A Game Developer's Experience - What's in a Game?
game game development challenge problem solution indie
One of my goals for this year is to bridge the gap between Nyphoon Games, my game development studio, and gamers. Most of my posts are usually too much on the development side – too technical for casual gamers. Of course, once Winter’s Coming starts coming along, I will be able to post more screenshots and videos of the game. Until then, I’ve decided to start posting more about what it’s like to develop a game.
Inspired by Hardships of a Game Developer, a blog post I wrote last year, I will be dealing with problems I encounter on a daily basis, challenges one has to overcome, and the joys of game development – all from a personal point of view. But what is really the process of creating a game?
There’s a very real reason why most times, indie game developers don’t finish their projects. As a gamer myself, whenever I play a game, I don’t really pay attention to what happens behind the scenes, and I imagine most other gamers don’t either.
In reality, a moderately-large game is usually in development for at least a year. The project I’m working on myself – Winter’s Coming – will probably take a bit longer than that. As you can probably imagine if you give it a thought, this long, sometimes arduous period involves long hours of debugging, programming and creating art for the game.
I believe that game development is essentially an art – developers deal with artwork in the form of graphics, music and storytelling, which makes a game a dynamic, interactive piece of art. The way I see it, game development is more creativity than codes and other assets. Think about concept art – why do artists feel the need for concept art? To get the juices flowing, get a sense of direction where they want to take the game.
Sometimes, as has also been the case with many of our own projects, the process can be too long, or too strenuous, and is dropped. Doesn’t that make game development a risky business? What’s the fun in game development?
Some game developers love solving problems, other like seeing gamers enjoying their creations, and for others it’s another medium to express themselves. Personally, I love seeing code come to life. The hundreds, thousands of lines of sometimes-indecipherable code transforms into a moving snowball rolling down a hill made of points and gradients.
Like in any other job, game developers have to love what they do, and in this series of posts I’ll be exploring every nook and cranny there is in game development, weeding out this loved stuff making up games.