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Mobile Game Development Cost: Factors Influencing Price and Clear Estimates
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. Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation 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.
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2D Animation vs 3D Animation: The Battle of Dimensions
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. 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? Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. 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.
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Game Design Trends That Will Rock 2021: Main Factors Shaping the Further Development of the Gaming Industry
Game Design Trends That Will Rock 2021: Main Factors Shaping the Further Development of the Gaming Industry
The gaming industry has always been dynamic and rapidly developing. Absorbing like a sponge all the latest technological advances, it opens up opportunities for players to get gaming experiences that previously could only be dreamed of. However, this year, the usual pace of deployment of technological innovations, the sequential displacement of the centers of influence on the market and hot intergenre battles received an unexpected shake-up. Deepening in technology and the virtual world turned out to be much faster than we could have imagined a year ago. The gaming industry received an additional boost, which became defining for the formation of new technological tendencies. Therefore, we decided to summarize the unpredictable year and highlight those upcoming trends that seem most obvious in the light of what is happening in the current gaming market. 2020 is Almost Over – Long Live 2021 The sudden arrival of the pandemic has seriously shaken the gaming sector. People started spending more time at home and video games became the number one entertainment. Gaming markets are growing at a tremendous rate, and new games are springing up like mushrooms after rain. It is expected that by the end of 2020: The console games market is expected to grow to nearly $ 45 billion with coverage of about 730 million players. The mobile games market will generate approximately $ 77 billion in revenue with 2.5 billion players. The PC games market is set to generate $ 37 billion with a loyal army of 1.3 billion players. The mobile market has been and remains prevalent. It is followed by the PC and the console closes the top three. The constant search for new ways to attract and retain customers forces companies to move forward, keeping up with innovations and the waves of gaming trends.Those gaming trends that call themselves new are often not entirely new: many of them are already known to us. But when they rise to the peak, it makes us look at them with different eyes. The chaotic and unpredictable 2020 is nearing its logical end, so it makes sense to look forward to a new stellar period of gaming heyday. But preferably without the tail of obsessive problems like the COVID-19 pandemic. Controlled Zone of Digitalisation: The State of the Entertainment Industry Before the Pandemic So, the coronavirus pandemic has put billions of people under house arrest, and they’ve got plenty of free time. But the leisure industry was not quite ready for this, and digitalization had to be implemented on the go. The global entertainment and media industry entered 2020 with an alarming awareness of a growth cap. Back in the fall of 2019, the consulting agency Accenture released an overview of this market, which became a kind of warning. The growth in operating costs outstripped revenue, and the decline in business margins was perceived as a harbinger of an imminent crisis in the media market. To get out of this situation, the authors of the report suggested that market participants combine three tactics: Simplify all current operating models and make business processes more efficient to reduce unnecessary costs. Ensure zeroing of the annual budget to stabilize the cost scheme and improve money saving activities.Invest in business digitalization like AI and intelligent advertising to boost sustainability and increase long-term savings. The key task of analysts from Accenture called drawing up a clear plan for digitalization of the company and defining its model: whether it be a cross-platform, vertically integrated or completely digital service. For their part, experts from the World Economic Forum (WEF) note that the entertainment and mass media industry has gone through several digital transformations over the past 20 years. In total, they count 4 such waves: The emergence and development of file-sharing systems in the mid-1990s. The emergence of the first video streaming services in the early 2000s. The growth of mobile traffic and development of cloud technologies in the late 2000s.The introduction of the Internet of Things and entire ecosystems around the information provider. We are now living in a fourth wave era: technology is advancing faster than ever. However, new generations of consumers demand the most personalized information, and when and where it is more convenient for them to receive it. Digitalization is so important today that the line between media and technology has become blurred. This is a challenge both for traditional sources of information and for all-digital startups. Considering that gigabits of content appear on the Internet every second, the media business is forced to whack in the field of consumer attention, WEF analysts write. In the future, they said, the entertainment industry will be driven by 3 major trends: Personalization Fragmentation Partnership Addressing directly to the consumer as a person in the conditions of his or her information overload.Spreading content across all possible distribution channels: forums, social media, external sites, etc.Formating flexible teams in the market, specializing in one business and uniting to create unique product. Then a bolt from the blue broke out and an unexpected new player entered the arena – the COVID-19 pandemic. Impact of COVID-19 on Media and Gaming Trends The above-mentioned WEF study was prepared in 2015, and little has changed in the market since then. The entertainment industry needed a massive boost to fuel its digital transformation, and it got it. The coronavirus pandemic swept the world in the first months of 2020, forcing the governments of many countries to take unprecedented measures at the cost of interrupting economic life: billions of people were ordered to stay at home for weeks. Many