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30 Mar, 2021
What Is Game Design or Welcome to the Game Designers Backstage: Rates, Mistakes and Victory Conditions [+ Detailed Game Design Document Template]
Do you know where the game starts? Answer options: Graphic artsThe codeDevelopment budgetDesire to do somethingDesire to make money Of course, we didn’t add the correct answer here on purpose. The game starts with a concept. The above elements are also important, but they will obey the idea and be entirely based on it. Except for the budget. It is either available or not, and that’s another story altogether. The idea is obvious, you say. However, at the same time, many developers start from the last two points. They come up with a name and even draw art and write code, but at one fine (or not so) moment, completely different ideas and interests begin to excite them. Previous sketches are violently rewritten or simply abandoned. The result is very mediocre if any. Therefore, you should know a very important thing: any idea must be worked out as much as possible, broken down into components and described, and most importantly, completely captured in a single document. You must describe the essence of the game, the history of the world, the situation in it at the moment, the characters, all objects, gameplay, every feature, right down to the background pattern of the menu button. You have to formalize the game universe from start to finish. Collectively, this is called the game design, and the extensive document that will cover all of this is called the game design document (GDD). We will talk about these wonderful things today. What Is Game Design? So game design is the process of creating game goals, rules, and content. Goals are the meaning for which a person plays the game, and the rules allow giving the achievement of these goals a special unique form and create certain obstacles on the way to them. Overcoming obstacles is the foundation of good game design for almost any genre of game. But just having rules is not enough. Really cool game design goes deeper: it focuses on the players and puts their desires first. It is not enough just to set a goal to get from point A to point B and add rules to this path. You need to motivate the player to move in the direction thought out by the game designer. This is a key challenge in game design. without motivation and desire to do something, the game will become a meaningless pastime that will end very soon. In real life, people make choices that affect future events every minute. This applies to interaction with other people, movement, activity, even thoughts. The game can only capture people if they know that their game choices are important and that they affect the outcome of the game. Moreover, each alternative also leads to its development of events. If the choice does not lead to anything, then the player sees no reason to think about alternatives and leaves the game. Game design ensures that every player’s choice is meaningful. What Does a Game Designer Do? The game designer develops the rules of the game and the mechanics. It sounds simple enough, but in fact, this specialist shoulders a huge amount of work and, moreover, bears a large share of responsibility for the result. Why? Because game designers actually come up with a project from scratch, and the rest of the team works in accordance with their best practices, recorded in the game design document. At the same time, game designers are universal creators who must understand the whole spectrum of heterogeneous areas in line of duty directions. If artists are doing art and programmers are working on code, then a game designer is in a constant whirl to stay in the loop: Latest gaming trends and ratings.Features of game engines.Varieties of game economies.The intricacies of human psychology Not to mention the basics of programming, knowledge of the most common game art styles and even marketing tools to promote the game. Impressive, isn’t it? The game designer constructs the basic dynamics of the game, which is responsible for the overall feel of the game for the user. The basic dynamics are based, in turn, on the basic game mechanics – the way objects interact with the player and the game space. For example, the main game mechanic of Tetris is the manipulation of figures falling from top to bottom. Game designers don’t work alone. Creating a game is teamwork where all team members communicate, exchanging ideas and proposing alternatives. Artists know more about art and can tell the game designer why the chosen menu style doesn’t fit the setting. Programmers will talk about the impossibility to implement a certain game feature due to the engine’s peculiarities. But the game designer remains the main manager of the idea. Given the huge number of responsibilities, these professionals are often divided into different categories. For example, it can be: Level designers, responsible for creating levels, the landscape of the map and the location of objects on it.Game mechanic designers, responsible for maintaining the game balance in terms of economics, development and rules.Content designers, responsible for creating characters, items, missions, and tasks.Narrative designers, responsible for creating the basic story of a video game and bringing it to life through game mechanics.Game writers, responsible for various types of text in video games: dialogues, diaries, memos, written languages, etc.Interface designers, responsible for creating an intuitive space for the player’s interaction with the game. Before starting work, each designer must understand the main pillars of the game, its genre and setting, as well as study analogues existing on the market. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Is There a Difference Between Game Design and Game Development? We are asking this question purely for hooligan reasons since it is already obvious that there is a big difference. So what is game design and development? These are completely different things that cannot exist without each other. Game design is the formalization of the idea and rules of the game world. This is a huge multi-tiered work that affects art, development, economics, and psychology, and requires careful thought over all the smallest game details. Game development is the transformation of fixed ideas into a playable product using code. This is a huge technical work, requiring careful handling of the existing limitations of the game engines so that it does not affect the quality of the game or destroy the idea. If your thirst for education requires more information on this topic, then we invite you to our game design vs game development research, where we revealed all the ins and outs of this topic. And What Is Game Art and Design – Really Different Things Too? It remains only to wonder why so many people tend to meaningless synonymization of completely different concepts. Hardly having time to come to our senses from the identification of design and development, we rest our foreheads on comparing art and design. What does a game artist do? These 2D and 3D specialists are engaged in the creation of graphics. They draw characters, environments, objects, textures, they are completely responsible for the visual – the kind of front experts from art. And the game designer, what do they do? We’ve been talking about this for a long time, but why not repeat: game designers formalize the idea and create the rules of the game, motivating players to achieve their goals by making important decisions. These are the producers and creators of the essence of the game. Artists and programmers work as directed by game designers. And the higher the responsibility of the latter for the result of the work. Game Design Document: Why You Need It What is a game design document? This is a complete description of your future game using words, formulas, references, graphs and anything else that will help to best reflect your idea. In addition to general information such as genre and platform, it helps capture different ideas and let the rest of the team know about them. The approved game design document is a clear guide to action, which is used by all participants in the process of creating a game. Of course, if one or two people are involved in the game, then they know perfectly well what they want without a document. Although, even for them, its benefits remain undeniable: it will allow them to capture valuable insights and interesting ideas that can simply disappear from their heads, not to mention simply structuring information on the game to prioritize tasks. But lone developers are rather an exception. Usually, it takes 5 people or more per team to create a worthwhile entertainment product. And here it is already impossible to do without a document and the firm hand of a game designer. Each team member can have their vision of the project. You will want to see a horse in the game, the artist will draw a unicorn, and the program code will make it move like a camel. Therefore, all information on the game must be recorded without the possibility of deviating from the original idea. To those who like to boast of a good memory: keeping all the components of the game in their head is simply unrealistic. Also, remember that the document describes how your game will look like. This means that you can show it to outsiders so that they can evaluate the project, and possibly give money for its development. A potential publisher will not be satisfied with your passionate narrative about the unrepeatable nature of your game. They need a document. And you need it. Everyone needs it. How to Write a Game Design Document: Typical Structure Each developer approaches the creation of a GDD in its own way. That is why when you search for a game design document template, you constantly come across examples of completely different formats and structures. But in general, we can talk about certain milestones without which it is unlikely to be possible to do: General information: genre, target audience, similar games, USP, platform, etc.Game overview: history, perspective, rules, mechanics, modes, etc.Gameplay: goal, victory and defeat conditions, controls, physics, economics, levels, etc.Game assets: graphic style, required graphics, music style, required music and sounds, etc. The simple game design document usually consists of just such sections. There is a direct correlation here: the more complex the game, the more extensive and detailed the video game design doc will be. More advanced options may include other sections such as details regarding prototyping, adding a level design tool, marketing activities to promote the game, and more. How to make a game design document really effective and useful for everyone? Remember a few key wishes based on our personal experience: Be prepared to edit a lot. Writing a game design document is not a one-time task that you can do and forget about it. Modern agile methodology implies a flexible approach to the creation of documentation and its constant updating at the end of the next iteration of work on the game. This allows the video game design document to remain relevant at every stage and optimally shape the final version of the game.Be prepared to work together. Game design doc is not the story of one person. A game designer can analyze the market and come up with an idea, but this is where the independent work ends. All further processes are collaboration with programmers, artists, managers and other team members, each of whom contributes to the creation of the game and gives an expert assessment of the acceptability or non-viability of the next feature.Be prepared for the need to visualize. If you create game documentation, this does not mean that it should consist entirely of text. Many of the nuances are quite difficult to explain in words. Therefore, you have a long search for references, examples of mechanics from different games, visual effects similar to those conceived and interfaces from which you need to take the best and exclude the worst. Now get ready: we’ll talk about the worst mistakes when creating a game design document. Five Horsemen of the GDD Apocalypse Any specialization is distinguished by specific errors inherent only in this particular direction. Game designers also know their main enemies by sight. They are quite obvious, but practice shows that it is obvious things that are most often overlooked. In view of their obviousness, of course. So, the five main anti-heroes of the game design document are: Illiteracy. There is no more pain for the eyes and psyche than a text full of spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. Reading the document turns into a tournament for catching illiteracy cockroaches. Checking the document for errors will be an additional motive to reread and, if necessary, update important sections.Vagueness. Leave literary utterances for fine writing contests, and select a separate file for all in-game dialogues and texts. Also, avoid ambiguous wording and a variety of options for completing tasks: this is not a questionnaire, but a serious working document, and no one will either think up what is missing or read your thoughts.Disorderliness. If your document is one solid wall of text, it will even be difficult to tackle it purely psychologically. Divide the document into sections, describe separately the visual (textures, models, animations) and functionality (mechanics and characteristics). This will not only make your document more readable but also help performers find the part that they need.Lack of updates. You can’t just take and make a game design document once and for all. Key points will remain unchanged, but new details, improvements, suggestions and replacements make regular revisions essential to keep the document up to date. Everyone is guided by it, and if you missed something or did not update in time, people will deal with outdated data and waste time reworking their tasks.Heavy references. GDD requires references, but there is no need to overwhelm it with pictures and heaven forbid the video: all this makes the file unmanageably large and unwieldy. It is best to store pictures in separate folders, and upload videos to YouTube or another platform and provide direct links. It is also worth noting that you always need to remember for whom you are writing GDD. For example, artists most often do not need exact formulas for calculating certain indicators, but for programmers they are necessary. UI designers require interface diagrams, orderings of numbers, a list of required elements and transitions, while for almost all other departments this information will be superfluous. The Game Design Document Template You’ve Been Waiting For So Long It’s scary to even imagine how much information about “the only correct way of compiling a game design document” exists on the Internet. At the same time, sad as it is, almost nowhere you will find anything but general phrases. For example, a certain article promising a step-by-step guide in creating a document and a ready-made GDD template will tell you in strictest confidence that a game design document should contain the following information: GenreSettingThe target audienceUnique selling pointsExamples of similar gamesPlatformPlotDescription of mechanicGame engineGame mechanicsGraphics and sound requirementsMonetization model And that’s all. Note that we have already mentioned all of these points in the section on the typical structure of a game design document. But we were not talking about step-by-step instructions or a full-fledged game development document template. These are just milestones that must be present in the documentation, but which do not give you an answer to the question of where is your promised template. Once you are convinced of yet another insurmountable chasm between expectation and reality, you are forced to collect these items bit by bit from different sites, download the few available examples of game design documents of famous games, dig up low-quality parodies of templates, epic in rarity and modest in content, and generally suffer terribly. Our task is to simplify your life as much as possible and break this ice of information for everyone about anything. Therefore, our team has prepared a full-fledged game design document template, which we provide to all our clients planning to create a game. By filling it out, you will receive a real (without cheating) entry-level game design document, which is necessary to start working on a game project. Subsequently, it will be supplemented with a large amount of information, but for a start, the information collected in it is absolutely enough. The paragraphs marked as optional can be skipped: you may not yet know exactly what the gameplay will be or are not ready to decide exactly on the engine. Already in the process of work, the team will help you formulate the missing information, advise on creative and technical solutions and add all this to the document on their own. Just fill in the fields and your game design document will be ready! All the information you need in one place Get your template With the help of the information obtained from this game document template, we can make a quick and fairly accurate calculation of the cost of developing a game and plan a timeline. You can start filling it out now, saving you a lot of time and resources. In the Footsteps of Famous Games: Video Game Design Document Examples Game design documents are often not in the public domain. But some well-known developers nevertheless launched their documents on the network so that all interested parties could understand what a kind of instruction was for creating legendary games. Catch some video game design document examples: The multi-platform psychological survival horror and action-adventure game Silent Hill 2 developed by the Japanese company Team Silent and published by Konami has a rather long and very detailed game design document with a lot of visuals and diagrams.One of the lead designers of the legendary action-adventure game Grand Theft Auto, originally called Race’n’Chase, shared a unique 1995 material that can serve as an excellent design document example of the most iconic product of the gaming industry ever. It was created and developed primarily by British development company Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) and produced by Rockstar Games.The Doom Bible is the original game design document of the world famous shooter Doom, written in 1992. All 5 main games were developed by the American company id Software, while the development of side games was entrusted to various third-party studios. This is a great game design document sample with maps, glossary and detailed descriptions of each episode. Excerpt from Silent Hill 2 game design document What Software Do Game Designers Use Since game design continues to be diligently and stubbornly confused with game development, we often find on the Internet the belief that the main tools of game designers are Unity, Unreal and other engines. The main thing here is to understand that these are not game designer tools. These are developer tools. But we’re not here to answer the question of what game developers use to create video games. And developers and designers are not the same things. Let’s get some more: what is a video game designer? This is a specialist who creates a holistic idea and skillfully decomposes it so that other team members can understand their tasks. The game design document is the embodiment of their power. And various trials and experiments have led to the conclusion that the best tool for presenting it is Google Docs. It allows you to easily edit a document and provide access to all team members. Moreover, if the game is large-scale, then you can create a whole hierarchy of documents for each of its sections and store them in one folder. In addition to Google Docs, game designers set tasks and track progress in classic project management software of the company’s choice: Jira, Trello and others. Other software is optional for each team and is based on the personal preferences of the specialists. For example, it could be a tool for: Creation of lists of any nesting. An example is Workflowy. It can help you compose personal tasks, collaborate with a team on large-scale projects, store notes, keep materials in one archive, keep a journal, plan events, etc.Creation of to-do lists. An example is Todoist. It allows you to structure tasks and mark their status, collect interesting materials in the reading list, organize projects on Kanban boards and integrate various services such as Gmail, Slack, Google Calendar and others.Game balance calculation. This is most easily done in Excel or its online version of Google Sheets. You can take data from neighboring tables, search by cells, build graphs and charts, but the main thing is to calculate the balance.Creation of mockups. An example is InVision. It consists of simple drag-and-drop tools that make UX design planning a lot easier. You can test your prototype in a browser, smartphone, and even in real time.Prototyping. Often, game designers do not do this, but if such a desire arises, then there is nothing better than Unity. This engine has such a powerful community and number of tutorials that you can easily find answers to any questions. You will have to dig into C # a little and get a basic knowledge of the API, but it’s worth it: because you can zip through prototyping hands down. These are just examples. Some designers use Notion or Confluence instead of Google Docs and edit the configuration in Sublime Text and Atom. The main task of the tools is to speed up and optimize the work of the game designer as much as possible. Everything else is of evil. What Is the Salary of Game Designers According to PayScale and Glassdoor, the average salary for a game designer in the United States is $ 65,000 a year. Juniors start at $ 50,000, while lead game designers can get $ 110,000 or more. Nobody has canceled the classic factors that affect salaries: ExperienceLocation of the studioWorkloadThe complexity of the project Therefore, highly qualified specialists with many years of experience and deep knowledge of the specifics of the gaming industry may well go beyond this range. As for the location of the studio, everything is classic here: the most expensive specialists are located in the US, while Eastern Europe offers more affordable and flexible prices. USAUKGermanyEastern EuropeGame designer$ 40$ 30$ 25$ 10 Hourly rates are calculated based on average game designer salaries per year from PayScale and Indeed platforms. In the End Pandemic continues to fuel the gaming industry. In 2020, 2.7 billion gamers spent nearly $ 160 billion on digital entertainment products, and by 2023, if not earlier, this figure will definitely exceed $ 200 billion. But that means not only that now is a great time to create new games. This means that people need good games now more than ever. Will your game be successful and attractive to people? It is almost impossible to predict. But you can try to maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome. To do this, you need a good idea and a cool team. And we propose to move forward together. Our team of passionate adherents and connoisseurs of the diversity of the gaming industry have been working on creating games for over 8 years. During this time, we managed to work both with giants such as Epic Games, EA and FoxNext, and with a huge number of small studios just starting their journey in the world of digital entertainment. Our artists, animators and developers can work on individual aspects of the game or a complete product from scratch: then we involve our unsurpassed game designers in the work, working in the best traditions of this article. Our team is passionate about its work and is always responsible for the result. Don’t hesitate to contact us even if you don’t have a clear idea yet: our game designers will shape it for you and give it the very spark to ignite future players.
