The gaming industry has witnessed significant expansion in recent years, accumulating a global market value of $178.73 billion in 2021 – representing a 15% annual increase. As a result, video game makers have become highly competitive, striving to take full advantage of the flourishing gaming industry. Leading giants, including Sony, Microsoft, Tencent, Nintendo, Activision-Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, and several other notable video game corporations, have already achieved major successes. The thriving future of the sector promises to bring new possibilities for these corporations and others.
The process of creating video games is usually extensive, comprising multiple stages. For game development teams to produce games that are worthy of awards, they often require significant time investment. As such, it is critical for gaming companies to have access to proficient personnel to guarantee a video game’s success.
Check out this brief guide on supporting gaming companies in establishing and hiring top-notch game development teams. Let’s kickstart the process!
What are the various stages of game development?
To create a cutting-edge video game, it’s crucial for your gaming company to understand the phases involved in the video game creation process. Video game design firms usually adopt a structured approach to guarantee an efficient and successful game creation process. However, game developers may not always adhere to a linear software development life cycle.
Game developers are increasingly embracing Agile software development methodologies like SCRUM to streamline the game design process. Typically, the process starts with limited features and components, and game studios gradually construct the gaming engine by incorporating functionality and components into multiple prototypes. After considerable progress has been made, video game programmers assess the various prototypes and choose the most reliable one, which is progressively developed by adding game parts iteratively.
In contrast to many other aspects of game development, software prototyping involves a systematic and sequential software development lifecycle. It plays a crucial role in game design by producing interactive components and game elements. Software prototyping allows for the successful implementation of creative ideas and ensures that the final product meets the desired specifications.
Now, let us explore the various steps involved in the game creation process:
Pre-productionThe initial phase of game development, called pre-production, is a crucial step in the process. During this stage, game developers lay the foundation for the game’s design and establish the sub-processes that need to be completed. Pre-production involves preparing and outlining numerous components of a video game, such as creating the game concept, building a design document, setting a budget, assembling the development team, and scheduling the production timeline. All of these tasks are vital to ensuring the successful creation of a high-quality video game.
High Concept:A ‘high concept’ refers to a concise one-line summary of the game.
Pitch:A video game ‘pitch,’ similar to a marketing pitch, answers the question, “Why could this video game be profitable or popular?”
Concept:The concept of the game plan involves a thorough analysis of the game’s key elements. This comprises identifying the genre, gameplay mechanics, features, narrative, target audience, timeline, progression, game development team, and hardware requirements. All of these aspects must be examined and documented during the early stages of the project.
Game Design Document (GDD):The Game Design Document (GDD) outlines the gameplay components, game design, and concept art. During the GDD phase, the development team prepares initial sketches for storyboarding and level design.
Paper Prototyping:During the paper prototyping stage, programmers and designers use testbed tools and Rapid Application Development (RAD) technologies to outline features and gameplay concepts through written prototypes. This prototyping process is a vital step in the development process, enabling the team to evaluate the feasibility of their ideas before committing to developing a full-fledged product.
ProductionThe Production phase is a critical component of game development, as this is when programmers create the necessary components to make the game functional. It involves developing the game’s content, such as 2D/3D models, sound effects and composition, level designs, game effects, and other elements. Additionally, the source code for the game must be written during this phase. The Production phase includes numerous sub-processes, such as asset creation, coding, debugging, and testing. The combination of these sub-processes ensures that the game is prepared for its intended purpose.
Game Design:Game Design is a collaborative effort involving the creation of a video game. It is a complex process where a visual art component is integrated to provide the game with aesthetic appeal, while a literary aspect is added to create the plot and game stages. Furthermore, a technical component is included to ensure that the gameplay design is accurately implemented.
Programming:Video game development requires close collaboration between game programmers and game designers to create, execute, and test game code that is compatible with popular game engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, RAGE, and others. To ensure a seamless video game production process, it is recommended to hire experienced Unity programmers.
Game developers must possess a high level of proficiency in programming languages such as C++, C#, Java, Python, and GPU-related programming platforms. Their responsibilities include modifying the game to align with the gameplay criteria specified by game designers. Additionally, game developers are tasked with identifying and resolving any bugs that may exist in the game.
Level Creation:Level makers collaborate with game designers to develop different components of video-game levels. As the video game progresses, more elements are added to the levels. Additionally, level designers provide critical feedback to other departments of the game development firm.
Level designers are responsible for ensuring the logical progression of the video game, with difficulty levels increasing as the player progresses. They work alongside programmers and designers to manage various aspects of the game, such as difficulty levels, complexity, in-game elements, game progression, and outcomes. Level designers possess extensive knowledge of the game and its structure and understand how to adjust levels to provide an enjoyable and challenging experience for players.
Game Art Design:During artworks production, graphic designers utilize 2D and 3D art development technologies. To create visually appealing graphics for video games, game designers frequently utilize technologies such as Blender 3D, Adobe Photoshop, and Autodesk Maya. Hiring Blender 3D artists could be beneficial for game companies, as the software is free of charge and open-source.
Audio Production:Audio production is crucial in creating an immersive gaming experience. By creating, composing, and integrating sound effects, in-game music, and voice-overs into video games, audio producers can establish a captivating atmosphere that can transport players to the game world. By proficiently producing and integrating these audio elements, audio producers can elevate the gaming experience and assist in creating an immersive atmosphere that players will relish.
TestingAs a part of the Quality Assurance process, video game testers are accountable for performing repetitive in-game activities to assess the gameplay components of the game and identify any potential issues, such as crashes, bugs, and errors. Automated testing is an effective method to accelerate the testing process, while regression testing can aid in preventing any issues that may be caused by changes to the codebase.