recluses suddenly have a lot of free time, which radically changed the structure of information consumption. During the quarantine period, all kinds of offline activities are partially switched online, but some are also canceled. The closure of clubs and cinemas, the rescheduling of concerts and sporting events – even those events that most people can safely watch on TV from home, simply cannot take place due to the self-isolation regime. And it’s not a lack of digitalization, but the very nature of these events. The same attempts to hold a football championship without spectators in the stands eventually came across increased quarantine measures. Most of the events were canceled or rescheduled for the next year. Games have become an extremely successful alternative to movies and TV shows for people locked within four walls. The boom in online multiplayer games, which has become an important communication bridge between disconnected people, has led to the rise of the battle royale genre and Epic Games’ Fortnite in particular. From January 1, 2020 to August 13, 2020 – the day Fortnite was removed from the App Store and Google Play due to a disagreement with Apple – Epic’s battle royale ranked fourth in revenue of these games globally, collecting about $ 290 million. If we consider only App Store sales, Fortnite came in third with nearly $ 280 million, behind PUBG Mobile and Knives Out. The Kevuru Games team is proud to say that we have also set our hand to promoting Fortnite and attracting more players to it. One of the points of their special interest is skins, that is, the visual appearance of the character for the next game session. Despite the fact that the game is free and the in-game currency can be obtained without any real additions, simply by entering the game every day or completing tasks, many prefer to speed up the procedure and buy their favorite skins and additional items for them: weapons, bags, backpacks and even pets. Kevuru Games’ contribution to Fortnite Our artists have created about 120 unique concept art skins for this mega-popular game. Many of them have become top-ranked: players shoot video reviews with them, admire the harmony of the image and even make cosplay of the most beloved ones. In addition to character concepts, we also deal with environment and asset concepts, carefully analyzing the original information and sources and creating an authentic jaw-dropping product. Game Design Trends Transforming the Entertainment Market According to Statista forecasts, in 2021, the number of gamers could reach one third of the world’s population. Most of the players are from Asia – about 1.4 billion. It is followed by Europe with 386 million, Middle East and Africa with 377 million, Latin America with 266 million and North America with 210 million. People easily part with money to experience vivid virtual impressions during quarantine. The Asia-Pacific region spends the most money on games: it accounts for $ 72.2 billion of all revenue, 34.4 billion of which is China. If we consider by country, then the leaders in terms of revenue are the United States: here, revenue from games reaches $ 36.9 billion. The world market of computer and mobile games by the end of the year will reach $ 159.3 billion, following the Newzoo forecast. This is almost three times the market for music content and four times the world’s total film distribution. By 2022, the market size will increase to $ 196 billion, with an average annual growth rate of 9% in 2018-2022. 48% of the entire gaming industry’s revenue comes from mobile games. The main trend today is not one-time purchases, but attracting paying players who donate at one time or another in order to receive loot boxes, characters, additional levels, etc. In 2019, games accounted for 33% of all app downloads, and in-game purchases accounted for 74% of all in-app purchases. At the same time, in 2019, the time spent in front of the smartphone screen for the first time exceeded the time in front of the TV screen (by 8 minutes a day with a little more than 7 hours in total). This difference is expected to widen to 30 minutes in 2021. Interestingly, the total screen time does not grow and is about 7 hours a day. However, back in 2014, for example, mobile devices took 2.5 hours a day, and TV – 4.5 hours. Large non-gaming companies started worrying about the growing influence of gaming long before the pandemic began. Last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he was far less afraid of his direct competitors Disney or Amazon than YouTube and the video game Fortnite from Epic Game. Now the situation has become even more interesting, because sitting at home and tossing about in search of entertainment, people are more likely to find it in the interactive game than in passive contemplation of the film. So, what upcoming gaming trends can we identify now? We have created a map to make it easier for you to navigate in our subsequent structural systematization of the most significant trends of the next year. Technology Trends State-of-the-art technological developments and innovations that are preparing to enter the market or are already there and preparing for large-scale modification and expansion. Fast Scaling of Cloud Gaming Experts expect that the market for the priority trend of the gaming industry – cloud gaming or Gaming-as-a-Service – will grow to $ 450 million by 2023. Technology is already making games more democratic. Services like Google Stadia, Playstation Now, or Playkey run resource-intensive applications without being tied to hardware capabilities. In the future, they will give developers creative freedom without technical constraints: There will no longer be a barrier in the form of expensive equipment: anyone can embody their fantasies in creating games. A new class of games will appear that are initially created for the cloud standards and are not technically limited. Unprecedented horizons will open up for virtual worlds, including in VR format. Cities and even entire planets can be worked out to the smallest detail – it will be difficult to distinguish them from the real ones. The boundaries between genres will disappear: a new class of games will combine many genre fragments. An element of social approval of the player’s character will become important – virtual communities will increasingly resemble real ones. For example, the developers of Death Stranding introduced likes as a tool to reward the actions of other players – like buildings or warning signs of danger. Players will experience new dimensions of freedom from hardware restrictions. The cloud