9 Mar, 2021
Indie Game Development: The All-You-Need Guide to Revenues, Most Profitable Genres & Monetization [+ Bonus Top 10 Best Indie Games 2020]
If at a certain happy moment you came up with an original idea to create a game that has no analogues in terms of presentation, plot or gameplay, but you have neither a team nor funding, then congratulations: the arrow of your internal game development compass has moved towards indie. And that means you’ve come to the right place. Indie Game: Definition First of all, you need to understand that indie is not a genre, not a class, or even a type of games. It is rather a characteristic of the conditions for their creation. The gaming world is conditionally divided into: Sponsored entertainment products backed by publishers and investors and created for purely commercial purposes.Independent games that do not have such financial support, but that are distinguished by the freedom and courage to put the idea above the profit. So what is an indie game? These are projects that are created by independent developers. Independence means that they do not work for large studios like EA or Ubisoft, but only for themselves. These are kind of individual entrepreneurs in the gaming industry. Typically, indie studios are made up of just a few people. Most often, their number does not exceed 10 experts. There are also indie developers who make games alone. The gaming industry is one of the richest markets in the world, but that money rarely reaches independent teams. Due to the availability of training courses and the gradual simplification of the development process, there are more and more indie studios every year. But only a few achieve financial success. And often it is largely based on pure luck. On the one hand, this means that most indie developers are wasting money and energy almost in vain. On the other hand, it shows that these studios have to look for innovative ideas and new ways to make games. After all, restrictions and high competition force you to be creative. Superhot game screen For example, let’s take a look at Superhot, a first-person shooter video game developed by the independent Polish Superhot team. The essence of the game is that time moves around players only when they move. That is, if the player suddenly stops, time also freezes. The project was created in just a week as part of the 7 Day FPS Challenge in 2013. The widespread attention to the demo prompted the development team to create the full game. They received funding through Kickstarter. In the first 7 hours, the creators of the game collected half of the required amount of $ 100,000, and by the end of the first day, the goal was almost completely achieved. As a result, the team raised $ 250,798, which allowed diversifying the game with additional challenges, a replay mod and more advanced animation. Sales of the PC edition, released in 2016, surpassed the 500,000 mark, generating $ 10 million in sales in the year following its release. What Is Indie Game Development? The word indie has nothing to do with India, as one might think. It is short for “independent”. Indie game development is the process of creating a game by a small team or one person without the financial support of large publishers. Indie developers do not have large investors ready to fund all their ideas. Money for development is most often collected on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and CrowdFunder. Some also use Patreon, a subscription-based website that offers regular support to developers. While the creation of the game is in progress, indie developers can share exclusive materials, artwork, backstage videos and more with their patrons. For people to believe in an idea and join it, it is necessary to talk about it thoroughly and passionately. This is exactly what developer and composer Alec Holowka and animator and illustrator Scott Benson did, who created the indie studio Infinite Fall and announced the start of fundraising for the 2D story-focused adventure game Night In The Woods. The main leitmotif of the game, “at the end of everything, hold on to anything”, indicated in the title of the campaign, from the very beginning caused a vague pinching in the soul and an inexplicable melancholic reflection. A detailed description of the game, its ideas, locations, characters and music resonated in the hearts of more than 7,000 people, which allowed the team to collect the claimed $ 50,000 in 26 hours and quadruple this amount in a month. The depressing and at the same time leaving hope for the best, damn mature, thought-provoking and touching story of the current generation mercilessly and straightforwardly tells about the reckless youth and the cruel breakdown of growing up, enveloping the mystical storyline with inexplicable metaphysical flashbacks, where sleep is difficult to distinguish from reality. An attempt to wedge into the world left behind, filled with the spirits of the fleeting delights of youth, crashes against the harsh reality. The authors seem to have turned their souls inside out and filled the Night in the Woods with their feelings, experiences, pain and desperate questions turned to nowhere. Through incredible and multi-layered dialogues, they raise many relevant topics: the transience of being and the injustice of the world, the reality of the soul and the piercing essence of growing up, the vagrancy of the body and thoughts, the search for faith and its justification. Everyone will find something that will touch the soul. And it worked. The breathtaking atmosphere of the game attracted a huge number of fans to it, who with delight and horror find parallels between their fate and the fate of the characters, between the history of their city and the gradually fading breath of Possum Springs. Night in the Woods game screen Who Is an Indie Developer? An indie developer is someone who develops games independently or is part of a small development team that produces video games for PC and mobile devices without the financial support of large companies. Unlike most big studios that create big-budget AAA titles, indie developers are not afraid to use fresh and risky ideas, rarely follow industry-recognized standards, and do not create products solely for the purpose of earning money. They can make an indie game based on their personal experiences, perception of the world, comprehension of current social topics and more. It will not be a product with ultra-modern graphics and mechanics, but it can definitely cut to the heart and awaken the most undercover thoughts and feelings. True indie developers do not adapt to the standard needs of the gaming market and do not seek to adjust their skills to be hired by a large gaming studio. They are distinguished by the presence of versatile useful knowledge in the field of game development and promotion. They often combine the experience of several experts: programmers, artists, designers, etc. But the main thing is a great desire to constantly grow and expand the base of their qualifications in all directions related to the creation of games. We define indie games as projects with a relatively small budget, created by a small team independent of big publishers. There can be thousands and hundreds of thousands of such games. In fact, even one person can make an indie game. How do indie developers get their game noticed? Don’t quit what you started. Indie developers are driven solely by their enthusiasm. They must be able to boldly face criticism and negativity face to face and continue to perfect their project no matter what.Focus on quality. It makes no sense for an indie developer to create a large number of games and expect that one of them can become successful. This is a poor use of time and limited resources. The best strategy is to concentrate on one project and bring it to perfection.Use original ideas. What makes an indie game a worthy competitor to large studio products? Their unusual plot and mechanics. Among indie games, you can find real masterpieces of storytelling, similar to interactive books packed in graphics. Many of them become iconic and gain a huge fanbase precisely because of their idea.Promote your work. Indie developers are not backed up by a strong marketing department: they need to talk about their product on their own. Announcements, trailers, press releases, ad art, posts on forums and thematic communities – everything will be good.Plan ways of retention. Indie games are not a direction where players can be motivated by the emergence of new large-scale patches and DLS. In order for the players to continue to interact with the game even after the end of the storyline, it is necessary to think over the mechanisms of their retention and motivate them to replay them in order to obtain new achievements, unblock interesting information, and so on.Decide on monetization. In-game purchases, advertising, cross-promotion – standard monetization methods are possible for indie games as well. They must be implemented very neatly and organically so as not to alienate the player. Some indie developers are moving away from standard monetization methods and just sell the whole game for a fixed price. Users of the Epic Games Store, Steam or other platforms pay for it one-time and get access to all of its functionality.Engage with the community. After sending the game to freewheeling, you cannot leave it to its own devices. It is necessary to track mentions, give comments, listen to feedback, answer questions and in every way stimulate the interest of all those who are not indifferent. There may be situations when you have an idea and certain skills, but they are not enough to cover the entire spectrum of work for creating an indie game. For example, you’re good at programming, but you don’t know how to draw at all. It is possible to find a temporary companion from freelancers, but no one guarantees the understanding and quality of what you expect. With a limited budget, any risk can be fatal. A much more efficient option is to order the desired art or animation from an outsourcing studio. Experienced professionals will quickly figure out the essence of your request and immediately get down to business, providing a consistently high-quality result. While they are working on the art, you will be able to deal with other aspects of the game and thus significantly speed up its release. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Team Composition To Create Indie Games How to make indie games? Just like other games, taking into account the fact that finances will be limited almost all the time. And of course, no indie game can be made without a team. Despite the fact that often every member of an indie team is a multi-instrumentalist who understands several areas at once, it is necessary to remember about the core composition without which it is impossible to create any game: Game designer.Artist.Programmer.Sound engineer.Tester. All these roles can be performed by one person. It is also possible that the programmer is well versed in testing, while the indie game designer is engaged in both art and animation. It’s just important to know what types of work are ahead in order to make an indie game. Let’s talk a little about each role. Game Designer More often than not, everyone on the small indie team contributes to the design of the game. This can be done by a programmer, sound designer, artist, the main thing is that this person can see the general and integral concept of the game as the player will see it. The contribution of each team member to the game design can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, there are a large number of interesting ideas and interpretations, on the other, there is a discrepancy between proposals and their possible inconsistency with the original idea. Therefore, it is important to have a game design document where the main points of the idea and style of the game will be spelled out. The whole team will build on it as they work, and if questions or controversies arise, they will be able to come to a consensus. Artist An artist is a person who creates the visual component of an indie game. Art takes time and creates what the players see when they play. Therefore, choosing a person for this role is a vital element of your project. Working closely with programmers and designers, the artists will create the visual effects of the game. It all starts with concept art before moving on to the content that will appear in the game, including backgrounds, characters, animations, etc. Artists also make sure that the content they create meets technical requirements and creates an overall feel for the game. The more difficult the game, the more artists it is preferable to hire. This is especially true for 3D options with a large number of characters and locations. But if you are creating a retro platformer, then one artist can cope with creating pixel art and animation. Programmer Your idea may be the best, but without a programmer, it will probably never come true. A computer programmer is engaged in the development of the code base and tools for the game. Since video games are electronic entertainment, the absence of a programmer usually means the absence of a video game. Note that the programmer usually does more than just coding the game while on an indie team. They will also take responsibility for debugging and beta testing to make sure the games are polished and acceptable. Today, a game programmer does not need to know programming languages. There are many game engines (for example, Unreal Engine) that allow you to develop using blueprints, that is, visual programming. A lot of indie games were made with just one programmer, so it mostly depends on the size and scope of your project. Sound Engineer The sound designer or composer will be responsible for creating all the sound effects and music for the game. Sound is a vital element in giving the atmosphere to the game. Even if it’s not a horror game that needs scary music to heighten the experience, you’ll still want a catchy tune to accompany your puzzle or action-platformer game. Some particularly successful tunes become iconic for the game and even take on new life in the form of fan covers. There are many aspiring game sound engineers, and if you need one, then you should pay attention to specialists who have been involved in similar work before. For example, you might want to find someone who has already made chiptune music for other games, if that’s the style of music that’s right for your project. Tester In most cases, this role is played by the programmer. But it is not always easy for them to notice errors in the code that they spent many hours working on. Therefore, a fresh look from a third person would be more relevant and effective here. It is not necessary to hire a professional tester. This can be problematic if the budget for the game is not that large. Your friends, volunteers who supported your crowdfunding campaign, or anyone who loves to play games and at the same time knows how to describe in detail what went wrong can test the game and look for bugs. Other Roles We have listed the main people involved in indie development. There are other equally important roles that we have not singled out into separate points because separate people are very rarely allocated for them in indie teams. Most often, these roles are performed by those who are already doing some work on the project. The first is the writer. Basically, any team member can write and tell a story and shape a storyline. If a large amount of text and dialogues are planned in the game, then it is better, if not to hire a writer, then at least ask someone to check all these texts for errors before the release. There is nothing worse than an indie game with typos in the text, terrible dialogues and a boring story, even if its gameplay is very beautiful and interesting. The second is the project manager. The responsibility of the project manager is to make sure the team is working quickly and efficiently, to set deadlines, to motivate the lagging team members, and to ensure that everyone’s work is being done. Very often, indie developers fall behind easily and may not meet deadlines as they do not have a publisher or higher-level person to urge them on. Therefore, they really need a person who will coordinate the work and maintain a general fighting spirit, whoever he or she is. Pros and Cons of Indie Game Design Indie games are very different from sponsorship projects in many ways, both positive and negative. Our task is to give a complete picture of all of them without distortions and prejudices. Advantages Unusual ideas. Indie studios are the main source of experimental projects in the gaming industry. Big publishers carefully weigh each step and figure out which concepts will make them the most money. Independent developers create the games they want and are not afraid to explore crazy ideas. For example, Getting Over It is an incredibly hard-to-control mock game designed to torment the less patient and show them that defeat is an integral part of the gameplay. Such projects are only possible in the independent segment of the gaming industry.Fast feedback tracking. Indie studios are almost always small. Therefore, it is easier for them to respond to complaints and suggestions from players. It is not uncommon for developers to fix bugs within hours of reporting a bug. In addition, independent teams are adding new content more readily and faster than large studios. The latter can only react to notification of errors and bugs after going a long way consisting of people from different departments.Focus on a specific aspect. Unlike large-scale projects, where developers can afford to cover everything at once, indie games usually stand out on one specific feature: beautiful graphics, unusual gameplay mechanics, or a captivating storyline. The unusual presentation of these elements often creates a much more emotional attachment to the game in players than is the case with advanced AAA titles. For example, the platformer GRIS has completely captivated players with its visual style, which is said to leave a warm glow in the heart and be one of the most beautiful games ever made.No clear deadlines. What is an indie game if not the creative embodiment of independence? The developer has no instructions from the publisher, no tight deadlines and no threat of fines in case of violation of certain agreements. The indie team comes together to do what they want. The time spent on the development is voluntarily allocated by them, they enjoy every minute of work on the project, and the game is a product of their pure enthusiasm and the inner drive that gives them the energy to move forward.Recognition and trendsetting. Indie teams will not get lost behind the loud name of a famous publisher, their names will not fade into oblivion. They are free to talk about their role in their projects and proudly write this information into credits. At the same time, new interesting ideas can turn out to be fateful not only for developers, but also for the entire gaming industry, which will discover a new gaming trend based on a new groundbreaking game. For example, the independent Danish studio Playdead had no idea that their puzzle-platformer Limbo would become a cult indie game and even initiate a new 2D game art style called monochromaticity. Disadvantages Lack of experience. Very often, indie developers lack the skills and experience to create a really high-quality game. In some projects, the gameplay is poorly thought out, because of which the player begins to get bored after a few minutes. In others, the interface is not intuitive or a little visual. Any aspect can be unfinished and spoil the general idea of the game.Limited resources. Independent developers pay very dearly for their independence: they need to take on all financial issues and find the necessary resources on their own. This can be both personal savings and access to crowdfunding platforms. Budget restrictions can lead to poor quality graphics, short and too simple gameplay, skipping the testing phase and problems with promoting the finished game.An oversaturated market. After the overwhelming success of a number of indie games like The Binding of Isaac in 2011, the number of indie releases per year began to grow almost exponentially. Most of them came out on the Steam store, because new games are hardly checked in any way. The site was flooded with the first works of novice developers, low-quality projects, and clones of famous games. Currently, there are about 20-40 games released on Steam per day, almost all of which are indie. For players, this means that they will never know about most of these projects, even if they are really good.Poor marketing. Lack of money, time or skills for effective PR leads to the fact that the game simply goes unnoticed. Major publishers spend tens of millions of dollars on it, but some of their titles still fail. So, a project from a little-known independent developer has practically no chances to stand out without a promotion campaign.Management problems. Often, an indie team is a collection of good game art, design and programming specialists who have no knowledge of building coordination and management processes. They may find it difficult to balance the distribution of tasks, and some team members may not be well organized and collected. Since the team does not have the extra resources to hire a project manager, they have to cope with all the problems of optimizing the workflow on their own. Top 10 Most Interesting Indie Games 2020 While the previous year was terrible in terms of a pandemic, it was very successful for the video games market. People spent most of their time at home and became much better friends with the world of virtual entertainment. Many indie games have succeeded in taking the entire gaming community by storm, inspiring connoisseurs to create fanart and even animations based on their favorite games. Despite the fact that many players blame indie games for neglecting modern graphical achievements, their popularity among other players does not decrease. They are ready to support independent developers not only for the courage to challenge grandiose AAA titles, but also for twisted plots, touching stories and hilarious twists that fully compensate for the minimalism of the art. Let’s take a look at some of the most outstanding examples of indie games released in 2020. 1. Spiritfarer A cozy game about death, this is the description of this indie simulator on Steam. You might think that the developers went too far. But in reality, this is not at all the case. Slightly perplexed and even at first frightened players later recognize the game as very beautiful, thought-provoking and having an unforgettable bittersweet aftertaste. Here you will try the role of Charon. You will play as a ferrymaster to the deceased and take care of them, delivering their souls to different destinations in the underworld. You will also have to look after your garden, harvest, fish, explore the mysterious waters of the river of the dead. The game is very meditative and allows you to look at death from a philosophical point of view, without fear and prejudice. 2. Coffee Talk Coffee Talk is the epitome of what we usually expect from classic get-togethers with friends over a cup of coffee. It is a cure for cold, loneliness and heavy thoughts that often plague many people at night. Calm and life-affirming game full of fascinating stories of all kinds of people and cute mini-games that make you feel warmer. Find out what the city’s only midnight barista has to deal with every night. Attracting like a magnet people who have nowhere to go or no one to ask for advice, you will gradually learn their stories in more detail and give some advice, while trying to find a drink that best suits their lost souls. Pixel graphics and pleasant music allow you to concentrate on studying the characters of night visitors and help them find answers to simple and complex questions. The night coffee station, the only lighted haven that lures those in need of encouraging words. And a warming drink. 3. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout How about a pinch of extravaganza and mild insanity? Game shows with funny obstacle courses like Legends of the Hidden Temple became the prototype for the creation of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Here teams in multiplayer with a hundred participants realize their crazy race with obstacles and traps. You will start with the others, but there will only be one winner. In the finest battle royale tradition, but with a much more cheerful message and a good-natured atmosphere. To reach the finish line and earn victory points, you will have to push opponents, use the physics of the game to your advantage and avoid traps. The game features an unusual physics engine with comedic elements, as well as bright and cheerful graphics. The project will continue to improve and acquire new elements and themes, which will positively affect the duration of attention from the players. 4. Sable In this game, the developers raise issues related to growing up. The project will especially appeal to the younger generation, who have philosophical questions about their life, future, hopes, plans and destiny. On behalf of the little Sable, players will get acquainted with a distant desert world, completely open to exploration. There will be no mind-blowing battles and vivid special effects. The heroine will explore ancient cities, look for unusual artifacts, absorb the knowledge of a once-great civilization and seek answers to eternal questions. The gameplay is meditative, and the hand-drawn graphics creates a unique atmosphere encouraging you to think about the most intimate questions and try to find answers to them. 5. Hades After years of waiting, players have finally received a new game from Supergiant Games. Everyone agreed that they had not waited in vain: the classic roguelike passing system here is brightly colored with a mythological plot. The main character Zagreus, the son of Hades, is trying to escape from the underworld of the dead and get to Mount Olympus. He is helped by the Olympian gods, who send Zagreus various gifts to help him cope with enemies. Rooms filled with enemies and treasures in new ways each time make Hades incredibly replayable and not annoying. Everything is interesting here, from the combat system with the help of different sets of collected artifacts to dialogues that better reveal the relationship of the characters. The death and return of the character to the starting point does not cause frustration and the desire to quit the game because of the opportunity to learn more about the plot: other characters admire how far Zagreus managed to go, or scoff at his next death. Each time the player opens up new dialogues that tell more about the characters and the background of what is happening. 6. Way to the Woods “The Last of Us without action” – this is how the developer Anthony Ten, who has been working on it since the age of sixteen, described his project. To bring his ideas to mind, he had to work in some studios and study the capabilities of Unreal Engine 4. In this game, we will play as a mother deer and her little baby deer. Finding themselves in a world where all people suddenly disappeared, cute creatures will get food, flee from wolves and look for their way home. Basically, the gameplay is calm, based on exploring locations and solving simple puzzles. The author promises that the post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the game will evoke a whole range of emotions in gamers and they will not remain indifferent, following the fate of two fragile but brave creatures. 7. Among Us Despite the fact that the game was released for Android iOS back in 2018, 2020 can be safely called its triumphant birth. It was in this year that it gained immense popularity on YouTube and Twitch. More than 500 million players have appreciated the gameplay “find the impostors” in a sci-fi setting, where one team of astronauts repairs the systems of the spacecraft, and the second tries to kill each member of the first one by one and disrupt the repair work. The most interesting thing here is not the mini-games of the team members themselves or the sabotage of the impostors, but the meetings where the players are trying to prove who the impostors are and blow the whistle on them by voting. At the time of lockdown, when it is still impossible to play the real Mafia game, such an original replacement was doomed to success. 8. Ooblets This is a rural life simulator with funny 3D cartoon graphics. But this has nothing to do with the classic farming games that preach a rather sociopathic pastime and a complete focus on your estates. Ooblets offers a lot more: daily quests, secrets to uncover, and even a main storyline where you have to help the mayor save the city from mysterious forces. In ordinary farms, we do not leave our territory and only manage highly specialized functionality for caring for pets and a vegetable garden. Here you can also raise cute ooblet creatures to work on the farm, explore the surrounding lands, meet interesting characters, improve workers, your character and your home, and also throw dance parties. You can even take part in dance competitions. This is a fun and unobtrusive relaxation simulator in which it will be pleasant to hang out after a hard day at work. 9. The Falconeer This unusual role-playing game is another confirmation of what fantastic ideas can be embodied in the indie world. Here, in the role of a hawk warrior, you will fight enemies in the air, while looking at the amazing oceanic locations with rocky islands. You must uncover secrets lost in the depths of the sea, join different clans or fight against them, complete quests and explore new territories. The winged character will be able to attack opponents in ranged combat, grab them with his claws and make incredible pirouettes in the air, adjusting to the actions of enemies and trying to take a comfortable position. You can improve your falcon by enhancing his abilities and learning new skills that give an advantage in battle. 10. 12 Minutes Is it possible to write an interesting script about events that took place for twelve minutes in one single room? And to make a game based on it, the passage of which will drag on for more than six hours? It turns out that this is possible. The 12 Minutes point and click survival thriller tells the story of a man and his wife who find themselves in a death trap during a romantic dinner. The police who burst into the room accuses the woman of murder, and within the next twelve minutes, the couple is killed. Thanks to supernatural intervention, the protagonist has the opportunity to go back exactly twelve minutes each time and look for ways out of this situation. Surprisingly, at first glance, the simplest room is fraught with a lot of hidden opportunities that will open up after each time travel. To more reliably recreate the claustrophobic atmosphere of a closed room and convey the realism of what is happening, the developers even built a model of the room right in the studio and constantly experimented with the plot and the arrangement of objects. Fans of thrillers, detective stories and simply atmospheric indie games will definitely love this. By the way, the man is voiced by James McAvoy, the woman – by Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe gave his voice to the attacker. How Much Can You Earn on Indie Games? Independent game development goes hand in hand with the belief that it is difficult to stand out here and the financial reward will not be too great. Every year there are more and more indie games, the field is very competitive, and many indie teams are not focused on creating a complete interesting product. Indie games are not limited to the creation procedure. It is vitally important for thetm to be promoted, to catch the eyes of potential players, to make themselves known on popular platforms. Lack of marketing budget or unwillingness to spend extra money on advertising leads to the fact that players simply do not know about really good indie games. Therefore, we remind you once again of the importance of promoting your indie game: this can be a decisive factor in its success. Now let’s talk about specific numbers. According to research by analytics platform VG Insights that studied 21,000 indie games on Steam, half of all released self-published options do not receive more than $ 4,000 in revenue. They do not even cover the resources spent on their creation. About 25% of indie games have earned about $ 25,000 in their lifetime. Remember that these figures should be considered in terms of the time spent and the number of team members involved in indie game development. If the game has been developed for more than a year by several people, then this result cannot be called particularly successful. All of this would look very depressing if it were not for the remaining indie games that prove that things are not so hopeless. 