Behind the Scenes of Video Game Development


Abigail Ramsey, Writer

New video games with stunning graphics and interesting ideas look amazing, but not many know just how much goes into making one. While graphics in the 1980s, when video games started to become popular, was a far cry from the graphics of today’s day and age, at the time it was a stunning defeat. It would take months or even years to animate pixels to create images, and at the time those graphics were considered “realistic.”

    Today, when we look back on the beginning of the internet age and its video games, we laugh at how ridiculous some of it looks. Through the years graphics have only gotten better and more realistic, coming to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish reality from fantasy.

    There are several steps to designing a video game. It takes an entire team to design one portion of graphics, and a second one to design another.

     It doesn’t just end there. Programs to animate and render the game can cost more money, and sometimes those programs can’t portray the creators’ idea, leaving them to have to accept the limitations of the programs and software. In an interview with Ars Technica, Matthew Burns said, the modern game development environment can be a particularly difficult place to make that kind of connection between good writing and good gameplay.

     It can take years for a game developer to produce one game, with hundreds of people on staff to make it. Time and money is a large part in the production of games, but there also needs to be an innovative vision to it.

    Games can easily be swept under the rug by consumers and media for how boring it might be or how it’s just like all of the other games. Creativity is a large part in the game development. If the game doesn’t have an interesting storyline or design to it, then it can easily drive many potential buyers away. Director of production at Certain Affinity said in an interview with Waypoint, “Pre-visualization is very hard. You have lots of important parts, and very often you’ll find that that doesn’t come together until the very end of the project.”

   Video game development is a difficult process that’s long and tedious, but in the end when it’s finished and set out into the world for all to enjoy, it can all be worth it.

“…My job as a game designer is to nail the experience. I need my three Cs. I need my controls, I need my cameras, I need my character, my locomotion–all that stuff…” said Antoine Thisdale, a game designer at Eidos Montreal in an interview with Waypoint.