When we are talking about gaming and game development, there are things to consider. The success of a game development company highly depends on the game development team it has. As there is a keen competition in the gaming industry and market recently, there are some essential factors to consider. Indie gaming is on the rise, and developers with long-term experience are eager to jump into the indie game development crowd. First off, a game development company should have team members with some disciplinary traits. They should be hard-working, persistent, disciplined, and always innovative to adapt flexibility. But, still, there are some questions to answer. What does it take to build a great game development team? Which significant roles are there in the group?
In our article, we will look at the functions that determine the success and the future of a game development team. We will look at the significance of each role.
If you are an aspiring game developer, then you probably have already thought about a cool game idea. And you would want this idea to manifest into reality. Usually, you do not have all the skills or time to create this game entirely by yourself. That is the moment you think of a small team where each member takes a part in the whole responsibility. And that is the same way most popular and successful indie game developers had this idea of creating a team. They started to build the game development teams that would be the best ones in the future.
People may think that one person takes one role in the team and does everything that role demands. But that is a false assumption. You can hardly find a role in a game development team where one person does all the job ultimately. Since you will not have all the talents needed to do the post, you will need help from others. Only a strong team that follows the requirements of working together can succeed in developing games. When one puzzle is missing, there is damage to the whole picture. And that is the same for team working and having the desired result.
So if you are thinking about forming a highly-effective team that will function brilliantly, there is a list of current roles. But that too is not the same for every organization. Depending on the kind of game you are making, you can overlook some of these roles. Some roles are not significant for, for example, Android game development. Some games do not include audio or writing in it, so there are some roles you will neglect in your team. But although there could be some neglections, all of the positions below are equally important for a complete unit.
There will be different and exciting opinions about how to build a team. For example, in the process of developing a slot game, the structure of the team should fit for the construction of the game. Some people will say that first, you should have a creative design or central theme.
And in case you don't even think about forming an indie game development team, you can find this article helpful. There is no harm to see what most of the indie devs include.
The first thing you should do to develop a team is to decide the size of your organization. That means to determine how many members there will be in your game development team. And you should also determine the role of each person in the group.
You should also take into account the factors that influence the team structure. The genre or the kind of planned games may change positions in the game development team. Some games have a straightforward central theme but a little bit complicated structure of graphics. Racing games can be a suitable example for that. But if you develop a game where scripts are essential, the role of the writer will be irreversible.
After that, the following step in indie game development should be defining the roles. In your small team, there should be a few people who can function in multiple directions. It will contribute to the originality and creativity of the group. And that will get you the fast and effective results as a team.
That is the first role every game development team should think of. Because without a decent programmer, you can throw your ideas out of the window. You may have the most brilliant game idea in the world but still may end up disappointed. Because without a programmer, it will never come to life.
A programmer is a guy who will spend most of his time with the computer, developing the tools and codebase of the game. These are irreplaceable in the structure of the game. And since video games are technological entertainment, no programmer means no video games.
It is crucial to say that the programmer will not be just busy with coding in the indie game development team. The functionality of the game also depends on the programmer’s work. Besides, the programmer will take care of the beta testing and debugging to make sure that your game is acceptable and ready.
Depending on your preferences, there could be more than one programmer who takes on different tasks at the same time. But it is also worth mentioning that in most cases, one programmer develops the indie game design all by himself. So the type of project determines how many programmers there will be in your team. And although there can be many of them in one group, none of them makes another one’s job insignificant. After all, we are talking about the most crucial role a game development team has.
Comparing the significance of the roles may seem irrelevant, but this one is as vital as the programmer. In most cases, every person in the team takes part in this role. That may sound awkward, but that is the situation. Anyone who has a different position than the designer also contributes to the design of the developing game. It does not matter if you are a programmer, an artist, a writer, or anyone else in the group. You are a game designer too.
But of course, it is essential to have a designer that will determine the final decisions. Besides, staying loyal to the original idea of the game in designing is also crucial. That does not mean that no one else’s opinion matters. That means while keeping the first idea related to the central theme, making it more fun. And in this, the opinions of other people in the development team will surely help. These ideas should not be there just for the sake of ideas; they should add to the experience.
It is worth mentioning that the game designer should keep some game design document. This document should be for the use of other members of the indie game development team. As we know, documentation is crucial in every job. Because if someone ever needs some resources, that document will be the first thing you will check. So keeping records of what the team has done so far is also the designer’s responsibility.