14% of indie games were able to surpass the $ 100,000 revenue mark. 10% of the more successful and consistent ones were able to make more than $ 150,000. This can already be called a success and evidence that a good product can be profitable even without a huge investment. Most importantly, 1% succeeded in raising over $ 7,000,000. Of the 21,000 games reviewed, this is about 200 pieces that managed to do the impossible. For example, entertainment products such as underwater survival Subnautica and simulation RimWorld grossed over $ 100 million and sold millions of copies. During the coronavirus pandemic, Plague Inc. gained immense popularity, capturing over 130 million players worldwide and generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Subsequently, the developers of Plague Inc. donated $ 250,000 to fight coronavirus infection. Most Profitable Genres For Indie Games By researching the sales and revenues of indie games of different genres, VG Insights came up with an interesting pattern. The most promising genres in terms of making money are RPG, strategy and simulation. They are followed by adventure, action, sports and racing games, which should only be chosen if you are completely confident in your idea. The most inappropriate genre for indie games proved to be casual options, in which the probability of high earnings is negligible. Data source: VG Insights Models of Monetization in Indie Games The indie game definition implies that people independent of the publisher are involved in the development. That is, virtually anyone with a sufficient degree of desire and enthusiasm can engage in indie development. And everyone is very interested in what methods of monetization can be implemented in indie games besides direct sales in stores. We suggest considering the following options. In-App Purchases This is a classic monetization method that suits almost all games. The bottom line is that during the gameplay the player is offered some additional bonuses that will significantly improve and simplify the walkthrough or simply play a purely decorative role. These can be extra hit points, clothing for a character, bonus abilities, or weapons. The most important thing is to provide the player with freedom of choice and the ability to continue playing without buying. If you prevent players from moving on without committing a transaction, it can alienate them from the game forever. Merch The following options will only work if your game has already gained a certain popularity among some circles of players. You’ve probably heard about merch – this is a very relevant option not only for the gaming world, but also for the film and music industry. For example, selling soft toys based on the Angry Birds game has become a huge source of income for the Finnish company Rovio, which started as a small indie developer. You can sell anything: figurines of the characters in the game, T-shirts and cups with their image, bags, shoes, key chains, wallets, and more. The more players love your characters, the higher the likelihood that they will want to purchase their physical copies or objects with their image. Partnership Finding a partner can be quite problematic, but this does not make this monetization method any less valid. If you manage to find an interested party, then you can, for example, introduce a logo or mention of a partner in your game in accordance with the gaming setting, or offer other sponsorship services that will bring you additional earnings. This can be a notification to players that there are other similar games and an offer to pay attention to them. Advertising Advertising is the way to which sooner or later almost everyone who is engaged in indie game development comes: players do not have to pay anything, they just watch ads. There are several main types: Banners. One of the most common types of advertising in games. A banner is a colorful ad image at the bottom or top of the screen. It is very easy to implement, it does not interrupt the gameplay much, but it is striking and can lead to a transition if the player is interested in the proposal.Full-screen advertising. Also known as an interstitial ad, this ad fills the entire screen, covering the game’s interface, stays on the screen for a short period, and then disappears. It can be either static or dynamic in video format.Push notification. These ads use pop-up notifications to grab the user’s attention and redirect them somewhere. It can offer both to buy additional elements for the game and to go to other sites and applications.Advertising upon exiting the game. These ads are triggered when a user leaves the game: this is a great time to advertise another game of your partner, for example. How to create an indie game that generates income? You need to get used to the idea that this is not the direction that consistently brings mountains of gold. This is a work for the soul, where earnings are rather a pleasant bonus, which may or may not come, and you need to be ready for this. At the same time, any monetization options you choose should be implemented very carefully and unobtrusively so as not to alienate the player from the main idea. Indie games spoiled by the desire to earn more at the expense of their essence lose any meaning. How to Make an Indie Game Successful? All indie developers want to know about this and at the same time understand that there is no exact answer. On the other hand, no one has canceled the feature analytics of the best-selling indie games. So let’s see how projects like this on Epic Games Store and Steam approach genre selection, gameplay, graphics, price and marketing. Graphics As Auxiliary Element The first difference between indie games and big AAA titles is their simpler graphics. This does not mean that it is bad. It can be very beautiful and eye-catching. This means that it is not the main focus of an indie game, but rather an auxiliary visual component to help you better immerse players in storytelling. Therefore, for an indie game, it is enough to meet the minimum graphic standards for the players to understand what is happening on the screen. It is not at all necessary to try to impress players with modern graphic features, you still will not be able to surpass the AAA games. Indies do not undertake to compete with AAA in terms of complex art, their essence is a non-standard presentation and a fresh idea. The graphics in the indie platformer Hue can hardly be called sophisticated, but at the same time, its presentation and the very essence of the game is a real artistic satisfaction. Fiddlesticks Games has offered an absolute innovation in game mechanics: the main character, a boy named Hue, explores colorless locations and finds new shades in which he can paint the world around him. Puzzles and tasks that allow you to go through new and more difficult levels are built on the manipulation of colors, and there may be several options for solving riddles. The alternation of static and dynamic levels does not let you get bored. The stunning soundtrack harmoniously changing depending on whether the atmosphere is tense or calm makes solving puzzles a real aesthetic pleasure. Hue’s journey is based on the main heart-piercing plot that will touch anyone deeply: he is looking for his mother, who disappeared for mysterious reasons. On his way, he finds notes and memories that help him to better understand her past, the reasons for her disappearance, her study of the essence of color and her inexplicable connection with the mysterious Dr Gray, who periodically appears at the main milestones of Hugh’s journey and as if prompting him the right path. Hue game screen Unlimited Gameplay Options Based on the previous point, you might think that a complex and intricate storyline is vital for an indie game. There are options that do just fine without it, for example, Game Dev Tycoon or any other simulator that relies not on history, but on addictive gameplay. It is important to understand that players have different moods and different needs at different times. Sometimes they want something simple, uncomplicated and funny, and sometimes they will prefer a leisurely philosophical story that invites you to consider many important life issues. Determine from the very beginning which audience you are targeting, and do not try to put everything in the game: it should be harmonious and one-pointed. Game Dev Tycoon game screen Unique Feature If AAA games have an average positive rating of 79% , then for indie games it can sometimes go up to 87%. At the same time, it is noted that the players are much more warm and sympathetic to indie games, realizing that they are not made by rich corporations, but by the same ordinary people, united and inflamed by a common idea. The intimacy of indie games evokes much more participation and sincere comments to them. The best indie games always show some kind of innovation, be it a feature of the gameplay, graphics, storyline or game design. For example, Castle Crashers arcade offers very simple hand-drawn graphics, but its gameplay is so addicting and unusual that players give it 96% positive feedback. Castle Crashers game screen Successful Genres We have already said that some genres of indie games are much preferable to others. RPG, strategy and simulation will be the best choice. They don’t require many years of graphics and complex development. If you are planning an adventure or quest game, then you will have to work harder to attract the story and the plots: the competition is high here. As for racing and sports games, it is better for indie developers not to deal with them, since this is already the territory of high-budget AAA franchises with ultra-modern graphics. Remember that indie games do not compete with other games with their graphics, but with creativity, plot and innovative ideas. Correct Price Many indie developers tend to undervalue their games in the belief that this will increase sales and attract more buyers. On average, they charge $ 7 per game. Many are limited to the $ 5 price tag. At the same time, the best indie games are selling for $ 15, which is close to the cost of AA and AAA titles. There is no need to underestimate the cost artificially. You must evaluate the game according to its quality, that is, consider the entire volume of work done and make a financial verdict. Too low a price raises questions and doubts whether your product is another option of controversial quality, which is better not to pay attention to. Technological and Localization Availability The more people can play your game, the better. The best indie games are made available for both PC and Mac. Despite the fact that Mac accounts for only 17% of the device market, it is still a large audience, which is often deprived of games because the developers do not take care of their adaptation to this device. In terms of localization, the most popular languages are English, French and German. The best indie games expand the available languages to 8 with the addition of Polish, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. This allows you to potentially increase your reach from 1 billion players to 3-4 billion. Many English speakers will prefer to play the game in their native language if it is possible and are more likely to recommend it to friends. Marketing Matters The more people know about the game, the more likely it is to succeed. Someone may purposefully search for a product similar to yours, but cannot find anything, because you decided to bypass the promotional efforts. The best indie games never ignore marketing strategies. This does not mean that you need to go to an advertising agency and pay them crazy money, twice the cost of development. These can be social media campaigns with captivating trailers and artwork, press releases, intriguing ads, and themed events. Games accompanied by such promotional efforts become famous and anticipated even before the release. Reliable Companion in Indie Games Creation Indie game development is an incredible barrier-free world where any of your craziest and brightest ideas can come true. You may face certain obstacles, but the most important thing is that you already know them by sight and are ready to achieve your goal no matter what. Just don’t stop and keep moving forward. And Kevuru Games can become your reliable help if you need assistance in a certain aspect of creating your unique indie game.
12 Feb, 2021
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Video Game: Clear Formula and the Highest-Grossing Genres in 2021
If you are planning to make a game, then it is difficult to imagine a question that has the power to oust the undoubted leader from the first place – how much will it cost? And what could be more annoying than the “it depends on many factors” answer? We will try to tell you more about this, clarify the pricing factors and give examples of the cost of well-known games. The first thing to understand and accept is that all games are different. The developers strive with all their might for authenticity and novelty to surprise the players. Accordingly, there can be no static prices that can be announced immediately after the first request. Second, few people disclose this information. The number of development studios that kindly announced the amount of money spent is negligible, and most of the research that we find on the Internet is the opinion of analysts or research groups based on an approximate estimate of the timing of the creation of the game and the summation of the salaries of the development team members. Thirdly, the range of prices may shock you. For example, talking about mobile development, we said that the cost of Angry Birds is estimated at $ 140,000, while the legendary Pokémon Go cost developers $ 600,000 due to the introduction of a large number of geolocation features. And that’s just mobile games. And the giants for PCs like GTA 5 are completely different budgets of $ 265 million. Now that we have pretty much confused you, we can start thinking and talking about the video game budget. Cost Line: General View Game development is a complex process of creating and combining art, code, sound and testing the performance of the result. The price is formed from the intricacies of factors such as the complexity of the game, its functionality and design, the platform chosen, the experience of the team that is entrusted with the development. The cost of developer services depends on their location. When outsourcing your game development to India, China or the Philippines, expect average quality work at a low cost. Developers from the United States will charge twice as much for their services, making the work at the highest level. A combination of high-quality performance and competitive prices is found in Central and Eastern Europe. The average cost of programming an entertainment application in Eastern Europe starts at $ 7,500. After you have decided on an outsourcing partner, the scale and functionality of the project, the selected company forms a team. To create a simple mini 2D game for a mobile phone, one artist and one developer are enough, so the cost of the project will be much lower than, for example, creating an AAA game that requires the involvement of all studio employees. How Much Do Video Games Cost to Make: Simple Math and What Does Complexity Have to Do With It? We often hear the words “cost depends on the complexity”, but do not really understand their meaning. In fact, everything is very simple: the complexity equals the more time spent creating the game. And more time means big salaries for team members. The conclusion is simple: complexity is directly proportional to duration. Is it possible to calculate the cost to make a video game yourself? Why not, this math is very simple. You need to get the following data: Team location.The number of people who will work on your project.The average salary for a developer in the region of your choice.The approximate duration of the project. As a result, you get a figure that reflects the net average wages of people. You can depart from it, but definitely not take it for the final cost. First, the composition of the team can change throughout the project. The concept artist, having completed his work, leaves the project, but at the same time, animators and sound designers join the work. Secondly, do not forget about marketing costs, which can range from 20 to 100% of the development budget. Let’s try a little calculation. Let’s say that 10 people from a company in Eastern Europe will be working on your game. The estimated period of work announced by the studio on the game is six months. Taking into account the average developer salary of about $ 40 per hour, a working day of 8 hours, and on average 20 working days per month, we have the following calculation: (40 x 8) x 10) x 20) x 6 = $ 384,000 We have received the amount that should be paid for the work of the team, provided that the composition of the team is stable throughout the project. In the same way, you can make your calculation by substituting the required numbers into the formula: (Rate Per Hour x 8) x Number Of Employees) x 20) x Number Of Months Of Work This is your easy way to find out the answer to the question “how much does it cost to develop a video game?” without any hassle and headaches. By the way, what do you know about the composition of the team that will work on your game? Let’s go over this issue. Video Game Creation Team When looking for an answer to the question of how much does it cost to make a video game, you need to understand that the cost is largely formed from the rate of the team members who are working on the project. The core team for creating a game looks like this: Game designers. These people think over the idea of the game, its content, rules, conditions of victory or defeat, plot, characters, and in general everything connected with it. When it comes to a small mobile 2D game, the responsibilities of the designer can be divided among other team members. But for larger projects, designers are needed: they draw up a special game design document, which is approved by the customer and becomes the main guideline for the rest of the team.Artists and animators. The game can be 2D or 3D, and the second option is always more expensive due to the greater complexity and duration of development. Artists also work on interface and menu elements. Animators add movement to static art. Depending on the complexity of the project, the game may require from 1 artist and 1 animator to a whole department of specialists.Developers. Most often, video games are made on engines like Unity or Unreal Engine, so it is important to find specialists who understand C ++ and C #. Mobile games for Android and iOS are Java and Swift languages, respectively. Development is, in fact, coding an interactive element, so before starting it you need to know everything you want from the game and have ready-made art.Sound designers. Every game, even the most elementary one, has a soundtrack. There are special paid and free sound bases where you can get ready-made options. But if you want to stand out, then your way is to create music and sound from scratch with the help of sound designers.Testers. Checking the quality of the game is a very important part of the development of the game since here it is checked for errors and bugs. Testers check its functionality, the response to any player’s action, check the balance, game processes, the correct display of visual elements, etc. Testers cannot be replaced by other team members, and it is better not to save on their services. Let’s look at an example of forming a team for a game creation project. Working on the mobile game Crazy Roosty in the arcade puzzle genre, designed for Android and iOS, the Kevuru Games team chose the most convenient and common Unity engine and gathered the following command: 1 game designer1 3D artist1 3D animator1 developer1 tester From the beginning of development to release, it took 20 weeks to create the game, that is, 4.5 months. More than 9 years of experience in game development allowed us to build clear and well-established working procedures for transparent interaction between all departments. We know how long it takes to work on 2D and 3D games of different genres and how long the development will take if multiplayer is expected. Thanks to this, we can give a preliminary estimate of the cost of your future game with the functionality and graphics you are interested in during the day. The accuracy of the estimate depends on the amount of information you can provide us with: Complete understanding of the project. You know your target audience, game genre, its functional and technical features, monetization and marketing options, the degree of user interaction. If there are no additional improvements on our part, then we will be able to give an accurate estimate of the timing and, accordingly, the cost of the work.Partial insight into the project. You know the target audience and genre, but have not yet come up with functionality, mechanics and visual features. Then we conduct pre-project analytics and create a prototype, after the approval of which we can talk about an approximate cost estimate with a possible error of 10%.Irresistible desire to implement the project. You just really want to make a game, but don’t know which one at all. Then we propose to try to direct your disparate desires in one direction and come together to a more specific option. Why do we, as in the previous scenario, make a prototype and, after its approval, proceed to create a game. Taking into account the possibility of a large number of changes and adjustments, we give a rough estimate of individual blocks of work separately: art and animation, development, sound design, testing, and marketing. Even if you only have an idea and a lot of enthusiasm, never give up on the desire to create a game. Contact us and together we will evaluate the perspective of your idea and, if necessary, correct it and give an effective direction. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Examples of the Cost of Famous Games: High-Cost And Low-Budget Options For now, let’s digress a little and take a short excursion into the world of launches and budgets of games you know well. Despite the fact that cost data are rarely publicly released, some information can still be found. Let’s start with the most expensive options you’ve probably heard of. This will give you an idea of the staggering budgets that can be spent on both game development and marketing. Grand Theft Auto 5 We have already managed to mention this cult game at the beginning of our article. Released in 2013, it still remains one of the most played PC games around the world thanks to its multiplayer mode and stunningly detailed world. It is also the third best-selling game ever, with over $ 6 billion in revenue and 110 million copies sold, behind only Minecraft (which we’ll talk about below) and Tetris. So how much money does it take to make a world-class video game that will forever remain in the history of the gaming industry? Its development cost, along with marketing campaigns, was around $ 265 million, making it the most expensive video game ever created. Considering that the game was made for more than 5 years by a Rockstar team of 250 employees, it can be assumed that the development itself cost the company about $ 150 million, and all the rest of the money was spent on marketing. While there is no information about the games that surpassed the development cost of GTA 5. Perhaps, when the notorious Cyberpunk 2077 or Star Citizen reveal their budget cards, the leaderboard will change. But we must not forget that GTA 6 is also in development, which, with a high degree of probability, will also make a big splash in the gaming market. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 The sixth edition of the Call of Duty series, developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, is not far from GTA 5. At the time of its release in 2009, it was the highest-budget game in the world. Its cost is estimated at $ 250 million, of which $ 200 million was spent on marketing purposes. In the first 24 hours, it sold over 4.5 million copies. Grossing over $ 400 million in its early days of sales in the US and UK alone, the game entered Guinness World Records for the most successful launch in the entertainment industry. Star Wars: The Old Republic Based on the Star Wars universe and developed by BioWare Austin, this MMORPG was released in 2011 and has never released its official budget. However, the researchers did not sleep: it is estimated that more than 800 people on 4 continents have worked for 6 years for this game to see the world. Several thousand characters in the game required voice acting from about a thousand actors, which also affected the cost of the game. It is valued at approximately $ 200 million including marketing. The game’s revenue for all time is approximately $ 1 billion. It is still available for PC today and continues to attract players who are also looking forward to a new Star Wars IP based game called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The estimated release date is the end of 2022. Our next stop is some incredibly low budget games that ended up making some crazy money. There are no exact budget figures here since these games were often created by one person or a maximum of a team of several people. But the more interesting it is to study their phenomenon. Stardew Valley American developer Eric Barone created this simulation role-playing game alone. He really wanted to understand how it was to do everything on his own, from art to music. How much does it cost to create a video game like this? It’s hard to say, because it was made by one person, and the only resource here is his time. He began work on the project in 2012 and finished in 2016. In its first year, it was acquired by over 2 million Steam users. Based on this information, it was estimated that the game earned more than $ 25 million. Since it was later released for Android, iOS, Xbox One, PS4 and Linux, this income can most likely be doubled. These are the wonders that just one person can do! Minecraft It’s hard to ignore another gaming phenomenon, also originally developed by one man, Swedish developer Markus Persson. The release of the demo version of the survival sandbox game took place in 2009. In 2011, the full release took place and in the same year the millionth copy of the game was sold, a few months later the second, and some time later the third. In 2014, Microsoft acquired Minecraft for $ 2.5 billion. Over the years, Minecraft has generated over $ 3 billion in revenue. That being said, the game has over 130 million monthly active players, ahead of Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. Tetris This is one of the video game budget examples that you involuntarily talk about with respectful reverence. Tetris is a puzzle game originally invented and developed by Soviet programmer Alexei Pajitnov back in 1984. Particularly famous in the United States, Europe and Japan is the version for the handheld GameBoy console produced by the Japanese company Nintendo. The game has consistently appeared in the lists of the best PC games by platform and throughout history. With over 500 million copies sold, Tetris surpassed Minecraft to become the best-selling game in history. Game Genres That Will Steal the Show in 2021 The year 2020 presented us not only with a lot of problems, but also with a good package of gaming novelties. 2021 is not going to slow down, and now we can talk about several game genres that will definitely stand out from the rest. We did a detailed description of the 2021 game design trends in our large research. Now let’s recall which genres will rise to prominence and set the pace of the gaming industry. Battle Royale The most popular genre of 2020, Battle Royale requires constant attention and fast reactions from the player. Many games competed for the championship in the genre in 2020, many developers grabbed for this genre trying to take off on the wave of incredible popularity. And while PUBG and Fortnite are trying to determine which of them is cooler, players are looking forward to new products: Farlight 84, Scavengers and Naraka: Bladepoint are coming out very soon. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena MOBA games continue to showcase the wonders of character refinement and demo of their skills in multiplayer battle arenas. Despite the fact that the battle royale genre has pulled off the blanket and attention of fans of active and dynamic battles a little, the genre remains at the top, largely due to the success of Mobile Legends. Players await new additions to the ranks: Ignis: Duel of Wizards, Rise of Winterchill and Circuits and Shields are on the way. Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game MMORPG is one of the oldest game genres. Thanks to the improvement in the technical qualities of smartphones, these games now feel great in the mobile segment and continue to collect millions of players. In 2021 we expect to see new titles such as Blue Protocol, Corepunk, New World and Project TL join the genre. It also makes sense to celebrate the rise of the survival genre combined with FPS. A number of interesting new products are eagerly awaited by players this year: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, Resident Evil Village, The Outlast Trials, JETT: The Far Shore, Back 4 Blood, to name just a few of the most prominent examples. How to Choose a Company to Develop a Game Now that you have a video game budget breakdown, you might consider choosing a companion for development. We have already said in which regions you will find studios with a reasonable price-performance ratio – these are Central and Eastern Europe. Here you will find a large number of good studios with roughly the same average cost to make a video game. What then to look for when choosing a partner? Team experience. Enthusiasm and creativity are important, but if they are not backed up by experience, the effectiveness of the project will be in question. The modern gaming market is a mega-specific environment and recent games simply dissolve in a huge number of analogues. Choose a studio that has been in game development for several years and already knows a thing or two about creating games.Games portfolio. Note that it is important to look at a portfolio of finished games unless you intend to separate tasks and outsource art, animation and development to different companies. Examine the portfolio for full-fledged projects: this is how you will definitely find out with which engines the studio worked, what is the expertise of its artists and animators. You can even download the games released by this studio and evaluate them from the player’s point of view.Feedback from previous clients. This is important, because here you can get valuable insights about the convenience of communication with the team, the streamlining of processes, the timeliness of delivery of results at different stages, etc. The testimonial section is usually located on the company’s website. If not, you can specifically request feedback from previous customers from company representatives. Our team will gladly take on your project at any stage, be it just a raw idea, prototype or half-finished product. Kevuru Games is a company of 150+ inspired people, passionate about games and new challenges. Extensive experience in the gaming market gives us the opportunity to direct creative initiatives into the most relevant channels in order to obtain the optimal result both in terms of player engagement and profit from the game. And yes, we never avoid answering questions about video game production costs: such calculations are not difficult for us, so you will be able to plan your budget. We are ready to discuss your idea and start lighting a new game star: we are separated by only a few phrases from your side sent to email@example.com.