gaming scheme gives them the ability to outsource their computing needs to remote hardware. There is no need to download or install games. The only thing that is needed is the fast Internet. In 2021 there will be many more options for hassle-free online play. Cloud gaming development driver – 5G spread. This communication standard will increase speed and make the transfer of bulk data from the cloud seamless. The technology will spark a surge in gamers who will play from their phone – there are already more than 2 billion such users, and thanks to 5G their number will increase several times. Internet of Senses and Thought Control The control of the character will change: the development of neurocomputer interfaces will make it possible to control its actions by signals from the brain. Such devices already exist: through the Emotiv EPOC device, you can work with software with the power of thought: for example, control drones using neurotransmitters. According to Ericsson experts, the technology will become widespread in this decade. The mentioned 5G standard will allow using not only sight and hearing in games, but all senses. We will see the Internet of Senses: digital sensors using artificial intelligence, VR and AR will allow tasting the gaming universe – literally. Tuning the perception of the virtual world by ear will become more accurate. Ericsson believes that by 2035, players will be able to set their headphones to automatically translate from any language. There will also be an opportunity to choose the sound of the gamer’s voice – personalization will become even more detailed. Synesthesia is an even greater field for experiments, which will be given by the Internet of Senses. Players will be able to listen to the red color of a traffic light or feel the roar of a game monster on their own skin. Another promising technology is digital taste and smell, which more than half of Ericsson experts expect to see by 2035. The rapid urbanization of the world, where more than half of the population already lives far from nature, makes this development more than realistic. Paradoxically, games can be a new way of interacting with nature. Imagine a VR walk in the woods where you can smell all the odors and taste virtual berries. Technology will blend the virtual and the real and give playful drama new tools. Enhanced Virtual Reality Experience Virtual reality is already available to us, but not yet at the best level. Several gaming companies have already begun to improve their photorealistic graphics in console and PC games. Developers are steadily improving this technology to make it indispensable in the lives of gamers. The demand for high-quality virtual reality is high: not being able to experience the familiar sensations of everyday life, locked in a lockdown cage, people turn their eyes to modern opportunities to transfer to other realities. During Facebook Connect 7 in September 2020, it was revealed that the company is focusing on its VR efforts and intends to integrate its two headsets together into an all-new Oculus Headset 2. They also plan to release their VR glasses next year, which will unveil a new wave of more affordable equipment for everyday use. Erasing Entertainment Formats Borders The difference between games and other forms of entertainment such as movies will be erased completely. New Unreal Engine 5 already produces a picture that is hard to distinguish from a Hollywood one. The actors’ virtual avatars become the heroes of Cyberpunk 2077 or Death Stranding: games are an interactive way of storytelling that will change the very drama and the relationship between the viewer and the writer. The interactivity of virtual universes will allow the fourth wall to be finally destroyed. The viewer will determine the development of the plot and will become the director of their own productions within the game world thanks to streams. The definition of sport will also change: Millennials are already watching gamers play video games more often than regular sports matches. As the audience matures, eSports will become a familiar form of competition: it may even enter the Olympic disciplines. The fact that games are not tied to the platform thanks to cloud technologies will also affect our consumption. Users will pay for in-game content and for the social side of games like community access, not the platform. It will be possible to enter the virtual world from any device with a screen and a 5G connection: from a smart refrigerator to a smart watch. Social Trends The ways in which the gaming component becomes a part of all spheres of society, the spreading video activities and game expectations of players. Ubiquitous Gamification Games are no longer just entertainment. Virtual worlds are becoming a new platform for communication. People use them for different purposes. Hold Working Meetings It has already been implemented in the cowboy game Red Dead Redemption 2 where employees preferred a warm campfire to a standard and boring Zoom call. Colleagues can get to the meeting place by horse, accompanied by the ominous howling of wolves. Build University Campuses A group of Randolph students depicted their university campus using recognizable graphic blocks from a world-building video game Minecraft. Teach Lessons Teachers have already added games to their arsenal: geometry teacher Charles Coomber from San Diego conducted lessons in the VR offshoot of Half-Life. A video of one of these lessons was posted on YouTube and has gained more than 500 thousand views by now. Arrange Concerts American rapper Travis Scott showed how to do this in the game Fortnite, gathering a simultaneous audience of almost 13 million viewers around the world, not counting Twitch and YouTube. To compensate for the lack of live communication, people are moving faster and faster towards the transition to game reality. Self-isolation only helped this process: universes of games like Fortnite are much more versatile and functional than Zoom or Skype. They have a wide range of personalization tools and allow gathering a huge audience. Surrounded by restrictions that prevent the full use of human reality, people happily plunge into virtual worlds where there are no restrictions. In the future, games will also transform the education system. Of course, they will not replace the lessons entirely, but rather become an addition to them: the skills learned in the games will be applied both in school and in work. For example, researchers from the University of Glasgow found that games develop critical and reflective thinking, and also have a positive effect on