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GCG Feature: 'Making a Video Game from Start to Finish'

GCG Feature: 'Making a Video Game from Start to Finish'

September 20, 2007 | By Jill Duffy, Gamasutra's sister web site for aspiring game developers, has posted a beginner's article on the basic steps involved in making a video game. The overview covers the broad essentials, from creating game design documents to explaining the basic roles of a publisher and developer.

In this excerpt, the authors and game development students, Joseph Tkach and Zach Aikman, share what they've learned while making games at DigiPen Institute of Technology:

"One of the first lessons our development team learned since we started making games is that producing levels, stories, and other aspects of the in-game content is deceptively difficult. It takes a huge amount of careful consideration to make content that is both compelling and intuitive...

At some point in production, the game theoretically begins to resemble the vision that the designers had for it. It's at this point that it becomes critically important to start focus testing.

As the project comes together, there's a kind of euphoria, a sense that you have built this wonderful and amazing thing quite literally from nothing at all. You created it from only the swirling visions inside of your own head (and a few computers and programs). It's an incredible accomplishment. But in order for everyone else to see your accomplishment in the same way that you do, it's necessary for other people, people who are in no way connected with the project, to play your game.

Focus testing is a series of really harsh blows to your ego. You've spent so much of your time and effort and energy working to make this project a reality, and now, when a bunch of strangers who have never even heard of you play your game, they don't understand it."

You can now read the complete article on, with more from Tkach and Aikman on creating pitches for publishers, design documents, and more.

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