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The Team It Takes: An Informative Look at What Goes Into Game Production

Details the positions and people it takes to make a game from start to finish.

Creating a game is a long and arduous project that is nearly impossible to complete alone, thanks to increasingly complex technological capabilities. Each person involved in creating a game is expected to fulfill a specific niche of its development, and at the same time, manage to properly communicate their thoughts to the rest of the team so that the video game is cohesive and well put together.

The producer of a gaming development project is expected to assume many different responsibilities. The producer is sometimes referred to as the project lead, or director. Not only does this person act as a liaison bet ween the game development staff and those who are financing the game, the stakeholders, but this person also is in charge of budget management and scheduling. A game that does not make its schedule or goes over budget may never see the light of day. In many ways the producer acts as a leader for the rest of development team.

Game development teams can range from a mere handful of people to a huge office filled with dozens of individuals. Each team member is assigned a role in the game's development based on their position. Often times job titles will vary though the aspects of the job are the same. Artists are some of the most common positions. Programmers, designers, and specialists in audio are all common roles associated with game development as well. Testers are often used by developers, and these positions are usually part time.

The designer is one who's job is to create the game world itself, including its rules and structure. Normally, a lead designer is assigned who helps direct the rest of the designers. The lead designer is said to have the most effect on a game's final experience. Designers are responsible for writing much of what necessary for the game to be completed, including the narrative, and cut scenes.

The artists involved with developing games are often used to create concept art while the game's engine is being complete. An art director is often assigned to provide a clear direction for the rest of the artists. As with the rest of the directors in the game's development, the lead artist is in charge of maintaining a schedule for the rest of the artists to follow, as well as much of the creative direction that is to be taken with the game. Depending on the game, artists may be involved with creating two-dimensional sprites, or three dimensional graphics. In a more complex game like a 3D game, an artist's position may be simply creating character models, or the cinematic of the game.

Software engineers involved in game development, known as programmers, are the ones who must churn out the codebase that is to be used as the core part of the game. Depending on the project, there may be anywhere from one to three different lead programmers who must all cooperate together. This is because the coding of the game is arguably the most time consuming portion of creating a game. A programmer's role could be delegated to solely coding the physics engine, or artificial intelligence of the game, for instance.

Level designers are given the job of designing a game world that is fun for the players. The programs used by a level designer may be third party software, such as the Unreal engine, or a set of programs developed specifically for the game being developed. The sound engineers involved in developing games are in charge of all of the audio aspects, including voice acting and sound effects. Online game development schools are easy to find on the internet, and can be used as a means to get a foot in the door of the gaming industry. In order to be sure the game is bug free, either the game will be tested by the development team throughout the development, or testers are hired to check the entire game for bugs, or errors in the coding.

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