Game development is another aspect of software engineering that has been around for so many years probably since the first generation of computers where invented.
I love game development because it is a very stable industry, and there are limitless possibilities that are going to be around for a very long time, unlike web development which just started making waves game development is as old as technology.
While growing up as a toddler, I was addicted to games at that time and I still am. Back in the days we never had smartphone games like we used to have now, sophisticated games that involved the use of high-level graphics were majorly on play station and X-Box.
I could remember saving my food money for school just to visit the game centre in my area. I often got into trouble, nonetheless, games are addictive.
What is Game development ?.
Video game development is the process of developing or creating a video game for play. Video games can be on any device, some of which includes, PC, game console or even smartphones or tablets.
Video Game Statistics.
Just to let you know of the evergreen nature of the video game industry, here are some very few stats you should know.
1. The video games market is assumed to be meriting over 90 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, from nearly 78.61 billion in 2017.
2. There are more than 2.5 billion video gamers from all over the world more than the number of users of social media called Facebook.
3. 80% of the total video game industry’s 36 billion U.S dollars revenue in 2017 belongs to software sales.
4. Do you know that Asia is the highest gaming marketing in the world, this has made increased the yield of gaming companies to over 51.2 billion US dollars
5. Smartphones and Tablets are becoming increasingly popular when it comes to game playing and it has been speculated that it would reach over 20% in 2020
Game Development Requirements.
To get started with game development, here are some very few prerequisites that you might need.
1. Get Equipped.
To enter any tech or ICT related field you are going to need a computer. But to be honest, when you want to go into the gaming world, you are going to need more than just a computer.
In the world of gaming, you deal with lots and lots of graphics and motion pictures.
Another tool that serves an important role in creating games is a laptop, trust me on this, one of the many reasons why you don’t have many game developers is that game creation has a lot of requirements and one of which is the level of our computer.
As a game developer, you constantly interact with game engines as mentioned above such as; Unity, Unreal Engine and many others.
These game engines are very heavy-duty software that requires a lot of graphically powered computers to work, and this is more reason why you make sure to get the best Laptop spec for that season.
How then do I know the best PC for gaming ?. The answer lies in the Random Access Memory (R.A.M) and the graphic card of such a computer.
To get started with I recommend any manufacturer, It can be Apple or Windows. Just make sure it has above 8Gb R.A.M and a very high graphic card. Of course, any PC with over 8Gb R.A.M will have a very high graphic card. Just to recommend the perfect PC for you, I recommend Dell’s Alien-ware.
Alien ware is built and designed for gaming purposes, I am not running a commercial for Dell, I am just trying to give you a perfect picture of what you might be needing.
The subsequent release of Apple’s Mac book pro is very good also. The makers of Apple are very good at making very high-quality computers. You can get started with shopping for the laptop of your choice today by following the banner below.
Another element that you are likely to interact with as a game developer is the sounds of your game when creating them, game sounds are vital to the realness of your game, proper sound effects can help your game appealing to game users.
One way to validate that your game has the best sound effect is to have a very sound speaker when developing those games.
Another thing that you are likely to need as a game developer is a keyboard when programming games one thing that you need is concentration and comfort, and you hardly get this when making use of a laptop directly, this is why I recommend that you purchase an external Keyboard to help you maximise your space and also help you concentrate.
Finally, to complement the need for your full game development experience, you need a mouse, this would give you a full desktop feel, and the comfortability needed to give you the full game development experience.
Preferable a wireless mouse is a better option; in this case, it helps you move around your development environment without restrictions.
2. Knowledge in Programming.
Just like any field in software development, game development requires basic coding knowledge.
There is much programming knowledge to get started with. You are going to be making use of game engines that come with their default scripting language.
3. Game Engine.
The third and final prerequisite for game development is game engines. Game engines are a framework on which games are developed. They help you lift all you the heavy load of development by giving you a development environment.