8 Feb, 2021
6 Key Stages of Game Development: From Concept To Standing Ovation
A lot has already been said about the game development process. Even those people who are only superficially familiar with the gaming industry know that creating an entertainment product is far from being fun and amusing in its essence. And even with an ideally (seemingly) prescribed plan, there may be some problems, bottlenecks, incorrect timing and other delights that often appear in game developers’ nightmares. Obviously, the game design process is not a spontaneous story. Information about the production cycle of a game is usually not exposed: each team customizes it for themselves. But we’re not here to say that we won’t tell you anything either. As a game company, we can shed some light on the key stages of game development, which are the same for all projects. So buckle up and welcome to the beautiful, vibrant, dynamic and slightly crazy world of game making! Video Game Development: View From the Side and the Inside If you look from the outside as an ordinary layman who just passed by, the video game development process looks rather innocent. Well, a big deal, a team of some people got together and made a game. Many uninitiated people are still often inclined to criticize developers for being too slow in creating games. But if we discard non-professionalism, then the gaze opens up a harsh truth. Steps to making a video game are complex and multi-component. Here you will find: a lot of preliminary planning and conceptual work, exciting but very long and sucking the lifeblood out of game designers;work on design and art that at the same time inspires and shatter the nerves of artists who accept and implement endless edits;programming and testing, similar to the fine jewelry work of a glass blower, when mistakes can be corrected only while the glass is still hot;creating sounds and music that should give the game its own unique and inimitable voice and make sound designers think hard about how to avoid being similar to others;as well as a bunch of other people who connect departments, coordinate, communicate with the customer and so on. Game development is often equated with game design. We have already managed to tell everyone interested about the incorrectness of this comparison, so let’s briefly recall the essence. Game designers are the first to enter a project. They deal with the general concept of the game, come up with an idea, vision, plot, characters, and define the target audience. They invent dialogues, victory and defeat conditions, all the gameplay elements and the way they will react to the player’s actions. They write the notorious game design document, which is a guide to action for all other team members. Game developers are involved in the implementation of ideas written by game designers on paper. They enter the project after the artists have already created the necessary art, and they are busy writing the code to make the product interactive and embed the created art into it. The developers are responsible for ensuring that the main character and the game world are inseparable, and in general they do everything to make the concept work. The Stages of Game Development If you squeeze all the stages as much as possible and highlight the most basic, then of course it will be pre-production, where the idea is formed, production, where the idea is embodied, and post-production, where the idea is polished and presented to the players on a marketing tray. We will expand a little on this rather modest game development life cycle to show you this process in greater detail. Pre-Production Before you do something, you need to understand what exactly you are going to do. It sounds corny, but many people neglect this stage, believing that all the details will take shape already in the process. A more naive approach to game development couldn’t be imagined. This stage is the creation of the foundation, the formation of the skeleton, the design of the roots, call it as you wish. The bottom line is that it gives course to the main work. And the more detailed you work it out, the more harmonious, smoother and more problem-free the further development will be. So what questions should be answered at this extremely important step to making a video game? Game budget. A limited budget doesn’t mean lower quality or deliberately bad gameplay. This is just a marker that allows you to roughly estimate the number of features, the level of graphics and the overall “packaging” of the game.Game type. Not to be confused with the genre. Here, based on the budget, we define the type of game from several main ones: mini 2D game, casual 2D/3D game, mid-core 3D game or hardcore 3D game.Gaming platform. It is necessary to determine for which platform you are going to make the game: mobile devices, PC, console, or maybe you want to create a browser game.Game genre. Here the choice is huge: simulation, strategy, sports, adventure, RPG, puzzle, board, and more. The choice of the genre should depend on the scale of the future game. For example, if you have a small budget, then you should not hope for genres such as RPGs or simulations since they require the elaboration and implementation of a huge amount of detail.The target audience. This pount also has its nuances. If you are making a casual game, then you aim for the largest possible reach of different players. If the game is more narrowly specialized in terms of genre, it is necessary to clearly understand who will be its main consumer. Clearly documented answers to these questions actually provide an established standard for all team members to build on as they work. After this package of information is approved, we move on to the next one, which verifies more detailed specifics of the game itself: Intended gameplay. Formation of a vision of what the process of interaction between the player and the game world will be.Game mechanics. These are the rules that implement the player’s interaction with the game, taking into account its specifics and limitations. Achievements, constraints, modifiers, rewards and more are thought out here.Characters. Most games have a main character who is a digital avatar of the players and moves with them throughout the game’s storyline. Some of the simplest games don’t have characters.Plot. Usually, the plot appears as the scale and complexity of the game increases. Casual games often don’t need it much. But if you have a large project, this should be given special attention.Monetization. The game is made not only to entertain the players, but also to make a profit. Big projects for PC are purchased by players for money, so they often do not need additional monetization options. And mobile or online games are usually monetized either through in-app purchases or through advertising. All this information allows forming a general concept of the future game: it is already beginning to emerge and acquire specific features. If everything is accepted, then the game designers start creating the game design document. It organizes all the details of the game and adds new ones from the start screen and gameplay features to the final notification and UX/UI design elements. This is an official document, which is approved by customers and which is a key reference for the further work of all teams. Before embarking on direct production, the developers create a so-called prototype of the game. Please note that this is still a pre-production stage. The prototype is a rough model of the game without art and details, which makes it possible to appreciate and feel the gameplay. The main point of the prototype is to test the idea in practice and, reducing the risks, continue the development of the project. Ignoring prototyping is a big mistake: you actually keep working by touch without realizing how well the interaction with the player, the mechanics and functionality of the game are thought out. When all this huge work has been done, you can start production. Not earlier. Production Moving on to one of the most active and dynamic game development phases, you should be armed with a complete understanding of what product you want to get. If you responsibly approach the previous stage described by us, then no serious problems will arise here. Production takes place in three major steps: Graphics and design. 2D/3D artists are involved in the creation of characters, assets, visual effects, environments and interface elements. Level designers work out the structure of the levels and the main obstacles on the way of the player. Maximum clarity and compliance with the game style are provided by comprehensive information from the game design document.Programming. Even though programmers have already gotten into the game during prototyping, their main work begins here. They create a playable product backbone that provides interaction with the gamer, based on an existing engine or a custom one developed from scratch.Sound design. Sound engineers or sound designers create the audio design for the game. This work includes sound effects, voice-overs and music, all of which are often dynamic and change depending on the player’s actions and what is happening in the game. Production is one of the longest game development steps due to the fact that the team will in any case implement a large number of clarifications, adjustments and edits. There will be a lot of trial and error before arriving at the perfect visual and technical representation of the game. Teamwork is key to success in this phase. Performing tasks in isolation from each other and the lack of communication lead to a large number of errors and the need to constantly redo, rewrite or redraw something. Therefore, at Kevuru Games, we have built the most transparent communication scheme for working on the game to ensure instant feedback from any team member involved in the project. All our procedures are thought out and standardized so that we can always accurately estimate the required budget and time frame for the completion of work. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Testing Quality assurance is often included in the production phase, but it is so important that it makes sense to talk about it separately. Let us go straight to one very common misconception. The game development timeline is always very tense and responsible, and each client prioritizes its stages in different ways. Time is running out and you want to launch the game as soon as possible so that it starts to pay off. Therefore, the testing stage is often skipped or implemented very superficially. And after the appearance of the game in stores it is too late to do anything – you have already submitted it to the players for consideration. The players are ruthless. In the abundance of games now flooding the market, they are devilishly selective, picky and attentive to the little things. They are high-fed by supply exceeding demand, and their verdict will be as harsh as possible. A game that has received a good kick for errors, bugs, crashes and problems with monetization aspects will automatically fall into the category of unsuccessful ones and can no longer be removed from there by any fixes and re-launches. You have one try, and it shouldn’t be wasted. Now you can see that testing stands out from other phases of game development in that it keeps the game from failure. Nothing new is being created here, but everything is put on the line. Testers check the accessibility of all areas of the game, the correct display of elements from different sides, the correct implementation of various functions, etc. Sometimes the testers are divided into different groups to ensure that different aspects of the game are tested. For example, stress testers do their best to test whether a game will work if it exceeds all of its possible functionality. Other testers implement a 100% playthrough with all the achievements and prizes to make sure everything is working correctly. Still, others test the game for the fun factor: is it too easy or too difficult to keep the player going until the end of the game session. When testers have identified problems, the game goes back several stages and again falls into the hands of programmers or artists who implement the edits. This cycle can continue many times until the testers give the go-ahead to launch the game. You can consider them as the last stronghold or guardians protecting the line beyond which the game goes into freewheeling. Pre-Launch The process of making a video game may sometimes not include this stage. But if we are talking about a large PC or a console project, then pre-launch activities are absolutely necessary. Here we are talking about marketing, that is, notifying people in advance that a new game project is being launched. The activities can be different: commercials with gameplay elements, articles and reviews, screenshots from the game, etc. Also, sometimes exclusive previews of the game are organized at game conferences or thematic meetings. The scale of the advertising campaign is usually proportional to the scale of the game. There is no point in spending huge budgets on mobile game advertising. But the AAA project definitely needs it. Sometimes the cost of such activities can exceed the budget for the development of the entire game. This should always be taken into account, and it is imperative to allocate funds for potential promotion. Launch The promotion campaign is over, the most important step is left – the release of the game. Until this moment, the team can still implement some minor edits and additions. This usually concerns the visual range: improving the quality of textures, improving animation, and honing models. Even seemingly small details are important to make the game even more colorful, fun and immersive. Launching a game is providing it to game stores. Then players will be able to buy it or download it for free, depending on which platform it is released for and on what terms. But even when the game is out into the world, the video game designing process doesn’t end there. Post-Production So, the main work is over, the basic game design process steps are completed. Your game has delighted the players (we are sure of this), the investment has paid off, the development team is happy that their efforts were not in vain. What lies ahead is the so-called maintenance activity. It includes: Correction of minor bugs. Such bugs are not indicative of the incompetence of the testers. They can be specific to particular hardware or operating systems and are often not critical. After players indicate them in the comments to the game or on the forums, the developer fixes them and updates the game.Creation of patches and updates. Such elements can be released, for example, to optimize the game even better, add new downloadable content to it, increase the number of levels and chapters, add a multiplayer mode, etc. Adding new content keeps players engaged and brings them back to the game even when it’s over. In a competitive gaming environment, this is an essential activity so that the game remains afloat as long as possible and does not dissolve among its counterparts. Therefore, the process of making a video game in modern realities is impossible without this stage. Our Game Development Experience That’s all folks. We have looked at the game development process step by step and saw all the diversity, storminess and creative fervor of this process. It’s not enough to get a technically flawless game. It is necessary to light a spark of life in it so that players can see this radiance, feel it and reach out to it. This is what we are doing at Kevuru Games. Refined and clear workflows allow us to easily face and deal with any challenges, obstacles and constraints. Our video game development stages are like stairs that we move on without hesitation and stumbling. But that’s not all: our passion for games gives us the opportunity to put our soul into every project, to give it a unique charm, and to make it stand out from others. Observing the success of our projects is the best reward for our team, which maintains our fervor and only increases the enthusiasm and desire to create and develop for the benefit of the gaming industry further. We will make your game special. If you have an idea, but you cannot clearly state it – contact us and we will formulate it together. If you already have sketches and clear thoughts regarding the mechanics and the plot – engage us and we will figure out how to implement it in the coolest way. Write to us if you have a finished project full of errors and bugs – we will polish it, clean it up and prepare it for launch. We have an individual approach to each project: we form a special team that works only on it, and concentrate as much as possible on the implementation of the client’s goals. This gives us the right to guarantee a high result and release a game that we and the client are proud of.
26 Jan, 2021
Android vs iOS Game Development: Which Platform Runs the Show in 2021?
