Articles - Étudiants SUPINFO
Whether on home console, PC, handheld console, or phone, nowadays, everybody plays video games and many have already dreamed of creating their own. We will see how to achieve our game step by step.
Without appearing pessimistic, you will not create a triple A complete game alone. In good studios, several roles are important:
- - Producer (project manager),
- - Creative Director (creator of the universe of the game and its context),
- - Scriptwriters (creation of the script based on the universe of the game),
- - Graphic designers (They mix techniques and art by modeling characters, decorations, objects, textures, ...),
- - Animators (animate the race, fall of a character, potentially using the motion capture but also create the physics of clothes and of each object, ...),
- - Engineers (programmers, developers, system administrators, ...),
- - Level designer (integrates assets of the various actors in charge of the game development, in a map or different levels for example),
- - Sound trades (Sound designer, composer, sound engineer, ...),
- - Testers (checks each part of the game, we will come back to it later),
Having the project’s idea is the basic structure for to continue its own development. It is therefore important to plan the work to be done for the rest of the project.
The scenario completes and concretizes the basic idea. It must be adapted to the game genre (the scenario will be different for a MMO,an open world in 3D, or a 2D platform game). The scenario quoting the general context of the game will force you to know the game’s history, set up the player in this universe and develop the major actors of the game.
Then comes a large document, the specifications where we can find several things that will characterize the concept of the game. We will find for example:
- - The history of the game,
- - The context,
- - The scenario,
- - The possible controls and interactions with the player,
- - Characters controlled by the player and / or controlled by an AI,
- - Vehicles / weapons available,
- - Musics,
- - Graphics,
This document evolves over time, but dictates the actions of the team in charge of the project without risking any deviation.
Some video games do not need any research like Tetris.
For example, on a historical game based on a specific place, or even on a culture, experts are consulted and a maximum of information must be collected in order to transcribe the effect in the game.
Another example, for a game requiring weapons or realistic vehicles, some research will be carried out to characterize each object to obtain a coherence with the environment and the universe proposed by the video game.
« You have to understand how things work to make them better » (Vincent Delassus – Artistic Director, Ubisoft).
Research are not only the fact to take real informations to integrate and characterize objects, animations or behaviors. They also try to make sketches of the decorations and characters that will be part of the game in order to transcribe them digitally and without difficulty thereafter.
We are going to do more. According to the game concept (2d or 3d, FPS or RPG, ...), it will be necessary to choose the technique on which the development will be carried out taking into account the future game’s characteristics and the knowledge of the team in charge of development. It is not when the game is about to be marketed that we must wonder why we did not use this technique better than ours.
From this step, you can begin to shape and build the universe of your game. And yes, we simplify the task by creating the world where the player will evolve before integrating the characters or other objects of interactions.
Here, we begin to use the researches done before. For example, if it is based on a specific location, we will implement different vegetations, a different ground, signage (road signs, ads, graffiti, ...), and we will mainly use the sketches representing the desired universe from its creation.
We model and integrate everything that is not a decoration (characters, weapons, vehicles, AI, ...) based potentially on the sketches and the various researches carried out above.
So, we create the game system which consists of integrating all that is GameDesign (OCR structure, 3C, core gameplay, ...).
The sounds are an integral part of a game. Imagine playing your favorite FPS without the footsteps noises and no noise signaling a shot. If you can’t, imagine a game of horror without the background noises and the scary music that is in the background.
You will understand, many sounds are composing a video game. They can be categorized into kinds of sounds that can be found in most video games:
- - Dialogue between characters (player or AI),
- - Noise of atmosphere (birds song, wind, rain, object striking the ground, ...),
- - Music (ambient music, Victory music, or even defeat),
- - Vehicles (engines, tire squeaks, horns, plow bearings, etc.),
- - Interactions environnementales (bruits de pas, feuilles étant écartées par le joueur, …),
- - Echoes (dynamics according to the environment: empty room, cliff, ...),
The game is not finish because all implementations could cause some bugs.
Video game testers try to find any bug by trying to "break" the game by performing all possible actions and interactions in all possible contexts in order to validate and finalize the game.
After these internal tests, a beta phase is often observed in the world of video games to allow that players create a feedback aimed to correct and correct the unwelcome and unacceptable parts of the game.
When the game is finnaly ready, it must be revealed to the public by relying on communication so that as many people as possible are aware of the existence and the released of the video game.
There are different distribution channels. I would speak here only about dematerialized distribution which is increasingly used by a collective choice of players. Dedicated platforms exist in order to make the game known by the users but distributing its own product through its own site is also a good way (I would rely on the example of Minecraft at the beginning).
The choice of an economic model is important. It will influence the interest of the player to play cause we all know the reputation of the P2W games (Pay To Win, game usually free but which is difficult to win without paying to get a significant advantage). To avoid this, I show you different types of models:
- - Sales when downloading.
- - Micro-transaction: allows the player to obtain more or less significant advantages (skills, graphics, skins, objects, various customisations, ...). Be careful not to fall into the P2W.
- - DLC: developing payable "Downloadable Content", which would generate revenue in order to make development profitable.
- - Subscription.
- - Advertising: placing products through objects in the game (cars, consumables, ...), billboards integrated into the decoration or the menu, but also visible ads on the website of the game.
This list is not exhaustive because this is not the purpose of the article, but it remains (the participative financing, the sale of tie-in products, demo of paying game from a specific level, ...).
These 7 points are not performed asynchronously not to lengthen the development time of a game. Hence the importance of planning the first point.
I did not speak in details because I wanted to remain general even if the writing of the article was based on the creation of games in studio with a team provided and a budget quite comfortable.