Just like Photoshop is to graphics, Adobe premiere pro is to video editing so is game engines to games. Games can be developed into various platforms such as PlayStation, Android, Android, Ios and X box using any game engine of your choice.
There are over a hundred game engines on the internet, I am going to be doing justice to which one to learn in the next section. Game engines are built to make the work of any game developer easy and seamless. Here is a quick list of game engines you should watch out for as a game developer.
1. Unreal Engine.
Unreal Engine is one of the most popular game engines around. The original version was released in 1998 and 17 years later it continues to be used for some of the biggest games every year.
Notable titles made with Unreal Engine include the Gears of War series, Mass Effect series, and the Batman: Arkham series. The graphics you will be able to make, along with the documentation and 2D and 3D capabilities make Unreal a slam dunk.
Games built using The Unreal engine can support many platforms Xbox One, play station, PC, iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux, and VR.
TRY IT NOW – Unrealengine.com
Another very popular game engine is Unity, if you are very familiar with games you might have seen their emblem in most of the games you play right from Gangster and so many of them.
It includes the engine with all features and can (for the most part) be used to make games on every platform.
Nearly half of the mobile games being made today have used Unity as their engine. It’s a cross-platform engine that gives the user access to the Unity store, a place where assets can be used for your game.
Unity is supported on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Tizen, and Fire OS.
TRY IT NOW – Unity.com
3. Game Maker.
GameMaker has become widely used because it doesn’t require programming knowledge to use.
Instead, users can drag and drop to create games much easier and faster than coding with native languages.
Some of the best titles made with GameMaker include Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Super Crate Box, and the upcoming Hyper Light Drifter.
GameMaker is popular because you can make a game without having to learn a programming language first, and those that do have coding experience can use it to make their game better.
Using a single development workflow GameMaker Studio 2 lets you ship your game immediately to Windows desktop, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, tvOS, fireTV, Android TV, Microsoft UWP, HTML5, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
4. Cry Engine.
Just Like unity and Unreal, Cry engine is another amazing 3d game engine.
The Cry Engine platform is free to use. You get the full engine source code and all the engine features without having to pay any license fees, royalties, or other hidden fees.
The Cry Engine is visually stunning. The graphics are beautiful and the characters are life-like just like Unreal. You can use CryEngine to develop for several different platforms such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Oculus Rift.
TRY IT NOW- CryEngine.com
5. Amazon Lumberyard.
Amazon Lumberyard is the engine built by Amazon., I must confess that I love their service a lot, though I have not used it I have had very little experience with it.
it was forked from CryEngine and rebuilt with a lot of features added alongside.
Amazon lumberyard is free to use, the only drawback about this is that you need to pay for cloud service.
TRY IT NOW – aws.amazon.com/lumberyard
4. Become an acute storyteller.
Most game studios have writers to create original stories or new adaptations of existing comics, novels, films and so on. However, it will still help game developers to know about linear and non-linear storytelling and narrative techniques.
Understanding how stories develop and reach a satisfying end can give you a much-needed perspective in writing the increasingly complicated code that is necessary for such storylines.
Just like in the movies, every game is an avenue to tell a story, the difference is that each player has been assigned the responsibility to control the main act designed in the game. In this end, it all comes to how the story is being told.
Take, for example, adventurous games like God of War, Prince of Persia and many others that have been designed to follow a script that tells a story, in the long run, you get to a point where you have to concentrate on that story to advance to the next stage.
Crafting a great story is not an easy task, but it’s been done. It will be done again. And if you work at it, you can do it too.
Some of the best advice I can give in closing is: pay attention to the stories in every game you play, even those outside of the genre in which your own game exists.
Pay attention to what works in stories. Notice, if you can, when, and why, and how you find yourself deeply engaged in a story. Heed the storytelling blunders that pull you out of the experience. Write these down and learn from them.
Keep them in mind as you create your own story for your game. Let others hear what you are thinking and let them give you critical, constructive feedback.