The multidimensional and colorful world of mobile games has two major ports with their own ships and their own rules. In everyday life, we talk about them as iOS vs Android development. A certain systematic architecture cannot balance completely different approaches to development, design, maintenance and subsequent marketing activities. If you have made a decision to create a mobile game, then you probably know that mobile traffic currently rules the world. As of December 2020, mobile devices account for almost 56% of all Internet traffic in the world, while desktop computers account for just over 41%. But if you are here, then you are not quite sure which development platform to choose. No problem, because we have gathered here for a reason. Let’s figure out what is the difference between iOS and Android development and which platform is better to choose for your mobile game. What Is the Difference? iOS vs Android Development The key difference lies in the very name of this so-called confrontation. Development of Android games means the process of creating entertainment products for devices operating on the Android operating base. It was originally developed by Android, which was later acquired by the American multinational Google. It is based on Linux and Google’s own implementation of the Java virtual machine. Android is a free operating system, which is why most smartphone manufacturers use it. IOS game development means the process of creating entertainment products for devices running the iOS operating system. The developer of the system is the American corporation Apple, which also develops all devices that support iOS. This is a closed ecosystem into which an outsider cannot penetrate. Business Side of iOS vs Android App Development When planning to create a game, you probably want it to be not only interesting for the players, but also profitable for you. That is why, when choosing a platform, it is necessary to take into account the statistical results of market research regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each of the platforms. Here’s what we have at the moment. Market Share The first observations of market share clearly demonstrate that the number of Android devices significantly exceeds that of iOS alone. Manufacturers are competing with each other to add as much functionality to the smartphone as possible and at the same time make it even cheaper. Due to this, in terms of quantity, Android unconditionally surpasses iOS, and this is confirmed by the Statcounter study: almost 76% versus 19% speak for themselves. But wait, it’s too early to draw any conclusions about iOS vs Android development choice. Platform Revenue It would seem that more users equate to more income. And here lies an insidious mistake. The App Store has been ahead of Google Play for many years. The same thing happened in 2020. The first half of the year showed the full power of the App Store, which brought in $ 32.8 billion spent by players on subscriptions, in-game purchases and premium apps versus the $ 17.3 billion generated by Google Play. Number of Downloads If iOS has more profit, then more downloads? Nothing of the sort! Don’t forget the number of Android devices on the market. Android significantly outperforms iOS in terms of downloads and mostly generates its revenue through advertising. A large number of downloads guarantees a large number of ad demonstrations and profit from them. Technical Side of Android vs iPhone Development The technical side plays an important role when choosing a platform. Having understood the specifics of development for each of them, you can decide which one is more preferable for you in terms of cost and simplicity. Programming Language Android vs iOS development is very different in technical terms. Android has an open-source code, so it can be easily adapted for thousands of different devices. The iOS code is closed and works only on Apple devices. Android favors Java and sometimes Kotlin, while iOS has retained the right to exclusivity here too: applications for it can only be written in the Swift language specially created for it. Until it was widely adopted, iOS programmers used the compiled object-oriented programming language Objective-C. Is iOS development easier than Android? Novice programmers agree that learning Swift is much easier and faster than mastering Java, so they often join the teams of their iOS colleagues. However, the increasing adoption of Kotlin may make a difference: it is expected to soon replace Java due to its simplicity, intuitiveness, and ease of readability. Integrated Development Environment Here we are talking about a set of software tools used by programmers to develop software. It also differs when developing for Android or iOS. For Android, the free Eclipse used to be the most popular medium. For a long time it was considered the main one, actively developed and acquired a huge army of fans among programmers. The company’s developers have regularly improved Eclipse, releasing updates, creating new tools and introducing features that are useful for programmers. In this environment, you can connect additional modules to expand its functionality. Now a relatively new IDE Android Studio created by Google in 2013 is worthy of its competition. This program for developing a mobile application supports several programming languages, including C/C++ and Java, has a built-in emulator and a large library with all kinds of templates and components that greatly simplify and speed up the app development process. Android Studio can work on almost any device without restrictions. For iOS, developers also rely on Apple’s own invention, Xcode. It is an integrated software development environment for OS X and iOS that has a user-friendly interface, autocomplete support, and many other features that make Swift development easier. You need to understand that Xcode only works on MacBooks, so be sure to consider this when choosing a platform. Interestingly, despite the most diverse opinions and the presence of supporters of both Android Studio and Xcode, the former still wins the race of developer preferences. Perhaps this is due to the greater number of Android developers, or maybe objective reasons also influenced the final verdict. Programmers often complain about the instability of Xcode, the inability to run multiple simulators at the same time, and problems with documentation. And while Android Studio is often accused of being slow and sluggish, it is stable and has no documentation gaps. Development Speed Obviously, development on iOS is much faster due to testing: a limited number of exclusively Apple devices makes this process much faster. It’s not that simple with Android games. There are a lot of device manufacturers working with Android, and this should be taken into account during testing. Usually, several different devices are taken at once from the most modern and from the older ones. After fixing the bugs, the game should be tested again on all these devices. Since skipping the testing phase equates to suicide, you must immediately take into account the duration of this stage when developing games for Android. But that’s not all. Development for Android takes much longer for a number of reasons. Let’s list them along with what has already been stated above for a better understanding: More code. Java is not as concise as Swift or Objective-C. Its verbosity means more hours of work and more work for testers to find bugs.Slow emulators. The best Android emulators are much slower than simulators for iOS.Fragmentation. It is necessary to test a huge number of devices, and the error can be found even on the most seedy Chinese smartphone, which is sold only in Latvia.XML layout. The programmer often has to build the layout manually using Android’s XML vocabulary as opposed to the WYSIWYG methods common for iOS. Due to all this, Android developers often need 30-40% more time to create a mobile game application than the creators of the iOS option. For example, if we estimate the creation time of a game application for iOS at 700 hours (a little over 4 months), then for Android we will estimate the creation of the same game and charge it at about 900 hours (5.5 months). Development Cost There is no escape from the question that interests everyone. There are different nuances here that are worth noting. There are purely hardware costs that you have to face in iOS development. We have already said that Android Studio installs perfectly on any computer with any pen system, whereas Xcode only requires a MacBook. Accordingly, you have to provide your programmers with modern MacBooks. It will cost you a pretty penny. Also in some regions of the world, iOS developers receive a slightly higher salary due to the increased requirements for iOS games in the App Store. Integration of payment systems and specific administrative panels requires increased attention, while Android development is more flexible and customizable. On the other hand, we have also mentioned some of the awkwardness of developing for Android due to the need to take into account the technical features of various devices. It is also much slower than that for iOS. More development time means more pay for developers. The hourly rate for developers varies by region. The highest are in the US and UK, the lowest – in India. The average salary for iOS developer vs Android developer in the US is roughly the same at $ 120,000. This indicates that both types of expertise are in demand on the market.In the UK, there is a slight bias towards prioritizing Android developers: here they receive $ 75,000 a year versus $ 70,000 for their iOS counterparts.India, on the other hand, values iOS experts more, paying them $ 4800 a year, while Android experts are content with $ 4200.Ukrainian iOS and Android developers are paid $ 35,000 and $ 30,000 a year, respectively. However, in general, we see that the difference in salaries for specialists who are engaged in Android and iPhone app development does not differ much around the world. The Average Annual Salary of Android and iOS Developers AndroidiOSUS$ 120,000$ 120,000UK$ 75,000$ 70,000Ukraine$ 30,000$ 35,000India$ 4200$ 4800 Considering the above, we can see that the cost of the iOS app vs Android app may be higher for both the first and the second option, depending on the region where you hire developers, their qualifications and the amount of time spent on creating the game app. Publishing a Game in the Store Let’s imagine that our game is ready. It’s time to show it to the world and publish it on Google Play for Android or App Store for iOS. To do this, you need to purchase a developer account. And here the shops show their smiles in all their glory. Google Play asks for a fairly modest one-time payment for lifetime access to your account, without making any particularly serious requirements or putting forward restrictions. In a few hours, you will be able to see your game in the store. Feel free to update or beta test it. If you like a sharper experience, then iOS can satisfy your whims. First off, an App Store subscription costs $ 99 per year. Secondly, the process of approving a game and even updating it is very lengthy and meticulous. You will definitely have to wait at least two days. At the same time, you can easily be refused if you have broken even one of the smallest rules of the store. To succeed, you need to thoroughly study these rules and always take into account the comments of the reviewers if they have already rejected your game. In this regard, Google Play is much more human-centered and loyal. It also allows the publisher to retain all revenue from in-app purchases, as opposed to iOS, which charges a 30% fee. By the way, this fee became one of the main reasons why Epic Game entered into a confrontation with Apple. Another thing is that Apple users are often more financially stable people and more inclined to make in-game purchases. It is because of this that the App Store has a much higher income, even despite a relatively small market share. We’ve analyzed the average cost of mobile games by type and complexity in our article on mobile development cost: check it if you are interested in specific numbers. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Preliminary Conclusion What to do if at this stage it is still not clear which is better to choose – iOS or Android development? Do not worry, there is another way to form a clearer vector of your further actions. Each platform has a more or less specific target audience. Therefore, when deciding between ios app vs android app, pay attention to its geography and interests. Portrait of the Average iOS User People who prefer iOS: most live in North America, Western Europe and Australia;are financially secure;are more likely to make in-app purchases. If you rely on in-app purchases to monetize your game, then you definitely need iOS development. Portrait of the Average Android User People who prefer Android: most live in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and South America;are more loyal to different types of advertising in games;are sensitive to price and its relation to quality. If your monetization strategy is displaying advertisements, then your choice is development for Android. Android vs iOS Game Development: Pros and Cons of Platforms Pros Cons Android ✔ More users and downloads✔ Fast publishing and less restrictions✔ Effective monetization through advertising ✘ Longer development time✘ Lower average revenue✘ More possible bugs iOS ✔ Higher average revenue✔ Faster development✔ Fewer possible bugs ✘ Two times fewer users✘ Long publishing with many restrictions✘ The need to buy special hardware Final Conclusion Mobile games will remain our loyal friends in 2021 even after the end of the pandemic. Fun in your pocket is always relevant, so if you’re planning on making a game, it’s a great idea anyway. Another thing is how to do this so that you do not waste money and time, and your game attracts the attention of fastidious players. Development of Android apps vs Apple apps has its advantages and nuances depending on your goals, audience and monetization options that you intend to implement. And we are ready to become your guide in the world of mobile game creation. All projects implemented by Kevuru Games have shown excellent downloads and user retention rates. We work both with Android and iOS separately, and with cross-platform development, which allows us to cover the entire pool of players and not miss the opportunity to increase the number of downloads and, accordingly, income. Jump into our portfolio to make sure of our expertise and do not waste time: we are always determined to create only outstanding products.
13 Jan, 2021
The Complete Guide to Making Profitable Hyper Casual Games: Design Tips, Rates, and Upcoming Trends for 2021
Hyper-casual games burst into the gaming market and quickly demonstrated the absolute competitive advantage of elegant simplicity. The term itself began to be widely used in mid-2018, when the bouncing ball game with rotating towers Helix Jump blew up the mobile market and became the most downloaded game of 2018 with 334 million downloads, overtaking Fortnite and PUBG. Coincidence or not, but the rise in popularity of this game just preceded the emergence of the new term hyper casual game in the lexicon of game designers. In 2019, hyper casual games showed who was the boss. According to Sensor Tower, 77.6% of the 2.1 billion installs of the 20 most downloaded games released in 2019 turned out to be hyper casual games. During the 2020 pandemic, hyper casual games continued their triumphant march: the number of installations worldwide more than doubled (103%), and the number of sessions also increased approximately. Compared to December 2019, when there were already more than 1 billion sessions, the number of sessions in hyper casual games in March 2020 increased by another 72%. Now opinions are divided. Some believe that in the current year 2021, they will continue to storm the heights of the App Store and Google Play, while others are inclined to think that the market is already oversaturated and their popularity will soon fizzle out. We believe that there is no reason to diminish the impact of hyper casual games. And even if the pandemic situation is resolved within a few months (we hope so), we will not get away from the need to take time on the road, while waiting or during other breaks between different events. Today we’re not just here to understand how to make hyper casual games. We strive to tell you how to create successful hyper casual games that will withstand the competition, will not get lost among the peers, and will bring you a great income. Ready to dive in? Then let’s go ahead and let our path to the selected lists of Google Play and App Store be direct, short and fast. The Hyper Casual Game: Definition These games can be characterized by one expression – “Play as much as you want and when you want!” The hyper casual game is simple and native mechanics with varied art, minimalist design and addictive gameplay. The type of game is popular due to its short time to complete one session. On average, the duration of a session is 3-6 minutes. Hyper casual games imply instant immersion in the gameplay with very simple repetitive mechanics of the player’s actions and no time limits if not implied by mechanics. An important characteristic is the absence of a tutorial and almost instant transitions to new levels. Also, they all have the same key characteristics, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a match-3 or an endless runner. The main idea of hyper casual games is to offer players an instant opportunity to start the game, immediately after downloading from the store. There is no need to log in, register or create a character: just click “Play” and start completing the levels. With a focus on simplicity, it is important not to forget about development. This is not about changing or making the controls or functions more complex. Assuming that the player has already gotten used to performing the necessary actions, you can increase the pace of the game, reduce the time to complete the level, add more obstacles or enemies, and more. Doing all the same, but more dexterously and skillfully is what you can offer players in terms of development so that they do not get bored even during the second or third game loop. Genre Or not Genre, That Is the Question Hyper casual games are not a new genre, and indeed they are not a genre at all. This is the designation of a certain category, characterized by a similar audience, monetization models, long gaming session – the same designation as casual, mid-core or hardcore games. At the same time, it is sometimes difficult to determine the exact boundaries of all these categories. We can highlight such key features of hyper casual games: Instant access to content. No plot inserts, preloading, level selection or lengthy tutorials. The player from the doorway is at the epicenter of the game. Thanks to uncomplicated gameplay, not overloaded with details, it is possible to figure out what is happening in just a few seconds. More precisely, within 5 seconds after clicking on the game, the player must already play. And the short game loop allows playing without waiting for long loading anytime, anywhere.Increased attention. Such games do not provide an opportunity to doze off: they need all the attention of the players here and now without being distracted by external factors. If a player gets carried away, it immediately leads to defeat. Intense focus gives particular satisfaction at the end of the play loop during relaxation.Replayability and repeatability. Infinity is the key to success. This game has no end as such, the player can start replaying at any time, challenging records and striving to improve indicators of time and points. The player shouldn’t get bored at any stage, so the game should have enough attributes to ensure constant fun.Minimalism in gameplay and design. The gameplay is often as simple as possible. The rest of the game components match it. Visual component, control and audio – nothing should prevent the user from fully focusing on the gameplay.Simple monetization model. The game does not encourage players to pay for the content; instead, they pay with their time. More than 70% of the game’s income comes from advertising: banners, video ads, rewarded ads, etc. We will talk about this in more detail a little later. Hyper Casual Game Design Features Even though there is a lot of information on this topic, many still try to clarify an important detail of hyper casual games: how to make visuals that make the game stand out from others and at the same time stay true to the key characteristic of simplicity? Hyper casual games tend to have a minimalistic and attractive design to further engage the user. In addition, they offer progressive and fast gameplay so that the person wants to keep playing for as long as possible. To achieve this, games need an eye-pleasing design with a simple and fluid color palette, beautiful geometry, and ample white space between assets. This is a kind of gaming feng shui: you master the space in an optimal way while avoiding excessive complexity and piling up of elements. Juice Fruits match-3 hyper casual game by Kevuru Games If you are interested in how to make a hyper casual game for a wide range of people, and not for niche connoisseurs, then refer to topics that will be relevant to different cultures and nationalities. Win-win options are animals, food, sports, transport, as well as impersonal variants such as pure geometry and forms and actions known to all. Hyper casual games are not an option where you need to work out characters and paint complex backgrounds. There are often no characters here. The player is left face to face with some object offering to implement one or two actions. There is nothing else here, and this is ideal within this category. We have already said that you have 5 seconds to convince the player that the game is fun and it makes sense to play it. Tap to dodge, swipe to shoot – these are the best tutorials you can offer the player. Sometimes even these words are not needed: it is enough to throw the player into the gameplay, which is very easy to master through trial and error. Basic Mechanics For Hyper Casual Games Considering the question of how to make hyper casual games, it is impossible to get around the issue of mechanics. Everything is being built around it. Often, developers take one or two mechanics: more leads to more complex gameplay and violate the concept of maximum simplicity. In terms of mechanics, the following options are the most popular for hyper casual games. Rising/Falling This mechanic encourages the player to contribute to the rise or fall of an object or the entire environment. To complicate the process, it is also possible to increase the speed or the number of obstacles. The player can manipulate both a specific object and the entire level in the form of a platform or wall. The main feature of this mechanic is a distinctive sense of gravity that will follow the player throughout the entire game session. Tap/Timing The point of mechanics is to have time to touch the screen to perform a specific action. A natural complication can be an increase in speed and encouraging the player to touch the screen more often and more accurately. For example, here you may have to time the optimal jump or hitting the ball. This is often done through a shrinking window of opportunity with a clear distribution of favorable and unfavorable zones for action. If you miss a moment, you have to wait for the next opportunity. Dexterity Also known as agility game mechanics, this is sometimes confused with timing games. But if in a game against the clock, the essence is to hit the screen at a specific moment, here the key action must be constantly repeated at a gradually increasing speed. The more agile the players perform the action, the higher the score they will receive. Because of the main emphasis on dexterity and the need to develop it in order to progress, mechanics has received the corresponding name. Merging The essence of the merge mechanism is to find similar objects and combine them to get a new, more improved object. It is important to understand here that players can only merge items that are similar in certain parameters, and those that have significant differences cannot be combined. After a successful merger, the resulting element is used for a specific game purpose, for example, a race. The better the merge options you choose, the more chances you have of winning the race. Stacking This mechanic allows the player to stack objects. It is also possible to rotate or turn them, which can serve as a kind of complication. The higher the level, the more complex structures the player will have to stack. Suffice it to recall Tetris: geometric shapes fall from the sky, they can be rotated and should be folded in an optimal way. But it could be something even more interesting. For example, cats. Turning Turning left and right is all that is required of the player. Usually, these games are 3D, and this can make the game more complex. So it is very important to provide a simplified control in order to maintain the classic hyper casual style. This is either a single hit on the screen in the right place or a sharp swipe in the right direction. The location of the camera is also important: the farther it is, the more time the player will have to prepare for the turn. Keep this in mind to gradually complicate the levels, but don’t overdo it. Find the right balance. Growing Here the mechanic requires the player to gradually build up the object by absorbing others. Everyone knows the classic Snake, where the snake eats objects and becomes longer and more difficult to control. Moreover, the speed of its movement gradually increases and, accordingly, the player’s tension. This is one of the simplest and most addictive mechanics, repeatedly proving its viability and advantage over others. It is as simple as possible, it constantly keeps the attention of the players and encourages them to play further in order to see the maximum length to which they can increase their object. Swerving Often confused with turning mechanics, it means constantly maneuvering an object without lifting your finger from the screen. The more difficult the level, the higher the speed, the more obstacles and turns. The key is what the skid will be on the next turn and whether players will fly off the track. In some games, flying off the track can be a kind of cheat and reduce the distance to the finish line. Resizing The task of such a game is to constantly decrease or increase the size of the controlled object in order to crawl through some holes or fill in some gaps. This must be done before the moment when the object approaches the control point, where it should already have a different shape. The mechanics are partially similar to the swerving options, but offer more room for imagination and creation of something unique. Pushing The goal of the players is to push objects, structures or other characters faster than they can push the players themselves. As a result, the player must remain alone on the map, and this will mean victory. It is important to provide the player with free movement of the character and more or less suitable physics. The game can be complicated by an increase in the number of objects and enemies that need to be pushed out and the appearance of additional obstacles that complicate this task. Puzzle Although this genre exists on its own, it is also relevant for hyper casual games. The player is encouraged to place items in the right places, customize the pipeline or paint over a specific space with a limited number of strokes. The complication here is implemented by an increase in the number of necessary actions to complete the level and the need for more careful thought over actions. There is often no time limit here. This allows players to think calmly without stress or rush. Direction These games often ask the player to remove obstacles in the path of a character, object, or flow. When obstacles are removed or the system is adjusted appropriately, players see objects or liquids moving towards their destination. There are different options here: you can offer the player both to remove objects from the path, and to control the level itself and its constituent elements in the form of slats, walls and other things. Monetization: How to Create Hyper Casual Games That Bring Profit Fun fact: hyper casual games are usually free. Many of them don’t even involve in-app purchases. In this case, you ask how much money do hyper casual games make and how does it happen in general? In-game purchases are usually relevant for so-called hardcore games, where players spend a lot of time, where there are a large game world and a huge number of gameplay features and alternative plot variations. Players are ready to invest in large-scale games, the plot and intrigue of which captivates them for hundreds of hours. But for hyper casual games, in-app purchases are not an option. Moreover, with the persistent recommendation or frequent mention, they can irritate and provoke a person to delete the game forever. But you have some ways out: in-app advertising – ads that rotate in the game between different levels;payment for the premium model – an investment that allows the player to get rid of all ads at once;cross-promotion – ads for one game that appear in another game. The most popular option is advertising. It works much faster than in-app purchases and can be very variable. There are 3 main types of ads in hyper casual games: Rewarded video ads. As the name implies, viewing such ads gives the player some kind of reward: extra hit points, in-game currency, or a special one-time-use skill. Players are ready to make such a deal, which also increases session length and retention.Banner ads. Banners are very easy to add to the game: they are great for single-screen ones since it is easy to allocate part of the screen for advertising there. Banners are shown right during the game, but they do not interfere with it.Interstitial ads. These ads take up the entire screen and can be static or dynamic in the form of videos, geolocation guides, or playable content. It is important to properly test the pros and cons of skipping such ads, as they interrupt gaming sessions and do not offer any reward in return. It’s hard to say exactly “how much do hyper casual games make?”