Game design

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Game design

Game design is a part of the development industry engaged in the creation of video games. It is quite challenging and divided into different spheres. Developers must do various essential actions to create a full-fledged computer game, and every step is crucial for the process.

The gaming industry started with simple arcade games like Super Mario in the mid-80s, but today is as close to realism as possible. And in many ways, game realism depends on high-quality game design – a full-fledged study of the world and its mechanics.

Key components of game design

A video game is a comprehensive product, and its creation needs a lot of work. Modern games look like whole other worlds in which each object has a purpose, and the character has complex tasks that need to be solved.

Game design is responsible for almost all aspects of creating a game – from the inception of an idea to its graphic embodiment. It consists of 5 stages:

  1. Creating a game universe

Small worlds usually created for a short game. Then it can be circumvented in one game session. A vast world for large game universes is creating for years, and with each new iteration of the game, it is overgrown with new rules and stories.

Creating a game universe

A good example is the universe of Assassin’s Creed, which began with the game Prince of Persia, but as a result, took shape in the separate game world. It has 12 main games and a whole list of additional ones.

  1. Development of game mechanics

At this stage, developers work on the character’s interactions with the game world and game characters itself. The game design is also affected by the concept of the game. Graphic for combat, arcade, or other video game is different. For example, in the game Angry Birds, the player have to shoot down with the help of multi-colored birds released from a slingshot, pigs hidden in the “houses”.

  1. Level Design

The game becomes more complicated with the transition to a new level, and the character receives new tasks and skills. The game design of the levels is defining the mechanics of character growth, changes in the game world depending on the level, and the emergence of new game goals.

  1. Creating characters and their goals

The goal of the character is the driving force in the development of the game. Each hero must have a story, character traits, strengths, and weaknesses that will affect the difficulty of completing levels and game tasks. The more believable the story, the more the player will be involved in the process of achieving goals.

Creating a game universe

That is why, in modern games, developers put so much effort into detail descriptions of the characters.

  1. Graphic design of the game process

Motion designers, as well as 2D and 3D artists work on the graphic design of the game process. They draw characters, the game universe, inter-level clips, and other components of the video game. Developers could use different techniques and instruments in the creating process, and the final result depends on it. The technical basis of the game called the “game engine” and it is essential in developing.

In May, Epic Games introduced the new Unreal Engine 5 gaming processor for the PlayStation 5. It helps to achieve a fundamentally new level of gaming graphics. With Lumen technology, game creators able to attain a dynamic display of light. More details about the advantages of the game processor in this video.

Stages of creating a game design

The game design consists of three main stages. 

  • The game design begins with an idea. At this point, the team creates a game design document. It represents the general vision of the game. In the future, the team of developers and graphic designers relies on it as the “bible” of the project.

The game design document contains a description of the target audience of the game, genre, languages, game platform, and other characteristics of a video game. It includes a game map, and the mechanics of the character’s interactions with objects, and even a description of the emotions that the game should evoke among the players.

The document of game design is a key component of the project. All details are written in it as accurately as possible to avoid additional questions in the process of developing and rendering graphics.

Games often use books or films as a base. For example, the gaming universe of The Witcher began with a book by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The game design document was based on a book and created together with the writer. All this made the game not only an interpretation of the story but also a full complement to it.

There are also games developed from scratch. In this case, authors create a concept, and the plot, then describe characters, the subtleties of their interactions, the game universe and other components of the video game are prescribed. Game designers are engaged in this – a whole team of people is working on one game, each of which is responsible for creating a separate game area.

An example of a game universe written from scratch is the Warcraft game universe, which already includes 6 computer games. Also, there is a film released in 2016.

Warcraft III: Reforged

An essential part of the work of game designers is the creation of game cycles. It is actions that the player will perform throughout the game again and again.

Game cycles are considered the core of the game, which can be developed and supplemented by new features. They will open to the user during the development of the game – with new levels. At the same time, it is crucial for the game designer to keep the line between the interest in increasing levels and not turn it into a routine – otherwise, interest in the game will disappear.

  • After creating a game concept, programmers begin their work by writing down game mechanics with code, and motion designers will visualizing the idea.

In this case, it is acceptable to draw an analogy with the backend and frontend of the website. The backend provides the functionality of the site, and the front end – its appearance. Developers work in close conjunction with game designers who created the idea and can direct the development in the right direction.

  • The final stage of game design is testing.  Special people called testers is checking the functions in the game mode. After testing, developers make changes and additions to the game mechanics to improve the game process and make it more understandable and exciting for the player. Future players can play the role of testers – for this is launch alpha and beta versions of computer games.

Prospects for the development of the game design industry

The industry of computer games is a versatile and promising field, developing along with the growth of technological capabilities. In 2019, the gaming industry earned $ 14.8 billion, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

Prospects for the development of the game design industry

On the infographic:

  • The total cash flow of the gaming market is $ 14.8 billion (7.2% more than in 2018).
  • The share of mobile games is 46%, in money terms $ 68.2 billion (9.7% more than in 2018).
  • 30% of annual revenue is console projects ($ 45.3 billion).
  • Retail and digital sales bring $ 77.1 billion (6.4% more than in 2018).
  • Separate digital sales bring $ 61 billion (10.1% more than in 2018).
  • Profit from PCs – $ 31 billion, profit from consoles – $ 30 billion.
  • Physical sales of copies of games bring $ 16.1 (5.5% less than in 2018).

The cost of game design: what affects the price?

Calculation of the cost of game design is based on several factors:

  1. The size of the game universe. If there are a lot of functions to implement, the development will be more expensive.
  2. The level of game graphics. Approximate to the real world graphic will cost the appropriate money.
  3. Technical part. For example, online games require servers to store data.
  4. Testing. Full testing will ensure that there are no bugs after the video game enters the market, so it should be included in the expense item.

The cost of game design includes the work of various specialists: game designer, programmers, project manager, testers. To create a full-fledged game product, you need the work of a team of employees.

Order a game design at KOLORO

You can order a game design at KOLORO. We create games from the primary game design document to the promotion of the finished game product.

KOLORO’s range of services includes brand creation, development of a corporate character, mobile applications, and other services.

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