reaction. They even point out that games can help a person find employment. If, of course, one does not abuse the duration of the gaming sessions. Nostalgia and Games Remastering Despite the technical superiority of the new consoles, they cost little without a library of games. Next generation gaming is a matter of the future. In the meantime, many players under 35 have especially fond feelings for old games: some even use Playstation 3. The trend for nostalgia will spread into 2021. In order to provide players with the ability to play old games, it is necessary to maintain the possibility of backward compatibility with consoles of previous generations and remastering of old games for which there is practically no suitable hardware. Going back to basics has already shown its relevance in the film industry: Disney has benefited immensely and high box office returns from transforming classic cartoons into live-action films. Increased Distribution of Video Game Streaming Game streaming is taking over the industry more and more. With the advent of one-click live game streaming, open source capture and broadcasting tools, the number of hours spent watching game video has skyrocketed. Competitive games create unique gaming experiences that are actively shared and watched by millions. It engages people more than sporting events and revives interest in old classics like Heroes of Might and Magic III. Forced to stay at home, people are much more active in surfing communities in games of interest to them in search of interesting techniques, easter eggs, tips and just examples of a beautiful game. Therefore, streaming is moving beyond the classic YouTube and spreading to social networks, personal blogs and other platforms like Twitch, Periscope and others. People connect to the streams of their favorite franchises not only from PCs, but also from smartphones, tablets and even TVs, demonstrating a stable trend of moving away from standard television content towards custom gaming one. Clearer Touch of Inclusivity in Games Video games are a great way to draw the attention of a wide variety of audiences to issues of racism, sexism and homophobia, many of which have literally blown up the current year. The Sims 4 can be considered one of the most inclusive games in the industry today, because it gives players the freedom to create their own character, of any skin color, of any nationality or religion. Games that allow you to customize characters down to the smallest detail are popular with players. Therefore, the developers keep it in service. The trend towards inclusiveness will continue as the world becomes more receptive to different cultures and preferences. With the diversity and inclusiveness of games, it becomes much more apparent to players that they are open to the realization that everyone is different and that is great. Diversity may become more prevalent in video games as sectors across the entertainment industry strive for equality. Format Trends Evolution and potential of gaming platforms, in-game changes in receiving bonuses, and uniting players with different hardware. Rising Popularity of Mobile Games About half of smartphone users play games. The total number of mobile players worldwide is about 2.2 billion. It is interesting that in the mobile direction, there is no significant quantitative difference between genders. 51% of mobile players are women, 49% are men. By 2021, these numbers will not change. So it’s no secret that one of the biggest changes in the gaming industry over the next year will be the continued expansion of mobile games. This helps to increase the potential audience through the proliferation of smartphones and the ease of getting started. People love to play mobile games because they are virtually always with them. Therefore, developers will continue to create related products. Major console and PC game companies also release their games on a mobile version to match the market. An example of such a transition is the long-awaited Call of Duty: Mobile. Moving to the mobile segment, the franchise has managed to reach a huge number of new players: more than 300 million downloads since the release in October 2019 speak for themselves. Previous trends such as Fortnite-style battle royale games have driven the development of mobile gaming. They have proven that the gaming experience on mobile is in no way inferior to that of the desktop. People only use their smartphones and do not have to buy expensive hardware. In addition, Epic Games has become a pioneer in demonstrating the ability to combat the monopoly of world-famous corporations. Ditching the Apple Store and Google Play, Epic has hosted its iconic Fortnite game in its own store with a much lower commission and no restrictions. Change of Console Generations Another trend in the video game industry is the release of additional console updates every year or two. In the past, when the console was on sale, players no longer expected further updates. These units can last up to ten years on the market without any changes. Things have changed, however, now that hardware manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have released incremental console updates for their products. Every year or two, a new version of the current gaming system is released, with features such as improved battery life becoming the main reason people buy updated versions of consoles. It was hard not to pay attention to the drop in sales of PS4 and Xbox One consoles in 2019. The reason for this was the completion of their cycles and the need for new generation technologies. Despite the fact that the good performance of Nintendo Switch slightly slowed down the overall decline in sales of consoles, the downward trend will continue until the next generation consoles enter the market. So far, Playstation 4 remains the most popular console among gamers. But who knows what will happen next, because several high-profile novelties await us this year. In just a few days we are expecting the long-awaited Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 to hit the market. It is already known that the inclusion of NVMe SSDs for internal storage in both systems helps consoles to significantly reduce load times in both new games and games made for the latest generation consoles. Technical innovations will definitely cause a sensation right at the end of this year with a kind of “console duel” and will continue to fuel interest in the console theme in 2021. Better Designed Monthly Subscription Scheme Free games, which are cleverly woven into in-app purchase models that tempt hooked players to