. But you can do your best to maximize their potential profit. A great way to optimize ad revenue is to look at user data and tune the monetization method they interact with best. If a player is not interacting with rewarded ads, show them more banners and interstitials. If they engage more with banners and interstitials, show them fewer rewarded ads. It is important not to bombard players with all types of advertising, but to adapt their display in accordance with the behavior of the person. Personalization works great everywhere, and in this case too. How Much Does It Cost to Create a Hyper Casual Game? Everyone always wants to know the exact price and constantly roll their eyes when they see the words that it depends on many factors, etc. Although it really depends on many factors, in particular the level of game mechanics and graphics, one thing is for sure – hyper casual projects will cost you much less than other types of games. First of all, this is due to the fact that to create a hyper casual game, not so many specialists are required as, for example, for an AAA project. Enough for 1 person from each direction: game designer, 2D/3D artist, developer, UX/UI designer and sound designer. Of course, a project manager is also needed to coordinate all processes. The term for creating a hyper casual game is from 1 to several months, depending on its complexity. Approximate stages look like this. Prototyping. With the help of a prototype, you can assess the viability of the game, test the appeal of its main mechanics and see if it makes sense to work on it further. Or you need to modify or redo something. It can take several days and around $ 2,000.Graphic art. This is where all the art and graphic elements are created for levels, menu and interface. The approximate period is several weeks, so prepare about $ 5,000.Development. The developers are engaged in the task of making your game playable. Here graphics integration is implemented, game mechanisms are introduced and all conditions are worked out. The term varies within a couple of months, the cost will be about $ 15,000.Other expenses. Don’t forget about the need for music design, testing and coordination services of project managers. The quality check can take a couple of days, and it can take about a week for the sound design. Tune in for an extra spend of around $ 3,000. So, we answer the question of how much does it cost to create hyper casual games: that’s about $ 25,000 excluding marketing. If you are planning an active advertising campaign, then be prepared to spend about half of the budget allocated for the creation of the game itself. Hyper Casual Game Trends to Expect in 2021 Hyper casual games remain one of the fastest-growing areas of mobile gaming. We have researched what to look for when creating and studying projects in this category this year. Total Hypercasualization Today, developers are ready to implement almost any mechanics and idea as a hyper casual game. Someone borrows the mechanics of minigames from console titles, someone introduces real-life actions into the game, and someone else adapts choice-based games to hyper casual style, for example, Save the Girl and Chat Master. Introducing Deeper Mechanics In contrast to the first trend, other developers will try to combine the gameplay of mid-core games with hyper casual mechanics. This can lead to the creation of new subgenres with the simple appeal but richer content. This can already be seen in the game Ancient Battle, which combines strategic and hyper casual mechanics. If this trend develops, hyper casual projects may stop forgiving players’ mistakes and return to their roots, becoming more demanding on user skills. Using Hyper Casual Mechanics in Existing IPs In 2020, only 5% of hyper casual games were based on third-party IP. The situation began to change: the famous American online game developer Zynga acquired the Turkish studio Rollic, MY.GAMES invested in the hyper casual publisher Mamboo Games, and many other similar deals took place. The symbiosis of big publishers with hyper casual developers can lead to the creation of games based on big franchises on the hyper casual market. At the same time, adding hyper casual mechanics to existing IPs will help companies expand the audience of their projects. This approach can also become an entry point into the gaming market of well-known brands, as has already happened with the adventure and puzzle genres, for example, the famous IPs like Frozen and Harry Potter. IDFA changes The Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is a unique number that Apple assigns to each device. Changes to IDFA rules can change the hyper casual market as they are heavily tied to ad monetization. The specific implications will depend on how innovation ultimately works and how publishers are able to adapt to it. Some experts speculate that hyper casual games will have an edge due to their large user base. This will allow publishers to promote games in other projects of their portfolio. Modernization of Visuals Hyper casual games are often found by social media users in the form of ad creatives that are mini versions of the game. Therefore, more interesting and original creatives will be a priority. We can even talk about a few strange, incomprehensible and even awkward visuals that evoke mixed emotions, but arouse interest. The graphics will become more advanced, modern and realistic: the player will no longer be surprised by the standard cartoon visuals. With the development of technology and changing user requirements, more complex projects from a visual point of view will appear on the market. How to Choose a Hyper Casual Game Company? The seeming simplicity of building hyper casual games hides a carefully thought-out strategy, re-tested mechanics, an exciting storytelling concept and a huge amount of work to bring all the elements into a coherent and harmonious picture. It’s not enough just to copy someone else’s idea and make a slightly different design: and most likely, in most cases, you will come across just such an approach. Hyper casual games are very popular, there are a lot of them and every year it becomes more difficult to offer players something fresh and not repeating others. When choosing a company that offers services for making hyper casual games, first of all, pay attention to whether there are similar projects in its portfolio. Studios that have not done this before are not the best choice, especially if they say that there is nothing difficult here even without experience. It is highly likely that they will not be able to identify your target audience, or interest it with interesting mechanics, or find a successful hook to stand out from the millions of similar games. At Kevuru Games, we know how to build hyper casual games that will grab the attention of players. And the attention of the players is what makes the game successful and helps you pay for it in the very near future. We monitor the latest trends, pay attention to the preferences and interests of players and immediately implement the most advanced techniques and mechanics that appear on the market. Games created with us are always bright, interesting and memorable. We will become your guide in the crowded environment of hyper casual titles and will help you to bring your project to light so that your target audience will be delighted with it. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation
30 Dec, 2020
The Very Difference Between Game Design and Game Development You Always Wanted To Know
Getting into the gaming industry is a dream for many people. In addition to the fact that this area is always relevant, dynamic, alive and impenetrable for problems inherent in other areas, it will become a real paradise for those who love games. Turning your hobby into work is probably the best thing that can happen in your career. If you just scratch the surfaces of the topic of the prospects for working with games, you can fall into a lot of delusions. One of the most ambitious is the legendary game design vs game development opposition. Many tend to equate these roles. But most likely you have already guessed that we are not going to confirm such a hypothesis. Game designer vs game developer is a pair of specialists who are not divided so that generalists happily merge them together. The difference between game design and game development is primarily that these people have different types of thinking. If designers are responsible for the creative side, then the developers are the guru of the codes and the technical basis of the game. But this is just the beginning:our story about game design vs development is only gaining momentum. Join us and get a clear answer to your long-standing question about the difference between game design and development without bluntness and vague wording. Gaming Industry 2020: Replenishment in Ranks of Players The games not only did not suffer during the pandemic, which cast a dark shadow over the entire 2020, but also significantly succeeded, strengthened and received a powerful impetus for further development. So if we do not know exactly what 2021 will be in terms of natural disasters and the effectiveness of the vaccine, then we are absolutely convinced of the brilliant prospects of the gaming industry. With an estimated 2.7 billion active players around the planet in 2020, it is eloquent proof of the power of the gaming realm. By 2023, their number is expected to increase to 3+ billion. This is in addition to the fact that the total population of the Earth is 7.8 billion. The most active gaming part of the world is Asia: more than half of all players in the world live here. This is followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and North America. It is easy to guess that with such a ballooning of the sphere, the need for qualified specialists has increased significantly. The ability to work remotely from anywhere in the city, country or even planet completely unties the hands and everyone who feels the creative impulse to burst into the colorful world of games. And the most important thing to understand is in what role you are going to do it. Game designer vs game programmer: it’s time to rip off the masks, ladies and gentlemen. What is Game Designing? Game design doesn’t start out of anywhere. In the beginning, it includes drawing up a document with all the details about the future game. This is the same preparatory analytical stage that many find terribly boring. Game designers discuss the following issues: the target audience;genre;main plot;alternative scenarios;maps;levels;characters;game process;user interface;rules and restrictions;the primary and secondary goals, etc Without this information, further work on the game is impossible. Once the concept has been chosen, the game designers work closely with the artists and developers to ensure that the overall picture of the game is harmonized and that the implementation is in line with the original ideas. Designers can be divided into teams, each of which is responsible for a different aspect of the game. For example, one might focus on the appearance of the levels and the placement of items and objects. Another is thinking about the evolution of characters and balanced improvement of their skills as they progress in the scenario. Also, don’t forget about writing dialogues, which are often key points for many games. Correctly adjusted work of a game designer is the foundation of all further work since it is from their concepts that other specialists will build on when working on their tasks. Designers see the big picture of the game and understand what the players want from it. They know what should happen from the moment a person turns on the game until the moment when the final video turns on. What is Game Development? The development includes all technical aspects of the game. Based on the concept created by the designer, the developer writes code, programs, works on the implementation of sound effects and artistic elements, and takes into account all possible technical limitations. If the team does not have individual specialists responsible for quality assurance, then the developers take on the testing tasks. The developer’s task is to fit all the ideas, ideas and layouts of the designer into the code. Without a developer, all this will remain just drawings. All the nuances of the possibility of alternative movements in the game world, the results of interaction with objects, game mechanics and in general everything that makes the game playable must be taken into account. Development is a very difficult and responsible task. Here the difference between game design and development is especially clear. The designer thinks over the game and its concept, and the developer ensures the embodiment of all this: loading and displaying the gaming environment;taking into account the laws of physics that will be relevant in the game and their impact on the gameplay at every moment;creating the user interface, menus and heads-up display;development of artificial intelligence of opponents and non-player characters;guaranteeing the correct reaction of the game to the actions of players from their controller;providing networking opportunities allowing people to play online, etc. With so-called game engines, developers don’t have to write code from scratch. An engine is the underlying software of a game that can be reused and used as the basis for the development of many different games without significant changes. Large studios like EA, Rockstar and Microsoft use their own personally developed engines. Smaller companies successfully rely on open source options. The most popular options right now are Unity and Unreal Engine. We work with these engines during game development at Kevuru Games. So What Is the Difference Between Game Design and Game Development? You’ve probably already figured out that the difference between game designer and game developer lies in goal setting and functions. The goal of the designer is to create a complete picture of the game and write down all the necessary information about it so that other specialists can assign to their duties. Designers are called thinkers, dreamers, and visionaries – all this reflects well their functionality. The goal of the programmer is to fit all the desires of the designer into the code, taking into account the technical capabilities and limitations of the chosen game engine. The developers specialize in translating ideas and concepts into reality: it is thanks to them that you get the playable product that the designer conceived. Design and development go hand in hand and are impossible without each other. Game designer vs game developer is not a confrontation, but a fruitful collaboration. Therefore, the best scenario for any gaming company is well-established communication between departments and an integrated approach to game creation. Game Designers and Developers Salaries Game designer vs game programmer salary is another topic that is of great interest to everyone who wants to get into the gaming field. Fortunately, this information is publicly available and we can freely talk about it. Let’s say in advance: the salary is not very different. Therefore, when choosing a profession, do not base it on it, but on your preferences. As a highly skilled technical profession, a game developer gets a good competitive salary, which can sometimes be the highest in comparison with other specialists in other gaming areas of the corresponding level. A game designer is also a highly paid job. These experts must have a flair for game trends and understand the players’ desires and expectations. The success of the project largely depends on their ideas, concepts and positioning of the future game. The actual salary can vary greatly depending on the expert’s specialization, company location, years of experience and many other factors. Job TitleAverage Annual SalaryGame Developer$100,000Game Designer$90,000 Source: CareerExplorer research 2020 We repeat: thinking about whether game design or game development would be the best choice, you should first of all pay attention not to salary, but to inclinations and interests. It will be more interesting for a creative person to think about game worlds and twist plot twists, while a person with a mathematical mindset will prefer a logical and rational space of codes and scripts. Regardless of which role you choose from a pair of a game developer vs game designer, know that the prospects for this industry are huge, but the competition is also not weak. Prepare for your initiation into game tamers fundamentally and well in advance. Remember that a good understanding of entertainment products and the specifics of working with them can be a decisive advantage for you. The Closing Speech We hope that the difference between the two important and responsible gaming professions is now clearer to you. In every successful team, there are always those who know how to think through ideas and build them into a harmonious canvas and those who shape these ideas into concrete forms that you can interact with in a completely immersive form. At Kevuru Games, we are always guided by the principles of teamwork and transparent communication between departments. Therefore, our game designers and developers work in excellent tandem, ideally delivering projects exactly the way the client wanted them to be. Contact us for advice or assistance in design and development: we will find the perfect embodiment for any of your ideas.
28 Dec, 2020
Top Gaming Companies in San Francisco: Direction of Activity, Expertise and Key Projects
Video game development has no territorial boundaries. Experts from all over the world come together to create inspiring, engaging and immersive projects. But gaming companies in the Bay Area are worth a separate discussion. San Francisco boasts a stunning kaleidoscope of multi-disciplinary game studios. Here you can find partners for creating high-budget AAA projects, developing casual and social games, localizing complex oriental titles and optimizing unfinished or raw products. We’ve handpicked 10 of the most experienced and trusted gaming companies in San Francisco, based on data from sources like Built In SF, GoodFirms and Crunchbase. The analysis involved researching the company’s website, portfolio and customer reviews. Kevuru Games 50 – 249 employees 2012 founded Kevuru Games is a company whose gaming expertise is backed by years of experience in projects ranging from mobile games to AAA and an endless passion for delivering exceptional entertainment products. Its specialization is breathtaking 2D/3D game art, animation, game development for mobile and PC, as well as AR/VR direction. This studio is distinguished by an integrated approach to the implementation of various projects. There are specialists from artists and designers to developers and testers who, if necessary, will lead your project from the stage of idea formulation to implementation with timely response to adjustments and advanced post-release support. The studio has developed such well-known mobile games as the match-3 game Juicy Fruits, the arcade puzzle Crazy Roots, the exciting quest with stealth elements Ink Ninja, and the strategic role-playing adventure Legacy. Creativity and a strong technical base of highly qualified specialists allowed the company to earn the trust of the gaming industry giants Epic Games, FoxNext and EA, with whom the Kevuru Games team has worked on all the notable Fortnite and Storyscape projects. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Niantic 101 – 250 employees 2010 founded It’s time to dive into augmented reality. Among other video game companies in the Bay Area, it is Niantic that stands out for its commitment to continuous use, transformation and popularization of the AR sphere. You couldn’t help but hear about the acclaimed Pokémon GO, and you might have met Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. These are the projects of Niantic, which harness the power of augmented reality not only to enrich the gaming experience, but also to create a global AR platform that will stimulate more social interaction. Games with augmented reality give an inspiring effect of presence, thanks to which players remain passionate about the gameplay for a long time and are not tied to one location. Pokémon GO broke every known record and was downloaded over 750 million times in its first year. Zynga 1001 – 5000 employees2007 founded Many video game companies in San Francisco prefer broad areas of expertise, but Zynga has focused on a specific genre. It can rightfully be called the overlord and trendsetter of social gaming. The founder of the company, Mark Pincus, named it after his beloved Zynga bulldog. The bulldog is also painted on the corporate logo. The company has chosen online social gaming as its main focus, and this narrow profile has helped it become one of the largest players in the online gaming market. The most famous products of the company are Zynga Poker, FarmVille, CityVille and CastleVille. In total, the company’s portfolio includes over 1000 gaming brands. The released games are distributed on the well-known social networks Facebook and MySpace. The number of monthly users playing Zynga games exceeds 200 million. In percentage terms, this is approximately 10% of the global Internet audience. Pocket Gems 101 – 250 employees2009 founded Pocket Gems started their work back in 2009 and immediately decided that their way was a new type of mobile games. Interacting and connecting players from all over the world have become their main mission. It is important for them to create not local, but global international communities united by a passion for games. To date, their products have been downloaded over 300 million times worldwide. The studio loves to experiment with game genres and focuses on rich juicy 3D graphics. Their best-known projects are celebrity-themed Episode, a mobile network and storytelling platform, and War Dragons, a real-time 3D strategy game that invites you to feel like the commander of an army of dragons. Unlike other mobile game companies in the Bay Area, Pocket Gems prefers a more complex and visually impressive style. DraftKings 200 – 800 employees2012 founded Considering the growing interest in sports and its exciting prospects in the coming years, DraftKings has definitely made the right decision to specialize. Its strong point is sports entertainment and advanced bookmaker opportunities for fantasy sports and betting. We confidently place this studio on our list of the most notable game studios in San Francisco since not everyone has an expertise in sports betting. This requires special knowledge and full dedication. Before it became possible to bet on real sports in many states of the United States, the fantasy sports segment (daily fantasy sports or DFS) was developing there. There, players place bets on virtual teams of real players, the totals are calculated based on indicators in real games. More than 5 million people have already bet on their favorite football, tennis, hockey, golf, baseball and other sports. The company has developed an amazingly balanced system that allows you to place safe bets and get the most out of the game. Linden Lab 101 – 250 employees 1999 founded Best known for its Second Life, Linden Lab pioneered the creation of user-generated 3D worlds. This is their main specialization. The world of Second Life is more than a simple game, it is a special virtual space with practically limitless possibilities. It can be used as a social network and a community of interests, where you can create and sell objects of virtual art and travel to any destination. Subsequently, the company expanded its portfolio with several projects, but remained true to its main principle of building virtual worlds with a minimum of restrictions. This is how Patterns for the desktop appeared, a sandbox-style three-dimensional shared space, offering to create your environment, and Blocksworld for iPad, a simple and intuitive system of building a world from blocks. Rejecting the classic game schemes, Linden Lab brought together the most inspired game developers in San Francisco and other cities who were ready for the non-trivial task of creating a virtual world as close as possible to the real one. It worked: released in 2003, the game is still popular and has a monthly active audience of 600,000 accounts. The game’s official website has 12 million monthly visits. Jam City 251 – 500 employees 2010 founded Jam City develops engaging mobile games for a wide audience around the world. Their distinguishing feature among other gaming companies from the Bay Area is the ability to see the main global gaming trends. They perfectly grasp relevant and popular themes and quickly develop simple, but very addictive colorful games that both adults and children like. Without focusing on too complex graphics, they make their products more accessible to users with devices of different capacities. Their most famous projects are the popular match-3 game Cookie Jam, which has captured more than 100 million players, and the cutest puzzle Panda Pop offering to rescue little pandas. The company also creates captivating projects with a powerful storytelling component for iconic entertainment products such as Harry Potter, Marvel Avengers and Frozen. N3TWORK 101 – 250 employees2013 founded N3TWORK doesn’t just create mobile games. This company decided to go further and develop a special application where players can sync their profile from the Legendary: Game of Heroes project, share media in chat and find the materials, videos and guides they need. In this way, the team quickly forms a dedicated community that has much more advanced opportunities for interaction. The company also features a special platform for live game publishing, which helps mobile game developers expand their products and reach a wider audience. It managed to raise funds for this and convince investors of the relevance of this project. Therefore, N3TWORK can be called one of the most enterprising and ambitious video game studios in San Francisco. The already mentioned Legendary: Game of Heroes is a 3-match card game with hardcore RPG mechanics, epic heroes and guild wars. The company is also known for its Funko Pop! Blitz project, in which you need to combine different figures on the screen, creating combinations and getting points for their destruction. Instead of the usual flowers and crystals, Funko Pop Blitz has the heads of toy characters. Basically, this is a fan service for admirers of these figures. Supergiant Games 11 – 50 employees2009 founded Supergiant Games’ team is not as big as other companies, but their indie games have garnered a lot of attention. The action/RPG game Bastion has received acclaim from critics and gamers alike. The music and storytelling were the most admired, for which the development team and composer received many awards and victories in the following nominations: Best Debut, Best Downloadable Game, Best Song, Best Indie Game and others. The company develops games for Windows, macOS, Nintendo, PS4 and Linux. The team has achieved particular skill when working with the RPG genre: this is the one of almost all of their games, which is successfully combined with a fantastic setting and an intriguing plot. Knocknock Games 11 – 50 employees2017 founded A relatively new company, Knocknock Games has already established itself as a reliable partner in the creation of game art and development on different platforms. Despite its small age, the studio consists of game industry veterans with over 10 years of experience in game design. Few game studios in San Francisco can boast of a staff with such experience, because the excitement in gaming professions began relatively recently. The company focuses on the desire to cleanse some genres of unwanted elements that spoil their very essence. From their point of view, Freemium products and loot boxes do not contribute to the evolution of genres such as adventure, turn-based strategy and space combat simulators. Their famous projects are the strategy game Rise of Colonies, the casual mobile game Lone Tower and the puzzle Chest of Memories. Wrapping Up Game companies in San Francisco are a real Klondike for people looking for reliable and promising cooperation. Here you will find narrow-profile companies dealing with one area such as social games, studios working with mobile games, teams specializing in game art, experts in AR/VR, esports and entire user-generated virtual worlds. Our top picks will help you make it easier for you to choose an outsourcing service provider, which is often quite difficult. The companies allocated by us have a high reputation among clients and have already managed to confirm their efficiency, flexibility and modern technological foundation for the delivery of projects of any complexity. Why Kevuru Games Will Help You Achieve the Best Results When it comes to gaming services, we aim to cover the full spectrum. This allows us to take on complex projects, including artwork creation, programming, testing, management and marketing, which gives you, as a client, access to all services at once without having to look for another partner. An integrated approach guarantees the harmony of all elements of the project and their seamless implementation.We have fully staffed dedicated teams to create the colorful game art and breathtaking animations, as well as advanced technicians who are well versed in codes. We immediately get to work without the downtime and finding the right specialist outside the studio. This greatly speeds up the work and brings the long-awaited release of your product closer.Having an office in Ukraine, we understand better than others the current gaming trends not only on the American, but also on the European continent. Our team knows how to design successful games that will be remembered for different audiences with various regional characteristics and preferences. We will give you the most up-to-date tips for skyrocketing your project. All you have to do is drop a few words about how you want to shake up the game world. Rest assured, together we will succeed.
