, social packages, and a working environment are also covered by your partner, who provides you with development services. Usually, you pay only for time & materials spent on your project execution.

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