Have you finally gotten around to designing your own game? You can devise a plan, and you can create an estimated timeline. When you start working on the development process, you realize the different aspects of working on a game and the actual time consumed in the creation and implementation. Will it take a couple of days? Maybe. Will it take a few months? Possibly. Or can the completion take an entire year? Also, a possibility.
As they say, you cannot create an experience; you have to undergo it. While being on the creational process, you will find some loopholes or some bugs that need fixing. We concluded that we need to release the game by the end of three weeks. Let us find out what followed:
Week 1– You will have got all the fundamentals in order, and your gameplay loop figured. The prototype is ready! Yay, let us get to the next step.
Week 2– Oh! Suddenly what part of the code is making the gameplay challenging to get on point? Why is the avatar sliding those pixels away and jumping every third time?
Week 3– Ahhh! I finally ironed out the cause of the issue; now I need to correct some additional bugs. Well, we need to push the release date by maybe a week.
Week 4– Ok, just some additional finishing touches, a menu options retouch, and a little last-minute smoothening.
Week 5– Some more polishing.
Week 6– Voila! The game is all set for release.
As you can see, it took us a total of six weeks to finish the game and release it after making an estimated timeline of three weeks to complete. The building and designing duration will be different depending on the type of play and its complexities. In the general development industry, experienced designers tend to triple the tenure while beginning to work.
Let us explore some of the factors that affect the process:
- Have prepared the game design plan and a game design document.
- Have you figured out the engine that you want to use?
- Have you experienced using the engine before?
- Do you have a concept regarding the art style, music, and sound effects you want to implement in the game?
The Game Engine Designing Time
The time duration to devise a game design plan and execute it can take a couple of weeks to almost a year. You ask why? The proficiency required to build the engine from scratch is way higher than the ability necessary to create a compact, functional game with an existing engine in play.
Choose and have clarity about the technology you want to work with, pick up a book or watch some informational tutorials on websites that will help you in the process.
The designing of a 2D engine with all the bells and whistles takes around six months. If you cut down all the bells and whistles, it limits the engine’s prowess, and the entire experience nullifies.
The Game Design Document
Are you building your game on an existing engine, or are you making the engine from scratch and then building it. Your game needs to be designed irrespective. Have you prepared the Game Design Document and have it in order? We cannot stress enough on the basic necessity of a game design document. The basic features and functions and the entire development process need to be kept in check from planning to the designs. The Game Design Document will aid you in doing all of it while smoothening your game-building project.
The game design document for a simple game will take an hour or two, while an RPG will require more than a few hours. In short, the more complex a game is, the longer the design document will take. Building a simple game is not a lengthy affair and may take a few days, while creating a bigger, more intricate game may take a few weeks, months, or even years. It all depends on the level of complexities and programming of the video game. The features and number of characteristics in the game decide the time taken to develop it. The elements in a game are just functions, like breaking the wall with a hammer, the bricks changing shape after splitting, and mixing into the sand. It would be best to calculate how much time each feature will be programmed and multiply it by three to estimate the rest. Your skills and ability are a major deciding factor in the mileage.
The Game Design Document helps you in understanding and preparing the art. An artist will create every graphic detail like the green straws of grass, the flower and its shades of petals, the characters, the doors, and the windows. The dream team for creating a game is a programmer and an artist.
- The design of a beautiful background
- Some spunky-looking menu buttons
- Special effects
Again the art-design for a complex game structure will take longer, while the art design for a more straightforward game set-up will be a more effortless process.
Music and Sound Effects
Music is another part of a game that is essential to the outcome and gaming experience. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “life without music is no life at all.” Similarly, Without music, one cannot enjoy the experience of a game in its entirety.
Do you have any prior dabblings in composing music or capturing sound effects? Now you need to decide how fabulous and grand you want the music to sound, and depending on that, you will be able to calculate the hours, or in a few cases weeks, you will spend in writing and composing music for the game. Due to time limitations and controlled abilities, you will be able to make simpler and chip music in most cases. Sound effects are another breed of cat. It is much easier to create sound effects unless you have a particular sound effect in mind for the bullet shot, then you will have to tweak and tweak till you achieve the desired effect. A synth note and some filters should generally help you develop decent sound effects.
After factoring in all of the above points and using your time constructively, you will be able to successfully design and develop a game and release it to the world.