What significance do dev streams have to any one game?

01:00, 23 Mar 2020

Be it Fortnite, Apex Legends, or any other looking to make its mark in the gaming industry, giving more exposure to the developers is starting to become one of the newly adopted techniques. But the real question is how is this helping?

To comprehend the appreciation developers are receiving it is vital to eye their significant role in bringing the game into existence, and moreover, it’s refined state. Initial stages of development involve imagining ideas and thoughts revolving around:

  •  Plot points
  •  Story details
  •  Character biographies and aesthetics
  •  Level designs and objectives
  •  Game mechanics and core gameplay concepts
  •  Themes and aesthetics for the game

Once these ideas are put in front of a team and unanimously agreed upon, the real magic begins. Developers start making prototypes and presenting them to the teams. Artist help to develop models of characters which are to play a role in the game. After the final design is selected, the developers start the coding. They design the game mechanics, the speed of characters, how input will be taken and what result will output. They have to make many design decisions which involve a lot of thought process as those decisions can prove to be other controversial when it meets the public eye.

Every element needs to be programmed into existence. Now, as the game continues to take shape, it will likely need audio! Is there a dialogue between characters? The audio developers will be responsible for bringing voices into the game. The character developers will animate the facial movements to line up with that dialogue. The audio developers will work on the score, the ambient noises, the sound effects.

After everything has been programmed, it needs to be tested for bugs (errors in the code) that can lead to glitches or unexpected results while playing the game, such results have a potential to decrease consumer satisfaction rates and deplete overall rating of a game; for reasons as such, a game must be thoroughly tested. Each mechanic of the game is developed as a single programming file or module. The module is further categorized into sub-modules detailing every part of the mechanic. At the end of each stage, the files are compiled to perform a mechanic and those files linked to form a game but sometimes a mechanic or part of it doesn’t comply with other pieces of code and causes a bug, which can cause hours of a developer’s precious time.

Image source via BitDegree

Companies nowadays are honouring developers by giving them the opportunity to announce any new updates or other announcements to the mass public. For instance, Apex Legends recently received an update: “System Override”. The changes in this update were announced by the developers who took it to explain each and every aspect of the update and a little chat on how it was worked on behind the scenes.

Apart from that developers take in community feedback from the public on social media sites, and try to implement changes in the next update to balance an item or merely improve the game’s quality of life.

In conclusion, it is fair to say that this way of allowing developers to engage in community forums benefits the game as well as giving a sneak peek to the consumers of how these people put their blood and sweat into making the games they enjoy into reality and the work they had to undergo for their enjoyment.

Image via PAImages

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