Chapter 2: Overview of Game Development

So what is iteration, in terms of game development? Simply put, it’s the process of coming up with and refining an idea, developing a game (or a gaming element) based on that idea, and then critiquing it within your team to decide whether the idea works or how it could be better.

So how does one come up with the great ideas that make games fun? Simple: Play games.

First impressions can be very important. Get your idea fully fleshed out (or as close to it as possible) before you try to present it. If you want to get some input or feedback, that’s fine, but don’t present the full idea until its ready to be seen.

AAA, B, Mod Games

AAA titles are games with really big budget, high quality, large team and broad marketing games which usually contribute to high sales as well. While a game mod is just a minor modification to an existing game like changing the media or doing a gameplay script changes and usually this is done by strong editor which accompany the game like UT3 or LittleBigPlanet.

There is also B titles which are not small titles but still is not a AAA ones in terms of budgeting and marketing and that’s the type which startups target till they prove to publishers they worth the money they will take to make a AAA title.

It’s not the artists job to know what is and isn’t possible through code, just as it’s not the programmer’s job to make the models look realistic.

In larger productions, this is one area that is commonly outsourced. Basically, you and your team will play through the game, or perhaps just play through specific parts so that you can focus on just one feature, and then reconvene in a meeting discuss what everyone finds. This is just another part of the iterative process. Realize that at the outset, there won’t be much to play. It will take some time to come up with a playable shell, and the members of the team will have to be understanding while certain areas in the game are only ‘rough visualizations’ of effects or assets to come. This type of testing is commonly called alpha testing.

Closed beta testing is about testing the game in house where open beta testing is about letting gamers in public testing it.

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