acquire the coveted items as soon as possible, are likely to move to a new level of monetization. This is a monthly digital subscription. A long-standing classic technique widely used for music and video streaming platforms may apply to video games. The signatory will be able to receive exclusive items, premium passes and other goodies that are not available to players without a subscription. There have already been attempts to implement a subscription system, for example, in the games Mario Kart Tour and PUBG Mobile. But its ill-conceivedness, limitation in the form of the only daily collection of bonus currency, and in some cases even the absence of any value at all pushed players away. Players note that they would love to subscribe if the game was then cleared of ads, loot boxes and in-game purchases. This would allow players to simply enjoy the game with truly premium access, guaranteed by a monthly installment. At the same time, of course, there should remain a free version of the game, where advertising and in-game purchases remain. Subscription services may be relevant for fans of hardcore genres that require a high level of engagement and a lot of game hours. Casual and hyper-casual gamers are definitely not the right audience for a monthly subscription. They often use games as an opportunity to pass the time on the road or while waiting for an order. Plus, casual games are not a genre where you can come up with really decent features to create a subscription base. More Cross-Platform Game Options The popularity of cloud gaming has led to an increase in the capabilities of gaming platforms: they now offer both full and partial cross-platform support. It’s a boon for gamers as many of them are tied to only one platform. The increasing demand for multiplayer games dictates the need to connect players across multiple consoles and PCs. Developers are faced with the need to introduce new solutions and search for cross-play opportunities. While this is quite difficult due to the fact that manufacturers of different consoles often strive to isolate their community. Despite some hurdles, the mainstream games are now getting cross-platform support, and this trend is likely to grow. People who play Fortnite shouldn’t have to face technical difficulties due to the fact that their opponents are using different hardware. Genre Trends Game genres that have gained momentum in 2020 are not going to give up positions in 2021, as well as new adaptations of classic entertainment projects. We have already mentioned that 2020 was marked by increased interest in online multiplayer games and the growing influence of the mobile direction. The search for a company and the desire to spend time with real people, albeit at a distance, came to the fore. Given the pandemic uncertainty of 2021, the genre distribution of trends will not change anytime soon. Top 3 mobile game genres look like this: The top is based on the number of people who downloaded the game and how much money was spent on games of each genre. Apart from these, there are a couple of popular mobile game genres worth mentioning. These are card games and all the same constant puzzles. Return of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games One of the oldest gaming genres, MMORPG is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Here the player improves the skills of the hero and gains new powers in battles with non-player characters or other real players. Over time, MMORPGs have evolved, the definition has changed, and the genre itself has come to life and is no longer limited to Warcraft. MMORPGs have huge worlds that are divided into zones, which makes them look like other fantasy worlds, like in The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones. There are frightening dungeons, dragons guarding untold riches, knights defeating demons and monsters, and other fantastic elements. Every minute, these mobile games are played by thousands of players who kill bosses, collect useful items and complete side quests. In MOBA, users are divided into teams of five people, Battle Royale is played by up to 100 people, while MMORPG is radically different, because here no one is a rival to anyone. The genre of MMORPG games for mobile devices was less popular than for PCs, because not every phone could handle such games. However, with the development of smartphones, it comes back and confidently holds its positions. More Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas MOBA games are a mixture of real-time strategy and action. In multiplayer battle arenas, the player controls one character – a hero or champion from the available roster, picking up a unique set of skills and abilities. This can be a magician, warrior, knight, or a representative of another profession. The mobile version of the genre differs from the computer version (League of Legends or DOTA 2), because it does not reflect the same depth of mechanics and strategy. Mobile devices are limited in processing power, display size, and input options. However, this does not stop millions of smartphone users from enjoying their favorite games. Teams of 3 or 5 players face off against each other for resources, objects and map control. The player needs to have fast fingers, a lively mind and a lot of patience to play MOBA games. By 2016, this genre was breaking popularity records, but Battle Royale appeared and took some of the glory for itself. MOBAs are no longer as popular as they once were, especially among mainstream audiences and casual gamers. But they are still confidently holding their positions among the popular genres of mobile games and will not give them up in 2021. Continuation of the Battle Royale Rule Since 2017, the spread of the Battle Royale genre has begun. At the end of 2019, PUBG mobile, the creation of China’s Tencent, broke records with 400 million players, with an average daily value of 50 million. This is the most popular genre of 2020, but among the 50 million there are players using not only mobile phones, but also PCs with consoles. The essence of the battle royale genre is that the user fights against 99% of the players on a huge map with resources, including weapons, armor and ammunition. Resources are scattered in different places, and the player must collect them to fight off enemies. The main goal of the mobile game battle royale is to stay alive. The idea is partly taken from the dystopian Japanese film “Battle Royale”, released in 2000. The game seems simple, but giant maps, an abundance of combinations of weapons and armor noticeably distinguish the genre, especially when