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Game development is another aspect of software engineering that have been around for so many years probably since the first generation computers where invented.
I personally love game development because it is a very stable industry, and there are limitless possibilities that is 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 where majorly on play station and X-Box.
I could remember saving my food money for school just to visit the game center in my area.
I often got into trouble, nonetheless games are addictive.
What is Game development ?.
Video game development is the process of developing a video game that is suitable for play.
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 expected to be worth 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 the 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. Asia Pacific reached a revenue of 51.2 billion U.S. dollars, making them the largest gaming market in 2017.
5. Smartphones and tablets are expected to still take over the global games market in 2020, with an increase of 17% from 2015.
6. United States covers 32% of the worldwide gaming market revenue as of October 2017.
7. PC gaming industry was estimated to be worth 28.04 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 and is expected to reach 33.6 billion by 2020.
8. The total revenue of the PC gaming hardware industry in 2017 is expected to reach 23.11 billion U.S. dollars.
9. The Sims 3 sold the most units and is recognized as the best selling PC games of all time around the world, with a total 7.95 million units sold as of January 2018.
10. PlayStation 2 sold 157.68 million units as of September 2017, making it the most popular video game console around the world.
11. 72.3% of mobile users in the U.S. are mobile phone gamers.
Game Development Requirements.
To get started with game development, here are some very few prerequisites that you might need.
1. Personal computer (PC).
To enter any tech or ICT related field you are going to need a computer definitely.
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.
To get started with game development you don’t need a computer that is used for office or very small activities.
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 purpose, 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 the 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 the laptop of your choice today by following the banner below.
2. Knowledge in Programming.
Just like any field in software development, game development requires basic coding knowledge.
There are many programming knowledge to get started with.
You are going to be making use of game engines which comes with their default scripting language.
3. Game Engine.
The third and final prerequisite for game development is game engines.
Game engines are framework on which games are developed on.
They help you lift all you the heavy load of development by giving you a development environment.
Just like Photoshop is to graphics, Adobe premier 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 hundred of game engines on the internet, I am going to be doing justice to which one to learn in the next section.
List of Game Engines You Should Know.
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 being 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 strength of the Unreal Engine is its ability to be modified enough that games can be made into very unique experiences.
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 platform Xbox One, play station, PC, iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux, and VR.
Website – Unrealengine.com
Another very popular game engine is Unity, if you are very familiar with games you might have seen their emblem in most t he games you play right from Gangster and so many of them.
Recent notable titles made with Unity include Lara Croft Go, Her Story, Pillars of Eternity, and Kerbal Space Program.
One of the best things about Unity 5 is the Personal Edition, which is free for everyone to download.
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.
Website – 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 allows you export your game directly 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 a visually stunning engine.
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.
Website – CryEngine.com
5. Amazon Lumberyard.
Amazon Lumberyard is the engine built by Amazon .
Lumberyard is “Free. Powerful. Fully Customizable.” The game engine has “no royalties or seat fees, frictionless integration with Twitch and AWS, plus much more on the horizon.”
Amazon lumberyard is free to use, the only draw back about this is that you need to pay for cloud service.
Website – aws.amazon.com/lumberyard/
Urho3D is a free lightweight, cross-platform 2D and 3D game engine implemented in C++ and released under the MIT license.
Urho3D is currently on version 1.7, and as we mentioned earlier it’s completely free to download.
Urho3D also addresses its limitations, including the fact you’ll need skills in c++ to be able to manipulate the terrain of it’s program.
You can develop multi platform games that supports Android, PlayStation and many other platform using Urho 3D
Website – urho3d.github.io/
How to Promote Your Games.
Now you have developed you games and launched it on various platform and even uploaded it to the game server, the next thing to understand is marketing them.
You need 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 with 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 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 deciced 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.
Afterward you may return to fully digest the part you really 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 player.
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 is your game supports Android and IOS platform 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 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 various platform in order to attract potential game players.
All you just need do is attach a subscription form alongside your website then embed in a landing page.
Potential leads can then visit and optin 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 massive turn out 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 benefit as quick 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 personal custom and tradition to always conduct a full forensic investigation on any online progam and give my users feedback, this is more reason why i am recommending GeResponse as your official email marketing software.
Personally 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 on how you can also benefit from this amazing product and scale you email marketing campaigns to success.
4. Native advertising.
This method have to do with a very crude way of advertising which is centered around banner and billboard promotion.
This method works well but requires 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 in for a 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 digital product and you need to leverage more on digital advertising to get optimum results , It can be used as a supplement advertising channel.
How To Make Money From Games.
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 thing you plan after you strategize your game play.
1. Google Admob.
Google Admob is a mobile advertising platform owned by Google, It simply allows you to advertising via your mobile application.
If you 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 impression.
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.
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 inform 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 money than you imagine.
Just to crown it up, Games are going to be around for a very long time, as long as technology still exist, If you seek a better and stable field in tech then Game development is very right for you.