Post-ProductionOnce a video game has been completed, it enters the post-production or maintenance stage. During this phase, end consumers who utilize the game identify and report any potential bugs they encounter to the game studio. The game studio then collects these reports, works to eliminate any reported bugs, and produces updated versions of the game known as patches. To ensure that these patches are dependable and effectively address any in-game issues, errors, or faults, game programmers must make necessary alterations to the game code.
How do game development firms locate game developers?
Game development firms are always seeking skilled game developers, and the strategies for recruiting them may differ in terms of effectiveness. Hiring managers have numerous options when searching for game developers, including:
Game Development Communities:Individuals searching for employment opportunities within the video game development industry may discover a plethora of resources on online forums such as r/gamedev, Kongregate, Develteam, TIGSource, Dream In Code, and IndieDB. Game creators from all over the world frequent these sites, creating a great platform for potential employers to reach out to prospective employees. However, it is important to note that using these sites to source game developers is not always a guaranteed success.
Freelancing Websites:Online platforms such as Upwork.com and Freelance.com offer potential employment opportunities for video game creators. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that these platforms lack the appropriate quality assurance, competence assessment, and profile verification processes to ensure the quality of their workforce. Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution when using these services.
Hiring Specialists:Companies that specialize in recruiting and evaluating developers, such as Works, can be an excellent place to begin the search for video game developers. Works uses a rigorous verification process to ensure that businesses can hire the most skilled game developers with impressive game development skills.
Remote game development teams are a fantastic alternative to in-house game developers. However, recruiting remote employees can be challenging for businesses in the gaming industry. To streamline the process and ensure success, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the common issues that arise when seeking remote employees. To learn more about tackling these obstacles, please read our post on the difficulties of remote recruiting.
What are the duties of game developers?
Businesses frequently seek to hire game developers to fulfill a broad range of roles. Video game developers working at a game studio are usually accountable for an array of responsibilities, including:
DesignersA Game Designer is responsible for the development of all aspects of a video game. This includes creating the game’s rules, story, scripting, gameplay, structure, user interface, characters, conversations, and aesthetics. They may be involved in directly creating these components, or they may contribute to the decision-making process. To ensure the game is enjoyable for the player, a Game Designer often collaborates with Level Designers to customize the game’s levels.
Autodesk Maya is the industry standard for creating 3D video game characters, levels, and animations.
ArtistsGame Artists are highly specialized Graphic Designers responsible for creating the visual art in video games. They oversee the game’s appearance, from the internal assets to the weaponry, vehicles, characters, and any other visual elements. Their work serves as the visual foundation and reference point for Designers to use throughout the game development process.
Sound EngineersSound engineering professionals are responsible for producing the audio effects that are present throughout the various instances of the game. Additionally, musicians are also part of the team and compose the game’s music. The sound engineers are also responsible for managing the soundbank, which stores all of the audio material, as well as the voice acting for the game’s characters.
Game ProgrammersVideo game programmers are highly skilled software professionals who code and program video games. They create and implement the code that enables the game to run, as well as the game’s logic and functionality. Game programmers are also responsible for designing and maintaining game engines and tools that facilitate video game creation. Additionally, they are responsible for debugging, testing and troubleshooting the code to ensure a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience for all players.
- Input Processing
- User Interface Design
- Artificial Intelligence in Video Games
- Game Creation Tools
- Network and Cloud Integration
- Game Physics
When it comes to game development, hiring managers have a decision to make: hiring an in-house developer or outsourcing the programming. To aid in making an informed decision, we have crafted a hiring guide examining the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced developers. Our guide offers all of the pertinent information necessary to make an informed choice.
How Much Does Hiring a Game Development Team Cost?The cost of building a game development team depends on various factors, such as the technology used, the developers’ experience level, the number of personnel required, and other relevant considerations. Considering all of these variables is necessary to accurately determine the complete cost of setting up a game development team.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Game Designer?The cost of hiring game designers can vary based on factors such as expertise level, seniority, location, coding technologies, and years of experience. Hiring remote game designers and developers may present a cost-effective option for organizations looking to reduce recruitment expenses. At Works, we provide the opportunity to hire remote game developers at competitive rates.
How to Find a Game Development Team?Prior to hiring a game development team, it’s crucial to determine the required number of team members, technologies and budgets needed, schedules, and other relevant criteria. To ensure a successful project, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a hiring professional, such as Works, who can locate the appropriate experts for the job. When assigning responsibilities to the chosen game development team, it’s important to be realistic and establish achievable goals and timelines.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Game Company?There are several financial factors to consider when starting a successful gaming company, including taxes, insurance, and game developer salaries. Additionally, one must take into account the cost of computer setup, registration fees, and other operational expenses such as electricity bills, internet rates, and rent. Moreover, businesses need to allocate resources for advertising game titles, hiring game creators, and game production. Generally, a mid-level gaming firm requires at least $1 million in initial funding to commence operations.
Future Markets for Video Game Production
The free-to-play model has grown in popularity in the video game industry, making up roughly 80% of total revenue. It’s projected that in-game purchases will exceed $65 million. Therefore, it’s crucial for video game companies to create an immersive gaming experience for players, complete with thrilling features, levels, customizations, and skins.
With the rapid growth of the gaming industry, game studios must aim to meet the constantly rising demands and expectations of their consumers. If you’re seeking to hire exceptionally skilled and experienced game developers, visit our Recruit Developers page, featuring a curated selection of vetted candidates who are eager to elevate your project to new heights.