22 Dec, 2020
3D Art Styles That Rule the Game World: Applications and Examples
No one would argue that game development is a complex multicomponent task. And when it comes to choosing a method of its visual presentation, many people actually come to a dead end. What styles are there in general? Where can you get examples? Which one will suit your project and highlight its essence and purpose? Due to the lack of a clear and universally approved taxonomy of 3D art styles, game creators often fall into the trap of unintentional plagiarism. Having chosen an already released more or less successful game of the genre similar to the one that is planned for the future project, they copy its style. That is why there are so many games on the market that are indistinguishable from each other. Why is this unacceptable? Because every game must have an identity. And the visual elements are just what can express its identity and key qualities. The interface, environment, characters, even the loading screen – remember the sacred thrill of fans of might and magic in front of three simple letters 3DO – all these are the primary elements that can make your game stand out. If all this is copied, even with good intentions, you lose: your game becomes secondary, no one will remember it. We are not magicians and we cannot work miracles. But we can highlight for you several of the most pronounced 3D game art styles, tell you about their application and show examples. This will illuminate your game development path and make it much clearer. What is 3D Art? Keynote Speech Three-dimensionality means that the object can be seen from all sides. It has measurements of height, width and depth, like any object that we see in front of us right now: a laptop, a table or a chair. Despite the fact that with the help of 2D tools you can create an impression of depth and stunning realism, the drawing does not become three-dimensional from this. After all, it remains flat and cannot be viewed from all sides. Modern 3D game art is objects, environments and characters that are created using special software. Their diversity is not inferior to the variety of elements of the real world, and sometimes even exceeds it thanks to the ability to create fantasy creatures, magical locations and absolutely incredible flora without any problems. It is impossible to create good 3D art without a vivid and passionate imagination. Too much competition in the gaming market makes simple and trivial solutions unacceptable. Now let’s go directly to the types of 3D game art styles. Know What To Choose From: Most Significant 3D Game Art Styles We would like to draw your attention to the fact that the graphics on mobile devices do not differ in style from the graphics on PC or consoles. It’s just that the style of realism prevails on more powerful platforms, and in mobile games, the cartoon style is more relevant for technical reasons. Therefore, there is no point in dividing styles by platform. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Realism The meaning of a realistic style is to bring graphics to the look of our reality as close as possible. Almost all triple-A projects come out in this style. The setting, era and genre can be anything. It can be a modern air simulator, a shooter about the Second World War, or a strategy designed to rebuild and improve the economy of Daytime Rome. Most Common Application Areas Realism is relevant where it is necessary to completely immerse the player in the setting without a doubt about the reality of what is happening around. It can be simulators, for example racing. Realism is also often found in horror and survival games, where it is necessary to create a sense of threat and at the same time give the characters the opportunity to wind up their brain. Fantasy Realism This 3D art style would not have needed to be separated from the previous one, if not for its immense popularity and actual independence. Look at Cyberpunk 2077 alone, an action/RPG game from a Polish publisher that people have been waiting for over 8 years. Fantasy realism includes any fantasy, steampunk and science fiction setting that looks absolutely realistic, but is impossible in our real life. At least for now. Most Common Application Areas Adventure shooters, quests and action/RPG – all of these types of 3D games are perfectly combined with a realistic but unreal setting. A huge space for imagination without restrictions and attachment to real life allows this direction to keep players’ interest and remain fresh and interesting. Low Poly The trend to use this interesting style has been around for quite a few years now. These are illustrations made in a low poly style, visually looking like a bunch of triangles. This style is characterized by high labor intensity, because each element of the illustration is unique and is created individually. Low poly is created most often without anti-aliasing. That is, each polygon is clearly visible. No textures are used. Each polygon has one color. Low poly art focuses on the shape and materials of the model, as well as stage lighting. The name of this style does not mean that the artwork has a low polygon count. Often the number of polygons in such works can exceed a million. By the way, low poly art should not be confused with the concept of low poly, which is used to refer to low poly models obtained from high poly ones in order to save polygons budget. Most Common Application Areas Usually, this style is rarely met in a game in its pure form. Developers often mix with other styles or modify in some way. Artists improvise and often get great visual combinations. The complexity of the models varies. But minimalism and purity of models prevails. The genre range can be anything from shooter to strategy. This style is used when there is more emphasis on the plot or puzzles and graphics are of secondary importance. Hand-Painted This style is characterized by freehand texture painting. All shadows, highlights, and sometimes small details are drawn on the texture without geometry. You might think that this approach is not relevant now. But it is enough to remember such pillars as Dota and Warcraft, and the significance of style takes on a completely different scale. Most Common Application Areas This style is most often used in fantasy and strategy games like Rise of Industry. It is bright enough to immerse the player in the world and light enough not to overload the hardware. Often mixed with other directions, the hand-painted style can be with a bias towards comics, cartoons or even realism. Cartoon Also known as casual, this 3D art style essentially includes both low poly and hand-painted options. Sometimes textures for such graphics are drawn by hand, sometimes they are not used at all. Distinctive features are colorfulness, relative simplicity, exaggeration of accents and non-standard proportions. Each author has his or her style, which brings new features to this art direction. Here the line between styles is very thin, but if desired it can be caught. A couple of the most pronounced sub-styles can be distinguished here. For example, the voxel style is a kind of pixel art in 3D. Everything consists of voxels – three-dimensional cubes of the same color. There are also variations when voxels have a texture, like in Minecraft. The plasticine style makes the game world look like the classic Soviet cartoons Plasticine Crow or Last year’s snow was falling. And in the LittleBigPlanet series of games, the emphasis is on the textures of models: cardboard, wood, fabric and more. Most Common Application Areas The most common uses for this style are simple casual games, puzzles and games for children. Simple, clear and colorful graphics are great attention grabbers, and the lack of the need to adhere to realistic standards makes these games much faster to develop. The Best 3D Game Art Design Services: Bottom Line Working with 3D art requires not only professional artistic skills, but also huge baggage of knowledge about styles, their combinations and the appropriateness of their application in a particular project. If, after learning about some of the most famous types of 3D art, you still have difficulty figuring out what will work best for your game, then don’t hesitate to contact Kevuru Games. Our team has been working with 3D art for over 8 years and knows all the pitfalls to avoid when choosing the right style for different game genres. We will help you find the optimal style or create a custom one in accordance with the concept of your game. What seemed difficult or unrealistic to you will be done using the most advanced modern tools and deep knowledge of various subtleties of 3D game art.
10 Dec, 2020
Character Design Cost: What Shapes the Price and How to Choose a Company Worthy of Your Project [Extended Checklist]
Almost no game is complete without the main memorable character, who later becomes its hallmark. Somewhere there may be several of these characters, and the players themselves determine which of them they want to start their exciting game journey with. The point is the same: characters are a virtual personification of the player and therefore they must be flawless. Character design rates are a burning issue for anyone who wants to create a special game that will not get lost among hundreds of representatives of the same genre. Of course, a character cannot save the game if the plot is poorly thought out, the world is limited to one miserable location, and the game is full of bugs. But characters are the heart of the game due to the fact that they are the closest element to the player, their avatar in the virtual world. Therefore, in no case should you try to save money on their creation. Today we are here to dot the i’s and cross the t’s with regards to the character design pricing. Let’s figure out what you need to know before ordering a character creation and how much it will cost you to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional characters. With the help of the character, you are actually speaking to the player directly. This is not just a well-drawn and implemented 2D or 3D concept, it is an individuality with his or her character, appearance, habits and approach to problem solving. To create a character, images of people, animals, plants, fictional creatures and inanimate objects are used. There are several main factors that directly affect character design cost: Character type. This can be either 2D or 3D option. Two-dimensional one is cheaper due to the use of simpler techniques and software and the lack of the need to draw a character from all possible viewing angles.Detailing. For a 3D character, the number of polygons matters here. That is the elements that make up the model: the more there are, the higher the detail. For 2D, the number of used shades and work with shadows are considered.Engine preferences. Developing characters on different engines can vary significantly in terms of time required. For example, creating a character on Unreal Engine will be much more time-consuming and, therefore, will cost more than on Unity.Team structure. The complexity of the project becomes a decisive factor in choosing the composition of the team that will work on it. It may turn out that one 2D artist is enough, or it may be that even three people will not be able to meet the deadline. Each of them needs to be paid a salary, so the number of people directly affects the final cost of the character.Rigging/skinning. The creation of the skeleton of the character may be needed both for creating several static poses and for future animation. Usually this service is not assumed by default and is requested by the client separately. So be prepared for additional cost if you need multiple poses or preparation for animation.Work speed. How quickly do you need the result? Is there time to go through several stages of adjustments, alterations, and additions? Usually the game art company from which you order the work indicates the approximate date. If it doesn’t suit you and you need the result faster, it will affect the price. Also note that not every company will be willing to accelerate. It may have insufficient resources to do so, or it may not want to risk a possible negative impact on quality. The best option is if you come to a design studio with a clear understanding of what you need. This does not mean that you must have in your head an image of the future character formed to the smallest detail in all equipment. This means that you understand what role characters will play in the game, their nature and purpose. You can convey this information to the character design studio and, for example, give them the opportunity to freely interpret the character’s image. Then you can adjust the result together with the team. Character Creation Progress Character creation is a long and painstaking process, full of the agony of choice, the traps of being secondary and the eternal search for zest. The procedure may vary, but the main steps here at Kevuru Games look like this: To begin with, the description and requirements for the character and the final result are formulated as detailed as possible. Sometimes, for a complete understanding, it is enough to answer standard questions such as the genre of the game, type of character and his or her role in the game. Sometimes this is not enough, and then examples of other characters from games of similar genres are considered.Further, the artists prepare sketches of the future character and choose a direction for further work. This stage is also called conceptualization: the concept art artist gathers references based on information from the previous stage and creates several possible options to choose from. To proceed to the next step, you must select the final version, on the basis of which all further work will be carried out.Chosen sketches are adjusted in accordance with the comments and image requirements. Details, poses, clothing options and character emotions are worked out. This is where the work ends, if it’s 2D and preparation for animation or several poses are not required. You can ask for some minor edits and then approve the project.If it is 3D, then a three-dimensional modeling of the character and all the necessary objects is performed. The skeleton is set up for animation if necessary in the project. The number of rigs depends on the variety of actions that the character will perform. This can be standing still, walking, running, jumping, squatting, reaching for and manipulating weapons, and so on.The character is rendered: the artists adjust textures, materials, lighting, and more. Accessories, clothing, additional poses in 3D are also being worked out. At each stage, the company shows you the intermediate results, accepts and implements the necessary edits, and gets approval to move on to the next step. 2D Character Design As we have already said, the 2D character design price will be lower than the 3D options. 2D means two-dimensionality, that is, the fact that the image has only two dimensions – length and width. Playing with colors, textures and shadows can create the illusion of three-dimensionality of such images, but, unlike 3D, they cannot be rotated 360 degrees. To see them from the other side, they need to be drawn separately. For example, take a look at the 2D characters that the Kevuru Games team has worked on. You can see more of our 2D characters in our portfolio. 2D characters can be raster or vector. Vector images are created using lines. Such drawings are easy to scale without loss of quality, as well as easy to move, change and manipulate. Raster images are created on the basis of pixels, each of which quotes a specific hue. Raster helps to make the image more realistic and allows for smooth color transitions. The salary of a 2D artist character starts at $ 25 per hour and depends on skill and experience. 3D Character Design 3D characters are models with three dimensions: height, width and depth. The depth gives them volume and they can be rotated 360 degrees and viewed from all angles. One of the key advantages of 3D characters is their realism and reusability in other projects. To animate a 3D model, you don’t need to redraw it anew in every pose: all manipulations are already possible due to the fact that the model has already been worked through from all sides. Kevuru Games’ team has developed a huge number of distinctive 3D characters, some examples of which you can see below. You can see more artwork and details about their creation on the character design page. Go to our portfolio to see more 3D characters. It takes about twice as long to create a 3D model than a 2D one. Modeling, texturing, skinning and rigging of an abstract character takes over 150 hours in total. The more detailed the model, the longer it takes to create it. Therefore, you can imagine the amount of work. Let’s see how the labor of 2D and 3D character artists in different regions of the world is paid. Art Services USA UK Germany Eastern Europe 2D character artist $30$25$20$103D character artist$33$28$23$13 Hourly rates are calculated based on the average annual salary of game artists, taken from the PayScale and Indeed platforms. Character Design Cost: Estimated Prices After sowing the first grains of information on the hourly rate of 2D and 3D character artists, it makes sense to come to the most important question for which we are gathered here today. Since one of the most important factors affecting character design pricing is the time spent on their creation, we will build on it. Taking into account the hourly rates of our specialists, their qualifications and the information on the duration of work, we get the following picture. A 3D photorealistic character will take 20-25 days and will cost about $ 5,000 – 6,000. A 3D cartoon character will take 15-20 days and will cost about $ 4,000 – 5,000. A 2D photorealistic character will take about 10-15 days of work and will cost about $ 1,000 – 1,200. A 2D stylized character will take about 5-10 days of work and will cost about $ 600 – 800. The more specialists work on a character and the longer it takes, the higher the price. Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation How To Choose A Character Design Company Choosing the right partner is a serious and responsible question. With the advent of a large number of online training courses, academies and tutorials, many very quickly felt the vocation for character design and quickly built teams ready to accept any of your projects. In order not to get into a mess and subsequently not to be sad about wasted money and time, it is necessary to conduct a kind of casting of studios, among the services of which there is one that you need. The sequence of details to look out for looks like this: ✔️Choose a studio that specializes in games. There are many companies that create characters for brands and advertisements, and their approach to creating them is completely different. They will not be able to help you implement a project that will become the highlight of your game, because they do not understand the specifics of the gaming industry, do not follow trends, and have no idea which implementation will work best. ✔️Explore the studio’s portfolio. This is one of the simplest but most relevant guidelines of all time. Showcase should include examples of 2D and 3D characters created by the company for games of different genres. Looking at them, you can form an idea of the skill of the artists, their style and approach to work. Studios that have something to show also often have accounts on art resources such as ArtStation and Behance, so it doesn’t hurt to go there too. ✔️Find out about the stages of work and the scheme of cooperation. Experienced companies have well-established and proven strategies for creating characters. They can immediately explain to you what information they need from you, tell you how the work will take place, discussions, reception and implementation of edits will take place, how long each stage will take and which specialists will be involved. This information will allow you to make sure that your character will not be created chaotically by some convulsive iterations, but will receive a gradual logical development up to the desired result. ✔️Check out testimonials from previous clients. Usually, experienced art studios have a separate block on their website with testimonials from clients who wish to share feedback about cooperation. Information from there can provide valuable food for thought. For example, a company might have exceptional character creation expertise, but have trouble meeting deadlines. If you have doubts about the authenticity of the reviews, you can always contact their author and find out if they really wrote this text. ✔️Find out the approximate character design cost. Of course, the company will not be able to give an absolutely exact figure right away, but it is quite possible to indicate an approximate range. This is called a preliminary cost estimate. You tell what character you need, 2D or 3D, what is the style and the expected level of detail, and whether rigging and skinning are needed. Based on this information, the company estimates the approximate amount of time required for work and names the price. If the studio cannot name even an approximate number, think about the expediency of such cooperation. At Kevuru Games, we have been creating 2D and 3D characters for over 8 years. Our experienced artists catch the client’s idea on the fly and bring it to life in an authentic and memorable way. Collaboration with major players in the gaming industry such as Epic Games, EA and FoxNext has strengthened our vision of our mission – to create exceptional gaming projects that demonstrate the continuous development and limitless possibilities of the gaming world. Let’s light new game stars together: just say the first word and we’ll pick up the rest.
