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How Video Games are Made: The Game Development Process


What is the definition of video game development?

The process of creating a video game, from idea to completion, is known as game development.

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a decade, considering the game and the team working on it. Hundreds of designers, illustrators, programmers, authors, and testers can be involved, or it can be done by one indie developer.

If you have any doubts, it’s always best to consult a video game development studio and get the support you need for your creative needs.

What are the three stages of game development?

Pre-production, production, and post-production are the three pivotal stages of game development.


Every project starts with this step. Pre-production basically specifies what the game is really about, why it’s being developed, and how long it will take to create it.

During this stage you should be able to find answers to the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the game?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is there any demand for it? What is the nature of the competition?
  • On what platform will it be released?
  • How will it be made profitable? Is it going to be a platform game or a free-to-play game with in-game purchases?
  • How long is it going to take to finalize it?
  • What kind of personnel and resources would it necessitate?
  • What is the cost estimation?

This phase can span anywhere from a week to a year, according to the nature of the project, resources, and financial resources accessible, and can reach up to 20% of overall production time.


Production is the pipeline’s greatest phase, and this is the point when every person available is needed or called to assist.

Production can take anything from one to four years, and it’s throughout that time that the game starts to become a reality. The story has been fine-tuned, assets (characters, creatures, props, and locations) have been made, the rules of play have been established, levels and worlds have been constructed, code has been written, and so much more!

Several teams operate simultaneously during this stage: the design team maintains their tasks from the pre-production stage. They generate character models, create dynamic and realistic level designs and settings, improve on the interfaces, and so on, in collaboration with the artists.

Even if you choose to use an existing game engine, the programmers will be busy prototyping concepts, adding new features, and correcting bugs that arise along the route.

The majority of games necessitate a large number of creative materials. To ensure that all aspects fit properly, artists, music composers, and voice actors must collaborate with designers and developers.

It’s crucial to ensure that the game functions as intended. Testers don’t wait for the game to be finished before getting to work; they get to work as soon as something is functional.


The game development process extends after production is completed and the game has launched, with certain members of the team being assigned to maintenance (debugging, generating updates) or producing additional or downloadable content (DLC). Others may be ready to proceed on to the next endeavor.

A post-mortem or debriefing may be undertaken to examine what went well and what could be improved for the future. All of the design documentation, materials, and code have been completed, collected, and preserved for future use.

Even for the most experienced gaming studios with thousands of staff, video game production is a roller coaster of a process. However, knowing the rises and falls of each stage is critical to creating a complete and polished game.

It’s also crucial to remember that no two games, even from the same studio, are made equal. Obstacles are unavoidable in game development; deadlines will be missed, and technologies will have their limitations.