The Great Progress of the Game Development Industry
Just a little background the first ever video game to be created was Tennis for Two by William Higinbotham and Steve Russell. “William Higinbotham would be credited as the first to design and implement a video game, Steve Russell would be the first to create a game that would inspire the multibillion-dollar video games industry” (Rabin 4). These days, humanity has Final Fantasy, Fallout, League of Legends, and more modern games. Think about the major evolution of game development. For aspiring game developers having the skills and knowledge isn’t enough to achieve success in the career. “Serialization is an important topic to any game developer” (Ansari 169). Serialization is an important attribute for computer science because it is the ability of computer experts to translate data structures and manipulate each of their function. The primary role of developers is developing the game concept, game scripts, and storyboards. A team of developers are divided to specific sections like visual effects, audio recordings, storyboards, and even marketing upon the completion of the game. The compensation of game developers can reach $90,000 annually; however, it is based according to their tenure level, experience, and contribution. In the industry of game development, the giants who earn the biggest money and known for their timelessness are, of course first in the list is the Sony Computer Entertainment with a total of $13.4 billion net worth. “In the field of developing and publishing unique video games, Sony Computer entertainment has ranked at the top” (Top101news “Top 10 Richest Video Game Companies in the world). Microsoft Studios comes in second with $12.82 net worth, then Nintendo with $6.28 net worth, and the fourth spot is Sega with $4.9 billion net worth, the list goes on.
For the sake of specific information about game developing, the researcher managed to interview a certain aspiring game developer, Noel Serrano. Noel studied computer science for four years and developed certain affection towards game development. According to him, “Game development is a very complex field and simply knowing how to operate the game developing tools and software isn’t enough, it is all about execution and innovation.” For him, it is hard to make a big career in this industry if you don’t have “mind-blowing ideas and concept to contribute” he even used the mobile game application Flappy Bird as an example for brilliant ideas. In his college years, Noel had a hesitant moment because he realized that the competition in this industry is hard and there are millions of aspiring developers just like him. Because of the tough competition, these resulted too many independent developers who. He even joked around engaging on a career of being a video game tester which is one high-paying job these days. “I would love to work as a tester, imagine sitting on a couch and all you have to do is play a game and you get paid. But, I won’t be able to utilize everything I learn in this occupation” Serrano said. “The hard truth is that, sometimes testing games is not fun at all” (Levy and Novak 28). Also, this can’t be considered as a career unless validated by experts. Another important factor he shared is the importance of self-study in this field. He said that his time in college was only the bedrock for his dream of making a name in the video game industry. Self-studying is a key component towards success, although it is a long shot. He “important lessons and functions aren’t though in school rather understood by reading video game journals, magazines and watching tutorial online.” He was also convinced that emersion is another key component for learning, he suggested for aspirants to analyze and observe professionals in action and then play the game that was published later on. For him, simply knowing the basics and playing video games isn’t enough, “instead of playing, study the whole process that occurs in the development of the game, choose a specific field to focus on, animation, story development, whatever the field, study it analytically.” He added that game developers that there is an on-going rivalry between game developers for console and pc these days. Back then, PC gaming isn’t that popular since the games are limited, but now, PC gaming is amplified because of the many games available in this platform. However, many gamers are still loyal to console gaming for extra features like 3d platforms, movement detection, and more. Serrano is convinced that it is still better to engage on console gaming rather than pc because for him, the platform is more flexible.
Noel spent most of his free time during college understanding the key components of famous video games like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. “If I were to choose a company to work for, I would choose Square Enix all day long” he said. He was an enthusiast for Role Playing Games and Action Playing Games. He was also obsessed in studying programming language and encourages aspirants to master the specific field. Noel started developing his own games for mobile phones, but up to now, he hasn’t launch any of them because he was afraid of being recognized as a imitator of famous application games. He then shared another problem in the industry. “It is hard to stay original because almost every story concept and genre has been filled, that is why innovation and new ideas are necessary, just make sure that your new idea is new, not an edited version of other video games.
Right now, Noel Serrano considers himself still as an aspiring game developer despite all of his accomplishments and experience. “In this industry there is always something new to learn and rivalries are very active. Developers shouldn’t only be able to understand all components and factors but also able to manipulate them and produce innovation in ideas” Serrano concluded.
According to many researches, education system all over the world should offer great programs for game development. It is true that computer science is a very flexible field expanding to financial matters, scientific studies, mathematics, and other academic subjects. It is possible that some scholars see game development a lesser field to study.
These days, game development has been a journey of production. For developers, production is the hardest part along the game development process because the hardest problems are within this phase. “Production is ideally the point where many of the variables have been removed from the development process and the goal is to produce all of the elements that constitute the game (the creation of numerous art and audio assets, level designs, mission designs, and further development and optimization of game code) “ (O’Donnell 28).
This is where the full ability of a developer is put to the test because great video games are the product of brilliant and flexible minds that are able to apply and manipulate every piece of data, programming language, system function, and game features.
The gamers are still expecting the new great game to who would provide years of fun and virtual adventure. Consider great games like Pokemon, Sims, Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Final Fantasy, and Call of duty, all of these games have been played by millions of people worldwide.
Right now to be honest, establishing a career in the video game industry is extremely difficult. Elite competitors, indie game developers, and game concept imitators are just some of threats along the way.
Levy, Luis and Novak, Jeannie. Game Development Essentials: Game QA & Testing. Clifton Park: Delmar, 2010. Print.
O’Donnell, Casey. Developer’s Dilemma: The Secret World of Videogame Creators. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2014. Print.
Rabin, Steve. Introduction to Game Development. 2nd Ed. Boston: Course Technology, 2010. Print
Serrano, Noel. Personal Interview. 5 February 2016.
Top101News. Top 10 Richest Video Game Companies in the World. Web. 6 February 2016.