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October 17, 2019
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An Outside View on Game Development

by Antti Kananen on 10/11/18 10:48:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


This blog post has been written by our awesome team of guest writers from the University of Oulu!

As people who have no involvement with the video game industry beyond enjoying the fruits of other people’s labour, we thought it might be interesting to offer our perspective on the industry. Recently we have been offered a chance to get to know Koukoi Games, an Oulu-based mobile game developer a bit, and now we are here to share some of our findings on what has been interesting and new to us.

It takes enthusiasm to work in games.

The thing that becomes immediately obvious is the enthusiasm people in the field often have for the craft. A lot of people are even willing to work for free just because they want to develop games! Not many fields have people with such passion, but we certainly hope those people will one day break through in the industry and actually earn a decent living doing what they love. And then there’s the development crunch: reports of 6-days-a-week, 12+ hours-a-day periods at the end of a development process are not exactly uncommon. Not many people outside this field would be okay with that kind of overtime, we’d wager.

We have also found that games as a form of art are unique. Games allow for the developers to express their creativity in an interactive way. Not only can the players interact with the game itself, but often with other people enjoying the same experience as well. However, successfully creating a game seems to require far more than a creative mind.

It’s all about teamwork…

From what we’ve gathered, to bring a game concept into life, a development team needs technical skills, artistic and creative skills, proficient marketing, and funding, among other things. While members of a team might possess more than one of the required skill sets, the diverse requirements of the development process seem to lead to teams consisting of people from various backgrounds and fields of expertise. Software engineers and IT specialists are needed to build a functioning game and ensuring that it works. Graphic designers, creative writers, and other artists transform the concept into reality, while marketing specialists bring in the players and the investors. Marketing specialists are also largely responsible for standing out from the multitude of other developers, which seems to be one of the major challenges that developers face these days. Smart phones and other mobile devices have made gaming more accessible, which has undoubtedly contributed in the increase of game developers these days. Finding out a way for your team’s product to stand out from the masses can be a factor that separates success from failure.

…and hard work!

It is incredible to see that developers are so invested and passionate in their work despite the hardships and uncertainty that come with the field of work. Game development and all that comes with it can be incredibly daunting, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from trying, which is something truly inspirational.

This article was originally published as a guest post at on October 9th, 2018. This post was guest written by Jukka Aikio, Asta Lyytinen, Henri Nivala and Magalie Richard from the University of Oulu. Matti Luonua, Marketing Manager at Koukoi Games, guided the guest writers during their writing process.

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