How are videogames made?


We have all played a videogame at one time or another. Maybe we've played a driving simulator, an arcade favorite, a platform game (Donkey Kong sound familiar?), strategy or shooter. Whatever games you've played, I'm sure there is one that stands out as a favorite. No matter your game of choice, there is one thing all videogames have in common: the way they were made.

When a game is in the process of being created, the first thing that happens is the developers must decide on a storyline with a plot, where and when it takes place and a preliminary idea of who the characters will be.

After this first step, if the company likes the idea then a more detailed story will be created. Much like a movie production, a storyboard and a plot summary will be created (the summary being similar to what you would find on the back of the case of a game). Next, a team of developers will outline the obstacles to be faced by the players during the game. Later, the characters will be defined and a script will be written with their dialogue. Quite often during this process, game writers will receive drawings (of locations, decorations, wardrobe…) from the graphic design team so that they can assure that what is being generated graphically adheres to the ideas and vision of the game.

Once the game has been laid out and its design carefully detailed, the programmers will go to work on the mechanics of the game. Here they will make sure that the characters move as they should, that secret rewards (or Easter eggs) are included. They must also assure that the game play is fluid and that there are no errors or glitches that can cause the game to close or freeze up.

Once programmers have gotten the game working the next step is making a soundtrack. Not only are we talking about the music you will hear but all of the sounds included in the game, the voices of the characters and ambient sounds as well.

The last step in creating a videogame before it gets into the hands of the consumer is the test phase. Here, gamers that have been hired by the videogame company will play the game trying to find any problem that may arise while they are playing. They will also give their opinion about how the game feels and if it is what it should be. Many people want to be videogame testers and, surprisingly, it’s a pretty hard job. To get a job as a tester, it also helps if you have studied graphic design or computer programming.

Now you know what goes on behind every one of our favorite videogames. The next time you fire up your console, think about all of those people that have worked hard so that you can have a good time.

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