When we are talking about indie game development, the role of artists is one of the significant kinds. And in most cases, you will find more than one artist in a team. We know that the work of artists takes time everywhere, and game designing is no exception. In the video game programming and development, the job of the artists is what people will see on the screen. That is why every step is as crucial and decisive as the previous one.
Creating the visuals of the game is especially tricky. The artists handle this by spending more time with others on the team. As they work closely with designers, programmers, or writers, they produce the visuals. It may include concept art which comes before the content of the game. Animations, backgrounds can be the perfect examples of this. The artists should also make sure their production captures the real feel of the game and meets the technical requirements.
If you are making a 3D platformer, you will need more artists. But in mobile platform games, one artist will take care of everything required. One artist can also handle retro platformer single-handedly. So the number of artists in your team depends on the platform and the game’s requirements.
It may sound a little bit classic, so there is another name to this role: sound designer or editor. And this role is way more significant than you can ever imagine. When we play, for example, strategy games, we barely notice the effect of the sound on the game. We are too busy with thinking and trying to find out the best way possible in the game. But in a sports game, the sound effects become noticeable, and when there is a disbalance, we immediately recognize it. App development and software development, there is no need for these types of concerns. But in the indie game design, we can not have a decent final product without significant sound effects.
And when we say the sound, it is not only the sounds in the gameplay but also the music included. Sound, as well as the visual effects, is what gives an atmosphere to the game. The atmosphere is essential because once the player feels it completely, he will get attached to the game. Some people may think that it is only necessary for horror or thrilling games, but that is not true. If the game is an action or puzzle game, you will still need the music that will produce a positive atmosphere. Your casino game will require the music that will make people feel like they are in a real, land-based casino.
The market is now full of so-called designers and sound editors. So when you try to hire a composer, make sure he has done similar jobs in the past. You may want someone who has done, for example, chiptune music in the history of your game. After all, hiring a high-quality sound designer is an issue nowadays and demands all of your attention.
This role is like monitoring everything in the team. The project manager should work operatively and smoothly to fulfill his responsibilities. And when there is a problem that occurred after the monitoring of the project manager, full responsibility is on him. So not every person can take the role of a project manager. It demands leadership, character, and taking responsibility for others in the game development team.
Also, the project manager should determine the milestones of the team. For example, if there is a task to do, the project manager should manage the timing. If the organization does the job in a determined time frame, that is great. To achieve this, the project manager should motivate the members who fall behind schedule.
When there is no one breathing down the indie developers’ necks, chances are they will fall behind. They will start to feel less motivated and will often miss the deadlines. That is why the job of a project manager is tiring and crucial at the same time.
Another name for this role is quality assurance. In an ideal game development team, everybody should be a tester for the reported bugs. But often that is not how it works. Testing in video game development is as crucial as the other roles in the team. That is why in most indie game development teams, there is a separate guy who finds bugs. It can be your friend, family member, or anyone close to you that can play the game and tell you what is wrong with the game.
You may want someone who is not a programmer for quality assurance because most programmers work on codes for so long that they have no time for other stuff.
It can be someone from the team if that person can handle the business side of things. There can be two purposes to develop a game for fun and selling. If you are that serious about building a team, most probably you want to sell your game and make cash.
Cash flow summary, economic assessment, marketing strategies are the issues your producer should manage. So the producer should be the man who is really into economics and its requirements.
The producer should check the schedules and budgets to make predictions about the game. That makes him look like a project manager. And economically, there are also milestones to hit, and these are also in the producer’s responsibilities.
Writing is significantly crucial. It does not matter if you are writing a book, making a movie, or developing a game. You will always see the consumers mentioning the writing in their reviews and how it affects their opinion. Anyone can write a story, but you better find someone with winning records. Because gaining sharp writing and storytelling skills is not something you can have overnight. It takes months or years.
The writer is responsible for the premise and the storyline of the game. There are some needed narrative elements that a writer can use in the script. They include setting, dialogues, plot, characters, and so on. It is essential not to forget that writing is the indicator of character development in the game. It may sound like a movie, but the character development is something that affects the game lovers. The words of a character can make a gamer cry and remember this character for the rest of his life. That is why the plot and dialogues are incredibly crucial in indie game design.
If your game is story-driven, the writer should keep the lines captivating. Besides, they should all contribute to the plot of the game, because irrelevant dialogues affect people’s opinion of the game. That is why writing is an underrated, significant trait of the game. There is nothing worse than having decent gameplay and a dull plot with horrible dialogue.
So when you build up a game development team, make sure your team is complete, adequate, and functioning because only the team of professionals will succeed in this competitive gaming industry.