compared to traditional first-person shooters like Call of Duty. The player has access to a huge playground with limitless tactical possibilities. The only way to stay at the top is by properly allocating resources. Fortnite is a popular mobile battle royale game. The creators of this game managed to interest users not only with the artistic style and clear images, but also with a system that allows you to create towers, barriers, defensive walls and other objects right on the battlefield. Gambling, Cybersport and eSports Upward Movement The growth of loyalty to the industry and the legalization of online casinos contributed to the development of the gambling industry. At the same time, the iGaming business is combined with the previous trend: almost every online casino has a mobile application or supports mobile games via mobile browsers. The evolution of slot games is also interesting. If earlier they were considered games for singles, then with the advent of multiplayer options, people can take part in the game at the same time, gathering in teams and watching the process of each other’s play. In 2021, players will get together much more often to spin the reels and try their luck. Call of Duty is an example of a cyber sports game very popular with bookmakers. Activision, the game’s publisher, stepped in and created the Call of Duty Championship League, which shows how big, established brands are taking advantage of online technology. While they may not be promoting sports betting themselves, the fact that they are so heavily involved in eSports now speaks volumes about what to expect next year. The inability to attend live sports events has stimulated people’s interest in sports betting. While you can watch your favorite teams play online, gamblers have the opportunity to place bets and experience the full range of thrills. If in 2019 the audience of people who watched sports events at least once a month was about 440 million, then by the end of 2020 it is expected to grow to 495 million. In 2021, the number of eSports enthusiasts can increase to 550 million. Game Potential of the New Year: Towards Latter-Day Experience 2020 was special for the gaming industry: the sudden surge in increased interest in games showed who was more ready for this and not only had time to adapt, but also benefit from it. The reasons for the success of the gaming industry lie both in the psychological and in the economic plane. On the one hand, in times of upheaval, people subconsciously try to displace pressing problems and switch to various kinds of distractions. Lacking other opportunities for entertainment, people are moving into virtual reality. However, how long will the gold era for game developers last? Will their success end as soon as the world defeats the coronavirus and everything returns to normal? The likelihood is high that even when the pandemic is completely over, game developers are unlikely to face a crisis. The coronavirus has changed consumer preferences in favor of technologically advanced services. In this regard, there is still a lot of room for growth in online shopping revenue and online entertainment spending. Part of the new, re-educated audience of Internet services will remain with them forever. Therefore, even a hypothetical quick and easy victory over the coronavirus will not mean the beginning of a serious crisis for IT companies. Despite the quarantine and remote work, the Kevuru Games company continues to work hard on new projects designed to brighten up the expectation of getting rid of the dangerous virus. Creating beyond borders, skillfully balancing client’s target and economic expectations, player preferences and emerging brands, is what we have gathered in a close-knit, passionate and inspired team for. The gaming industry will go through a lot of challenges in the coming year. As game lovers, we are all here to witness all its changes because they really matter to us. Stay safe and play games: next year promises to be interesting. Kevuru Games is a game art and development company that creates mind-blowing projects for anyone looking to shake up the gaming space. We work with major world-renowned game video companies such as Epic Games and EA, as well as with enthusiastic indie studios and solo developers. It is important for us not only to fulfill the client’s requirement, but also to make the project shine as a new bright star in the gaming horizon. Drop us a line to find out how we can help bring your idea to life. Let’s create beyond the limits together!
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Best-Selling Games in 2020: Key Factors of Success, Demand Trends and Forecasts of Future Leaders
Best-Selling Games in 2020: Key Factors of Success, Demand Trends and Forecasts of Future Leaders
Briefly About This Report Kevuru Games is an active participant in the gaming industry. We are an outsourcing service provider specializing in various areas: game art, design and development. Our team of professionals helps global companies design and develop games of various sizes and difficulty levels. We are proud to partner with leading companies in the gaming industry who contribute to transformational entertainment projects. With 8+ years in the gamedev world under the belt, we can state that this area changes at the speed of light. For that reason, we decided to highlight the latest trends in the world of game development in order to guide game developers and publishers to the products that are in demand in the market. The gaming industry began about 50 years ago when the first video games were introduced to the first electronic displays. Since that time, many devices and inventions have appeared that correspond to the main achievements of computer technology. In addition, dozens of genres and millions of projects have emerged that affect this area of business. In this material, we’ll bring you a list of the top-selling games and share their success stories. At the same time, the industry is determined by trends that change every year. 2020 is a very special year because of the many changes taking place on the global stage. Some of the most notable trends in the gaming industry are driven by the need to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and global restrictive measures. This made more people addicted to different games. To which ones and how many percent the gaming audience has increased, you will find out in this material prepared by our team. Overall, our analysis is the result of an iterative process in which we analyze the gaming industry at a very detailed level. During this