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The Game Development Cycle

                                                                                              

There is a cycle involved in game development. The development cycle shown below is very general. If you decide to create a game, you will probably create your own, more complete development cycle.

The common parts to the game development cycle are:

Concept & Overall Design

This is the first step in the process. This is where you decide what the game is primary going to be. Your game could be based on a number of concepts such as first person shooter, side scroll shooter, animated multipath story, or any type of game that has ever been created. Each of these game genres has its own unique style so at this time you also decide on the basic layout of the game.

Sketches

This is the first step in the process. This is where you decide what the game is primary going to be. Your game could be based on a number of concepts such as first person shooter, side scroll shooter, animated multipath story, or any type of game that has ever been created. Each of these game genres has its own unique style so at this time you also decide on the basic layout of the game.

Basic Element Construction

At this stage you begin creating the very basic pieces of audio and video that you will need to assemble a small, highly limited version of your game called the Alpha release.

Alpha Release

The Alpha release is usually limited to people working on the game, no one else is allowed to see it. This release is created to flush out design problems and show progress. In this release you should have an actual working game. It is only meant to be working, it does not even have to resemble a complete game.

First revision

Any design problems that you found in the Alpha version should be corrected here. This is the stage at which the functionality and completeness of your game should be added. When the revision is done it should be released as Beta.

Beta Release

The Beta release is very close to becoming a game. The only things that are stopping it from becoming a final release are the small flaws that have been over looked by the game programmers. Because of this the Beta release is usually given to a group of testers (called Beta testers) who find flaws in the game. When Beta testing is done the game moves on to the final revision.

Final Revision

This final revision is conducted to fix all of the flaws found in the game by the Beta testers. After all of these small bugs have been fixed the game moves on to final release.

Final Release

The final release occurs when the game is duplicated and shipped to stores for resale. There is no turning back at this point and any bugs that still exist in the game, the general gaming public will have to deal with.

This process as a whole is very long and tedious. That is why single individuals tend to fail in creating a finished game. Game houses sometimes have to scrap games that are in development because the game is taking too long to develop. If you reach the Beta stage you are well on your way. Some advice to the sole game developer: make your game in the Beta stage available over the Internet. Their are a myriad of people that are willing to play your game for free and their input can be very beneficial.

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