10 Dec, 2020
Mobile Game Development Cost: Factors Influencing Price and Clear Estimates
The share of mobile games in the gaming industry market already exceeds 50%, and this trend is not going to slow down. The reason for their popularity is simple: a smartphone is the most convenient medium with huge coverage that does not require any complex manipulations in order to install the game. Just click on the download button and start playing in a minute. There are now more than 2.5 billion mobile players in the world, and in 2021, their number will increase to 2.7 billion. Games of various genres can boast of a huge audience. This is the super popular PUBG Mobile battle royale with over 800 million downloads, and the simplest yet fantastically addicting casual game Fruit Ninja with a billion downloads. Mobile game development cost is a question that interests everyone who wants to break into this promising market. In general, the cost can range from $ 3,000 to $ 1 million. But it is unlikely that such a spread will seem to you a reasonable answer to your question. To understand how the price is formed, it is necessary to penetrate deeper into the very procedure of creating a game. So jump in and let’s try to form logical and clear expectations about the cost of a mobile game. Stages of Mobile Game Creation Wondering how much does it cost to develop a game app? If you want to know exactly where your money will be spent, you need to start with the basics. The procedure for creating a mobile game consists of the following stages: Market research and analysis. Research of the target audience and competitive proposals is carried out to determine the optimal solutions. (1 week)Writing a game design document. Here it is necessary to approve the general image of the game, its target audience, genre, monetization options, scale and style. (1 week)Creation of technical specifications. Developing a concept for creating games, discussing game mechanics and choosing a suitable platform (Android or iOS). After drawing up the specifications, you can determine the final cost of the work. (2 weeks)Prototyping. The prototype is a general sketch of the game without details and art visuals, allowing you to understand the mechanics and appreciate the convenience of the gameplay. (1 week)Game design. Creation of all 2D/3D assets, characters, environment and interface elements that determine the visual perception of the future game. (3 weeks)Game programming. Writing program code, setting up a server, database, API, implementation of game graphics (interface and animation) with the ability to embed 2D or 3D content. (2+ months)Development of a sound scheme. Music, work with voice and other sound effects for maximum fun. (1 week)Testing the finished product. Detecting and correcting minor malfunctions or incorrect operation of certain systems. (1 week)Publication. Finished mobile games are posted on the respective Internet resources Google Play Store or App Store. The product becomes available to users. (1 day) On average, creating a simple game takes 2-4 months, while developing a complex product can take 4+ months. Prices also depend on who you decide to work with. The total price for the formation of a game application has a different level for a particular country and region. Typically, programmers and experienced freelancers set an hourly rate that describes the scale and complexity of the project being implemented. You can contact local contractors or look for outsourcing firms abroad. The high price does not always mean quality when it comes to the development of mobile game applications. This is clearly seen if we collect the salaries of programmers from around the world and compare them. Requests from developers of approximately the same qualifications for 1 hour of working time: For example, a popular game for Android and iOS called Angry Birds from the Finnish company Rovio was created over 9 months and cost $ 140,000 in development. It was at the top of the App Store charts for over a year and ended up making about $ 70 million, including selling stuffed animals and other merchandise. At the moment, the application continues to be modernized and updated to new versions. Agree, this is more than impressive. Games with augmented reality such as Pokemon Go require higher costs, at least due to the introduction of a map service and geolocation tools. Information about the cost of the different stages of creating this game is freely available, so we can consider them right now: Client application development and game design – $ 100,000UI/UX – $ 6,500Backend – $ 80,000Server costs – $ 150,000Testing – $ 50,000Animation – $ 90,000Sound design – $ 20,000Management – $ 20,000 Ultimately, the app cost the company about $ 600,000. In 2020, the game’s revenue was $ 1 billion, which in total with the previous period amounted to a total of $ 4 billion. How the Mobile Game Cost Estimation Works Estimating the amount of work at each stage, which means calculating how much it costs to develop a mobile application, is a difficult task. To do this, you need to have a good idea of the end result and be tech-savvy to estimate the labor costs for each function. Therefore, as a rule, the most experienced specialists are involved in this process. Remember: experienced companies that have been on the market for a long time and have implemented many mobile entertainment projects will not find it difficult to give you a more or less accurate estimate of the cost of your project. If the studio finds it difficult to give you specific numbers, think about the expediency of such cooperation: most likely, throughout the work, you will face a lot of misunderstandings, new expenses and a constant increase in the planned budget. Typically, the cost estimate takes place in two stages: Free preliminary cost estimate. Although the preliminary estimate is called rough, it allows you to form an idea of the required amount of investment needed to create a game application before signing any contracts. You can get it within 1-2 days for free.The exact price for the development of a mobile game. A more accurate assessment of the game development price list is supported by an agreement, which fixes the terms and stages of work with a detailed description of the final result. There are also cases when, with increasing depth of understanding of the development process, a rethinking of the original task occurs, which can affect the final cost. It can be nuances that was not be foreseen before. So developers make decisions to remove something from the primary list as unnecessary or add something to it. This is especially true when unique games are created that have no analogues. Of course, in today’s mobile games market, this is almost impossible. But even now there are amazing ideas that have undergone a huge number of improvements and adjustments since their implementation. It’s good if the company you are partnering with has already created games with similar features and gameplay. In this case, the answer to the question “how much does it cost to make a game app?” will not get lost in endless recalculations. A regular game requires more and more content at the same time to keep the player interested. Players already know how to manipulate everything, they do not need to learn, they do not waste time on some initial understanding of the project, but immediately come in and start playing. Little content will make the game boring and the player will go to another game. In mobile games, if you do not keep the player for 15-30 seconds with the graphics, and then another hour of gameplay, you loose the player. To distribute the application, you need to buy a developer license from Apple, it costs $ 100 per year. In Google, this is a one-time payment in about the same range. You get access to the developer’s libraries and, in fact, to the store. There is documentation in the developer console that allows you to understand how you need to create your application in order for it to meet certain requirements. For iOS, the requirements are more stringently checked since all applications must be executed in a more or less similar style and have a similar arsenal. Major Pricing Factors The cost of the service directly depends on the complexity of the project and the following features: platform;type and functionality;professionalism of the performer;testing;marketing policy. Let’s do an in-depth mobile game development cost breakdown and look on the above factors in more detail. Platform Defining mobile game development cost starts with choosing a technical foundation. Android, iOS or cross-development type – you need to think about this right away since it directly affects the cost. Despite the huge variety of Android devices with different screen sizes and capacities, the type of development on this platform is the least expensive. Working with iOS is more costly due to the integration of the payment system and the admin panel, as well as because of a large number of restrictions on applications that are allowed in the App Store. On average, developing a game for iOS costs 10-20% more than for Android. Thus, if a game for Android costs $ 25,000, then its analogue for iOS will cost about $ 30,000. There is also cross-development option where the game is suitable for both platforms. Oddly enough, this type greatly simplifies the implementation and deployment process because you do not need to create a separate application for each platform. Gaming applications can use the same engine that was once developed for most platforms. Type and Functionality The huge range of games can make it a challenge to choose what you want. But your budget can serve as a guideline for you. 2D games cost less than 3D games due to less time to create and the involvement of fewer specialists and technologies. For example, an elementary 2D game where you need to perform one action such as moving blocks or catching flying elements will cost you a maximum of $ 5,000. If you need more than a simple Pacman and have some special idea, the cost can go up to $ 10,000. Such games actually have no end since the activities are repeated and this is not supported by any plot instructions. These products can also be monetized through in-game purchases. For example, a player can buy extra time or hit points. Simple games can be sophisticated enough to create because of the need to think over an intuitive UI/UX that will be understandable to both a young child and a white-haired old man. 2D casual games like the platformer Red Ball with an interesting storyline, lots of challenging levels, boss battles and a creative soundtrack will cost you between $ 25,000 and $ 50,000. Such games are characterized by a high level of involvement of the players, because, unlike the previous category, they have an end, and the player strives to fulfill the main victory condition by all means. The so-called mid-level games are already three-dimensional products that require well-thought-out characters, modern graphics, an exciting and intriguing plot, and unpredictable gameplay. These are games for those who are not satisfied with elementary graphics, but are not ready for AAA quality products either due to lack of time or due to technical limitations of the device. These games cost between $ 50,000 and $ 120,000 in development. If you want to lure tons of players into your hardcore game net with multiplayer, 3D graphics and interesting strategic variations, be prepared to shell out at least $ 150,000. Here you will have to not only think over the mechanics of interacting players, a huge number of scenarios and 3D models, but also the server part, which will be the basis for the players to meet online and play together. Professionalism of the Performer The experience of the performer also affects the development cost. First of all, this affects the quality of the created art and the developed technical aspects, as well as the speed of work. Above, we have indicated the cost of an hour of development, depending on the region. It will not be possible to accurately formulate the formula for the dependence of the price on the company’s experience, since this is an individual vision of each studio and its assessment of the professionalism of its employees. But on average, we can talk about at least one and a half gap in the final cost of the services of a newly-made and experienced company. That is, if it is certain that the newly-founded studio undertakes to make your project for $ 5,000, then the more experienced one will most likely request at least $ 7,500 for the same amount of work. At Kevuru Games, we have worked on 50+ mobile game projects of various genres and difficulty levels: match-three, arcade games, puzzles, quests and more. You can see some of our projects in the portfolio and order a free estimate of your future game: the vast experience of working with mobile games will allow us to do this quickly and accurately. FREE COST ESTIMATE Testing Testers should be mentioned separately, because testing is an important part of the life cycle of computer games development. QA engineers check: functionality;regression;safety;working capacity. Testers are responsible for ensuring that users receive the error-free product they expect, in accordance with all requirements. A common mistake is the opinion that the role of a tester is within the power of a project manager, coder, or the customer. However, through such an approach, there is a risk of spending thousands of dollars on the development of a game that will not run on the old version of Android, which is used by 30% of users. It turns out that level 39 is impossible to pass, because you cannot defeat the boss due to an error in textures or an incorrect BoxCollider. Or how about meeting with unverified monetization, and then wondering how experienced players circumvent it, leaving no opportunity for income. Quality assessment services are included in the cost of developing the game. Therefore, you do not need to swagger and try to abandon this expense item. Playing with bugs can wipe out all previous efforts, and there is plenty of evidence for this. Marketing Policy Hundreds of new mobile games are released every day. Without advertising and prior notice, no one will know about your product. Therefore, you need to involve the marketing component. A fairly common option is that when looking for the answer to the question “how much does it cost to make a game app”, people completely overlook the need to talk loudly about their game. There are two options here. You can engage in marketing on your own using your team, or you can entrust it to the company with which you cooperated. The second option is more common since in this way you avoid the semantic gap and have the opportunity to appreciate the holistic performance of your partner. ASO and SEO optimization, advertising campaigns and marketing strategy are what teams who perform full-cycle services offer. The game is being promoted on social media and gets publicity even before its release. The cost of marketing services is usually included in the cost of developing a game. If you agree that your partner developer is engaged in advertising, then you can avoid problems such as allocating a marketing budget higher than the cost of the game itself. This may be true for AAA giants, but for small to medium-sized games it is completely impractical. Why It Makes It Sense to Create Mobile Games with Us So how much does it cost to develop a mobile game? It all depends on your ambition and budget. Tell us what you need and what goals you want to achieve, and Kevuru Games will give you a clear estimate. Each game developed with Kevuru Games is a new dimension of entertainment that quickly engages players with its originality and complete absence of plagiarism. Our clients receive a full range of services for the development and promotion of mobile games – from concept creation to placement on gaming platforms. We offer the creation of games for Android and iOS of various genres in order to reach the players as effectively as possible on an emotional level. Our professional artists and game developers will bring your idea to life and make your project a success. Game development is carried out using advanced technologies that provide maximum functionality and ease of use. A transparent pricing system will give you a clear view of where your every dollar has gone. Let’s prove that even in a market saturated with gaming products, you can still show something absolutely amazing: contact us and together we will figure out how to do it.
10 Dec, 2020
2D Animation vs 3D Animation: The Battle of Dimensions
Each type of animation has its own supporters who willingly find the advantages of their favorite and the disadvantages of the opposite side. And then, when the entire Internet is full of arguments in favor of the victory of this or that type of animation. When separation occurs. When a contradiction is born.When two camps collide. It’s a question of honour for us to kindle the peace pipe and say that there is no battle, which would immediately refute our own title. What is happening and what is one to make of this? Move on and you will understand everything. 2D Animation or 3D Animation: No Confrontation or Destination Peaceful Coexistence Competition or confrontation always adds piquancy and drive to any even the calmest comparative analysis, which was not initially aimed at identifying an imaginary winner. But the drive is felt only for the time being, or rather until the moment when the reader does not realize how subjective the reasoning of the author of the article is and how obvious his or her adherence to a particular side is, despite attempts to disguise everything as objectivity. What we are definitely not going to do is butt heads of 2D and 3D animation adherents. We’ll just talk about these two fundamental types of animation in a soft narrative form and explain why both the flat (almost like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld) and volumetric worlds have equal rights to exist. Which is Better, 2D or 3D Animation? None is better or worse. Each of these types of animation is self-sufficient and has its own niche in modern film, advertising and video game production. Comparing 2D and 3D animation is initially a large-scale and challenging task, since they differ in almost all aspects. 2D animation is an art style based on creating movement of objects and characters in two-dimensional space, focusing only on length and width. This movement is depicted using drawings, mainly pencil sketches, showing the change in the position of the object. They are arranged in sequence to create the illusion of fluid movement. 3D animation is an art style that deals with the creation of 3D models and their movement in the digital environment using special computer software. 3D was originally aimed only at computer processing, it never existed in the form of pencil sketches, as in the case of 2D. 3D animation requires much more attention to modeling, rigging, anatomical nuances and rendering. Many experts and fans of the animation sphere say that the era of 2D has already passed, and soon it will be ousted from the market. Adding depth to the standard height and width is considered sufficient to substantiate such a statement. But this does not stand the test of facts: the appearance of 3D did not in any way affect the viability of 2D, from which we can conclude that this is not at all a matter of the number of dimensions. The simplest and most visual option will be to show the differences between 2D and 3D animations in the form of a comparison table. And here it is: Comparison parameter 2D animation 3D animation Time of appearance the late 1800s the late 1900s Dimensions length and width length, width and depth Realism level low high Method of creation hand-drawn (early stages) computer-based Space for creativity boundless limited by software capabilities Learning time rather quick rather slow Production time rather short rather long Main focusgameplay and story design Costlower compared to 3D higher compared to 2D Reusability every project requires new drawings the model can be used in different projects Rotation capabilitya separate drawing required for each viewing angle 360 degrees Application area films, cartoons, websites, learning courses, advertising, product video, video games films, cartoons, video games, medicine, biotechnology, aerospace 2D Animation is Dead: Fact or Fiction This is a rather provocative question that worries many people. The wave of doubts and disagreements started from the moment when such a giant animation studio as Disney (the founder of the style) announced the closure of its 2D department and the end of the era of hand-drawn animation. Everyone was excited about what this meant for the future of traditional animation. Will it not exist anymore? Many modern specialists have a heart for 2D animation, but they work in 3D. When asked where this contradiction comes from, they say that 2D animation has no future. So, the opinion that 2D animation, if not dead, is at least at deaths door and nothing will save it has penetrated deep enough into the masses and a solid factual basis is needed to try to get it moving. But let’s try. The first thing we have to do is get rid of misinterpretation of terminology. 2D animation and traditional animation are two completely different concepts, although they are often used interchangeably. 2D animation is a type, it’s about a direction: flat, two-dimensional animation. Traditional animation is about technique: working on an animation table using Disney’s 12 principles. And 2D animation is not the only prescription in the world of traditional animation. 12 fundamental principles of animation: Squash and StretchAnticipationStagingStraight Ahead and Pose to PoseFollow Through and Overlapping ActionSlow-In and Slow-OutArcSecondary ActionTimingExaggerationSolid DrawingsAppeal Traditional Animation ≠ 2D Animation At this point, a major misunderstanding of the issue was born. Since 2D animation was mercilessly confused with traditional animation, and this is still happening, people attribute the qualities to one another and, referring to traditional animation, they put on the black cap on 2D animation. First-class substitution of notions, agree? For many years, animation has been created on animation tables. Things pass into the category of traditional if in due time they were fundamental for a certain new direction. This is exactly about animation using 12 principles. Evolution does not stand still, technologies are being improved, but when creating something new, animators invariably use the accumulated experience. The fact that there are no animation tables now does not mean that traditional animation is dead. It just underwent changes, keeping pace with the times and adapting to the requirements of a new generation of viewers. To say that 3D animation has replaced 2D means absolutely not to understand the issue. Look at various cartoon projects: rarely at the very beginning of a project, a studio knows whether to use 2D or 3D for the final result. First, testing is done and it is analyzed in which direction of animation the idea will be most understandable, easiest and fastest to create. And only then, based on the results of numerous tests, a decision is made regarding the technique. For example, “Klaus”, a Spanish animated feature film directed by Sergio Pablos. It is created in 2D animation style, but no one will guess about it without a hint or a close study of the smallest details. It looks like 3D and this is entirely due to the effects of light in the creative hands of 40 animators who have been working on this project for over two years and completed it under the wire just a month before the premiere on Netflix. The director wanted his film to have the nostalgic flavor of ’90s Disney animations, but also aimed to spice it up with the up-to-date features of the latest animation advances. And he succeeded in this. Sergio Pablos, animator, director and screenwriter “I never looked at 3D as an evolution of 2D. I looked at it as a split, like there’s a new way of making animation now” These words perfectly illustrate the answer to the question of whether 2D animation is dead. Not only did we realize the substitution of notions, we also saw that now there is no critical confrontation as such. There is a place for both 2D and 3D in making any good film. And there are a lot of such examples. Traditional techniques such as squeezing and stretching, exaggeration, body movement and even the general look of cartoons are used by modern animators. In addition, a huge number of drawn storyboards are now being created, which are essentially animatics, that is, almost animations. Yes, now is the era of digital animation. Nobody uses tables anymore: it is unprofitable for the studio. Where there used to be one animation table, you can put 2 Cintiq tables, because this significantly speeds up production. Pay attention to the number of animated films released annually. “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” keep pace with millions of viewers around the world. In order to be able to work even faster, animators began to combine the transfer technique and traditional animation. Therefore, all kinds of programs that allow combining these 2 styles flourish, for example, Adobe Animate CC and Photoshop. So of course, 2D animation is not dead. It’s just that the traditional animation style has been transformed. Something new has evolved from the animation table technique and the past era of the animation industry giants. So now 2D animation is flourishing and transforming, acquiring modern eye-catching forms. And at Kevuru Games, we take an active part in this process. Just fill in the fields and your game design document will be ready! All the information you need in one place Get your template 2D Animation or 3D Animation: Which is Easier? 3D animation is easierIt is enough to master some software and you can already start animating 3D objects. 2D animation is easierIt is enough to understand the frame by frame principle and be able to draw on a piece of paper. Where is the truth? The truth is that asking a question like this is not correct. None of the types of animation are more complicated or simpler, it all depends on the project and the desired result. Both 3D and 2D can be simple and technically complex and it makes no sense to try to compare them in terms of simplicity. Behind the seeming simplicity of 2D animation, there is a huge time-consuming work. Keyframing helps automate object movements on a timeline, and software advancements sometimes relieve the animator from the need to draw each frame (24 in 1 second), but it doesn’t free the animator from painstaking work on details. Matching the character to the perspective of the background is another tricky task of 2D animation: usually a different artist is responsible for creating the background, and adding a character to the environment can be quite a challenging task. In addition, we have already mentioned that it is now quite possible to make 2D animations look like 3D thanks to lighting tricks. Therefore, it would be a big mistake to say that it is simple. Take a look at this majestic druid. Do you think this is 2D or 3D animation? For the uninitiated, the answer is not so obvious. In 3D, the relationship between character and background is easier to set up through a referencing process. The background is simply loaded into the finished animated character file. 3D animation is actually a “revival” of virtual puppets. And it all depends on their complexity and level of detail. Your project could be a bouncing ball, and then adjusting the physical and dynamic attributes along with the ground plane will be a matter of a few steps. Next comes lighting, texturing, computer simulation of the ball’s movement, and rendering of the sequence. By the way, even such a project will be a good challenge for a beginner. What if you want to animate a dancing person or challenging battle scenes? This is a completely different level. A few words about the statements at the beginning of this section. Drawing is a really useful skill for a 2D animatorThe faster and more efficiently hand-drawn objects are created for animation, the easier it is to work, because the more frames, the smoother and more accurate the result will be. The ability to draw allows the animator to think about the movement of characters in advance and quickly navigate the change in the position of their body to ensure high-quality animation.Modern technology has relieved the animator from the need to draw each of the 24 frames per second. Working with animation just got easier. At the same time, this did not in any way affect the freedom of imagination and fantasy, which is provided to the animator when creating 2D animation. Software mastering is a really important skill for a 3D animatorIn 3D animation, you do not need to bother with every frame: you have animation software at your disposal that allows you to use tweening. This is a very cool and handy feature of computer animation, which consists in creating intermediate frames between a given start and end position. It allows to painlessly and quickly create the appearance of a smooth transition from the first frame to the last, due to which, as a result, we see what is called movement.But not everything is so simple, because when working with 3D, you have to take into account many other factors besides the animation itself. This is the angle of view, the nuances of lighting, rigging, rendering, and the need to adhere to the anatomical details of the body structure. A higher level of realism requires a deeper dive into the details. 2D vs 3D Animation Cost: Major Pricing Factors We’ve already discussed enough pros and cons of 2D and 3D animation and determined that none of them can be considered simpler or more complex. Then what about cost? There is an opinion that 2D animation is cheaper to produce and more affordable than 3D. In general, this is true, but it must be understood that we are considering the issue of price from the point of view of a generalized abstract comparison. In fact, any kind of animation is complex and, accordingly, expensive work that requires a customized approach to each project and a lot of time and resources. So what are the factors that affect the cost of an animation? Doubting which game design you need? Tell us about your idea and our experts will help you to shape it! Get a free consultation Resource Intensity The main pricing factor is the use of expensive and resource-heavy software. This is exactly the case for 3D animation: it requires special programs and a lengthy rendering procedure. The software for 2D animation is less resource-intensive and the compilation procedure itself is much faster. This, however, does not devalue the work, especially if each frame was manually drawn. The more manual labor involved in creating 2D animation, the more expensive it will be. Animation Complexity It takes into account the number of objects needed and the general appearance of the background. Every detail needs time and attention to create: the more details, the more resources are spent on making the animation and, accordingly, the higher the price. The level of realism, complex changing background, special effects – all this directly affects the cost and determines the final appearance of the animation. Animation Length The longer the animation, the higher its cost. But even here everything is not so simple. For example, for the same budget, a studio can create a more detailed short animation or a longer one with less detail. Therefore, length is considered in conjunction with style, detail and complexity and cannot affect cost in isolation from other factors. Character Presence The presence of a character in 2D or 3D animation also affects the cost. This greatly complicates the process and makes it more time-intensive: it is necessary to develop and illustrate characters from scratch, think over their image and characteristics, model and rig them for movement in the case of 3D animation. Characters are the most difficult aspect of animation, as each part of their bodies must act independently, but at the same time, when moving, they must portray a harmonious and balanced picture. Required Deadline On average, the time to create a minute 2D or 3D animation ranges from two weeks. If the customer is satisfied with this term, then the price will be adjusted taking into account the above factors. If the project is needed earlier, the cost of the product will rise. This is due to the involvement of more specialists, the need to work overtime and an increased load on equipment. It is difficult to talk about a specific price, since everything depends on the project – we will not be original in saying that. On average, we can talk about a price of about $5,000 per minute of 2D animation and $10,000 for the same duration of 3D animation. Price options 2D animation 3D animation 60 seconds $5,000 $10,000 The Last Frame Congratulations, you now know much more about animation than you did before reading this article. Now you will definitely not say that 2D animation is dead or that 3D animation is more complicated. And if you plan to go even further and contribute to the world of animation by creating your own project, we are ready to become a creative performer of your aspirations: tell us what you want to achieve and together we will be able to find the best way to your goal.