- Design the Game
- Make the Art (& Music)
- Program the Game
If the person designing the game doesn’t think about the artist or the programmer it can be a problem, likewise if the artist doesn’t consider the design or the programming it can be an issue just as well as when the programmer doesn’t understand the intended design or the game or how to put the art together.
Thus that is where most games breakdown in the production process. When it is unclear to the artist or the programmer the design of the game they can make choices that are detrimental to the final product not only due to a clash with the design but the potential clash with each other as well. Thus it is integral that both the programmer and the artist understand the design and are on the same page with each other as well. Simultaneously the designer should be considerate of the there two when setting guidelines.
In considering the artist the designer should not overemphasize a reliance on the artist’s skills to sell the fun and challenge or depth of the game, as that is the job of the designer, ideally making it as easy as possible for the artist to showcase fantastic artistry as icing on the cake rather than as a requirement to save the effort. Just as well the programmer needs to ensure he or she knows something about art and animation as there is a lot of implementation of that created art once it’s received to put in the game. Though not having to make the assets him or herself, ensuring the integrity and intended rendering of those works is just as well a responsibility as is the finer parts of coding. The production of the scoring by the musician or composer should just as well be as respected as the visual artist by both the other roles.
On top of that it cannot be understated that what the developer of the software itself is doing should be respected by the designer, not simply throwing over-the-top features and complicated gameplay to try to stand out and be different where focus should instead be on keeping the game fun, challenging and relevant, while bringing the kind of value expected for the price. Just as well the artist should not try to overstep the bounds of what makes it possible to work in a game without first working closely with the programmer to ensure that it is being delivered in a way that makes it as easy as possible for the developer to properly employ.
Even if you are just a solo indie developer, you will need to know these three major roles, and be able to think from the perspective of each in respect of the other when developing your next indie game. Remember you are only one completed game away from an indie hit!
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