process, we rely on quantifiable / non-quantifiable metrics from a variety of reputable resources to uncover the big picture formed by key players – gamers and game developers / publishers. Use this data to move forward with Kevuru Games! Introduction to the Gaming Industry and Its Development Many advances in computing paved the way for the industry to emerge – the first minicomputers, electronic displays with a pixel or simple 2D graphics, the first generation of game consoles, and more. As time went on, devices got more powerful, games got bigger and more engaging. Game enthusiasts have driven the movement towards the best software solutions, better graphics, better sound, and more advanced technology that we know and use today. As a result, it has developed from a small market to a mainstream market with an average growth rate of 9% per year (according to the Entertainment Software Association (usually abbreviated as ESA) annual reports and other authoritative materials). The global gaming market is estimated at $151.55 billion in 2019. Revenue is expected to reach $256.97 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 9.17% over the forecast period (2020-2025). But what about 2020, a year that brought us unpredictable challenges? As stated in a recent report by Newzoo, the global gaming market is likely to generate $159.3 billion in revenue in 2020. This will be a 9.3% annual growth. It can be concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic may have only hastened the emergence of a potential new gaming audience as more people than ever before are using games for communication and entertainment. We can say that when game enthusiasts lined up to implement and use new project ideas, a $150 billion industry officially began. The success of a game depends on many factors – like the authority of the developers and the publisher, the success of other studio projects, marketing, the season, competition with other games of the same genre. Today it is an industry that is attracting not only more and more users, but also more developers and publishers. Even though the world’s top five game publishers include Tencent Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, everyone has a lot of chances to succeed in this area and enter the market with a valuable product. As Halfbrick Studios once did it with Fruit Ninja, or Minecraft by Mojang Studios. This is harder to get to top these days, but some studios are often made up of developers who have left a big publisher and gone on an independent journey. This does not mean that only these developers will be able to succeed in this venture. Currently, a global talent pool is available for collaboration and the creation of world-famous projects. Kevuru Games is working on gaming projects to improve the player experience today Our dedicated team provides expert game design and development support. We cover all stages of game development – from highly-detailed concepts to animated 3D characters, complete game environments, interactive user interfaces and other elements that make a game project stand out in the market. OUR OUTSOURCING SERVICES In a game studio, as in any company, there are different departments. The number of these departments primarily depends on the size of the studio or the amount of work on the project or projects. The development team traditionally consists of game designers, artists, developers, game producers, programmers, art directors, project managers, and so on. The market and huge project funding allow you to create games with stunningly complex graphics, attract hundreds of thousands of people to develop a project and, in the same way, bring pleasure to the end user – the player. As the industry is going through what is arguably its most unpredictable year, we’ve put together ideas to shed light on what might lie ahead, focusing on what’s important to gamers and how to succeed in the current marketplace. Who Are Modern Gamers? To better understand the gaming industry and its trends in 2020, we suggest studying its audience – who are modern gamers? We’ve taken into account – 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry by the ESA – to create you the big picture of the industry and its audience. Not so long ago, the gaming audience could be described in a simple sentence – a separate part of society, consisting mainly of children and teenagers. Since then, schoolchildren have grown, and technology has reached such a level of development that now more and more adults get addicted to games. Yes, millennials are still the dominant category of gamers (48%), but there are also adults ready to play all day – on mobile, tablet or console. There is an aging (maturation) of the gaming audience: they only grow, but continue to play. The above stats are based on the number of active gamers worldwide taken from Statista from 2015 to 2023. Besides, other research materials are taken into account – by GlobalWebIndex, Newzoo, ESA, etc. According to Newzoo, the number of players worldwide continues to grow and will exceed 3 billion by 2023. This proves the fact that player engagement is also increasing on average, doubling every 5 years. This means that players are eager to come back and play the game over and over again. There are highly engaged players who indicate that they spend at least 15 hours per week playing on PC, mobile phone or console. Today, gamers make up 37% of global internet users in 2020. This means that every 4 in 10 Internet users are gamers, that is, those who are interested in games and play games. Thus, game developers and publishers have a large audience for which they can create new products or re-publish old games (more about this trend later). The Asia-Pacific region has a large number of gamers – 1,447 million of those who play games. This is 54% of the global community of gamers. No wonder that this region is among the leaders who spends the most money on games: it accounts for 49% of the global gaming market share with a large share of revenue in China – $40,854 million. However, it is not surprising, because it is the most populous region in the world. However, if we take the countries, the leaders in terms of revenue are again the United States: here the revenue from games reaches $ 36.9 billion. We can see that among the 2.7 billion players worldwide, 63% of the players are men, compared to 37% are women. This means that women don’t get left behind games – they are active players who can set trends in future products. Here, all the hope is for the developers who will release a decent game. There is a great tendency