5. Learn To Promote Your Games.
Now you have developed your games and launched them on various platform and even uploaded it to the game server, the next thing to understand is marketing them. You need a lot of dedicated game players to help you generate income for your games. Here are very few steps to get players to start playing your games.
1. Website or Blog.
The first place to get started when you want to promote your games is your website. A website can serve as a source of description and details for your games.
You can also embed other factors and marketing channels that can help sustain your community such as the ability for your players to join a membership and also get links to download your games.
And if your website is search engine optimized then you can hope for organic traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Here is an article I wrote not too long ago to help you get started with creating a website and also search engine optimization.
Just before diving deep into the basics and hardcore part of owning a website or running a blog, allow me to assume that you at least have a basic knowledge of how a full website or a blog should run, so therefore it’s time to stop talking and start doing.
I decided to drop a dedicated article on how you can own an awesome domain name and a cheap web host with BlueHost and I recommend that you study and do what is advised in the article below.
Afterwards, you may return to fully digest the part you need to get started and stay on top of your game.
Here is a link to the recommended article.
2. Social Media.
Popular smartphone games like Candy crush became popular via social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook can serve as a pool for game players. You should get started by creating A Facebook Page then subscribe to paid advertising.
You can read a lot and lot of potential players, most especially if your game supports Android and IOS platforms respectively. Here is an article to get you started with the use of social media.
3. Email Marketing.
If you have developed the habit of building a list, then this method should scale very well for you.
If you are just starting to develop your game then you can start creating awareness on the various platform to attract potential game players. All you just need to do is attach a subscription form alongside your website then embed it on a landing page.
Potential leads can then visit and opt-in for an alert when the full game package is released. This is a very great method of promotions
Why this method works well is because people in your email list are well-targeted and you should expect a massive turnout when you send a mass email that your product is finally released.
Here is an article that can help you get started with email marketing.
Just before going to consume the above-recommended content on email marketing I usually like to ease the stress of my reader to allow them to benefit as quickly as possible, and one way that I usually make this happen is by introducing the best way of doing things to them.
It is my custom and tradition to always conduct a full forensic investigation on any online program and give my users feedback, this is more reason why I am recommending GeResponse as your official email marketing software.
I have used GetResponse and I must tell you that it is indeed an amazing company that is constantly innovating and building great products.
I highly recommend that you read this article below to learn more about how you can also benefit from this amazing product and scale your email marketing campaigns to success.
4. Native advertising.
This method has to do with a very crude way of advertising which is centred around banner and billboard promotion. This method works well but requires a very huge spending budget. Nevertheless, you can achieve massive results by sharing your banners in-game shops and even cinema’s.
You can even scale up by opt-in for billboard space in your country. Native advertising is very effective but I highly don’t recommend it as a major form of advertising and promotion because games are a digital product and you need to leverage more on digital advertising to get optimum results, It can be used as a supplement advertising channel.
6. Monetize Your Games The right way.
Now, that you have had to go through the very tedious process to get your first game up and running the next thing in mind is to get some money. Monetizing your game should be one of the first things you plan after you strategize your gameplay.
1. Google Admob.
Google Admob is a mobile advertising platform owned by Google, It simply allows you to advertise via your mobile application. If your games support mobile platforms such as Android and IOS then you might just want to consider using Google Admob. To get started with Google Admob all you need is a Google account.
Code would be directly placed in your game SDK and voila!!!. You start earning based on clicks and impressions. Not too many people like the idea of monetizing with Google Admob but something is better than nothing.
Here is an article where I described the use cases of Google Admob
2. In-App Purchases and Freemium.
The Freemium model allows customers to enjoy the game at the beginning and when the addiction reaches high levels they are ready to pay for premium features. This can be informed of coins, Life and some kind of special gems.
3. Sell it off.
If you are lucky to have your game go viral and you don’t have plans of maintaining and keeping it you can offer to sell it off to another company. This can make you so much more money than you imagine.
Just to crown it up, Games are going to be around for a very long time, as long as the technology still exist, If you seek a better and stable field in tech then Game development is very right for you.