to adapt modern games to the end consumer. That is why more and more developers tend to create games with the ability to “control” a female character, separating purely feminine storylines, equipment and weapons. Modern game content is gradually being filled with everything necessary for a girl to play serious male games. The salvation of the world, albeit a virtual one, is very popular with girls. Direct and indirect trends are fundamentally changing the gaming audience. Take, for example, the gamification of the processes around us – in business, education, training, marketing, etc. Games are a new tool in many fields, so they are not designed exclusively for computer geeks. Let’s get to know all the latest trends in the gaming industry, keeping the finger on the pulse of all existing and potential players! The Latest Trends in the Gaming Industry: Top 10 1. The Return of Game Consoles With Major Upgrades and a Wide Lineup of New Games Microsoft and Sony plan to release new flagship consoles by the end of 2020. It will be the next generation of home consoles with an updated look and technical characteristics. So, hits will be released almost one after another for the army of game console fans. Consoles are among the most popular devices for gaming as well as other activities, especially among players around the world between the ages of 25 and 34. In the current generation of consoles, Sony’s PlayStation 4 significantly outperforms the Xbox One in sales, with 113.16 million units sold by Sony worldwide. 2. Re-Release of Old Games and Remastered Versions With New Hd Features and Other Capabilities At the presentation of games for PS5, Sony announced a remake of Demon’s Souls. This is a re-release of the very first Bandai Namco Souls Series that originally came out exclusively on the PlayStation 3 in 2009. Updated graphics, improved visual effects and many other various fixes and improvements await players. And there are more and more such releases every month. Projects like Homeworld Remastered Collection or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered are good examples. Most likely, most gamedev companies will continue the nostalgic trend. What is also remarkable about these remakes of games is that nostalgia is one of the fundamental triggers for millennials to play games. 3. Increased Demand for Cloud-Based Games It is a type of online game that is accessible through a ubiquitous and convenient network, meaning it can be hosted on a company server rather than on a player’s computer or device. For this reason, they are sometimes called games on demand or games as a service. As a result, cloud gaming is overcoming the technical and financial constraints that many users face today as new technologies and technical requirements emerge. Every year, computer games are becoming more demanding: to play comfortably with the maximum graphics settings, you will have to pay a big sum for a computer or any other gaming platform. The global cloud gaming market is expected to grow from $0.16 billion in 2019 to $3.23 billion by 2023. 4. Gradual Transition From a One-Time Transaction to a Subscription Service One of the success factors for the gaming industry in 2020 is associated with a significant change in the business model. Most game providers have moved from a one-time purchase model to a regular stream of revenue from EA Play, PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass, and other game subscription services. If earlier monetization in the game consisted of selling characters, weapons, expansion packs and many other virtual items, today it is more profitable for many to play them for a nominal monthly fee. This is because today’s consumers are buying fewer games than they used to. What’s more, gamers who pay to subscribe spend about 45% more on games than non-subscribers. 5. Mobile Gaming Boom in a New Genre Known as Hybrid-Casual Games All gaming segments saw an increase in engagement and revenue as a result of the COVID-19 measures, but the largest growth was in mobile gaming. Overall, mobile gaming revenue in 2020 will amount to $77.2 billion, up 13.3% from a year earlier. A fairly significant part of it comes from casual games. In the general mobile gaming arena, 2018 and 2019 were the years of hyper-casual games, but hybrid-casual games took over in 2020, according to the Newzoo Global Mobile Market Report 2020. They combine elements of gameplay and monetization from both hyper-casual and mainstream genres such as action-based role-playing games (ARPGs) and deck builders. 6. The Arrival of Big Game Titles in Mobile Gaming It seems, 2020 is not inferior to the previous year – there are spin-offs of major series, and games from the creators of top console and PC games. AAA game publishers are increasingly looking at mobile phones as a way to reach new audiences, as evidenced by the release of Call of Duty Mobile and Riot’s announcement that the mobile and console versions of League of Legends will appear on iOS and Android in 2020. These and many other AAA games have their own separate mobile versions that don’t have much in common with the PC and console versions of these games. Instead, they are suitable for playing on touchscreens and on the go, and in many cases are a great replacement for AAA games that can be played anywhere, anytime. 7. Esports Is Reaching a New Level – Significant Competitiveness, Investments and Mobile Audience Growth The Newzoo Global Esports Market Report 2020 shows significant revenues in this area – $1.1 billion, an increase of + 15.7% year on year. Most of this revenue (74.8%) will come from sponsorship and media rights, amounting to $822.4 million, up 17.2% from last year. Globally, the total eSports audience will grow to 495.0 million people in 2020, up 11.7% over the same period last year. The key driver in this area is the growth of the audience, especially the mobile one. The explosion of mobile esports is also seen among the latest trends, along with the growing popularity of mobile gaming in general. 8. Live Game Streaming Catches on in a Big Way These days, games are not only played, but also watched with great interest. Twitch and YouTube are literally bursting at the seams with an abundance of streamers and their viewers. Today, the number of monthly Twitch streamers exceeds 7 million, this year users are watching over 803 billion minutes. And YouTube, not wanting to share fame with Twitсh, is actively promoting its service for game broadcasts YouTube Gaming. Therefore, most are leaning towards releasing a game that is enjoyable to watch, rather than just playing. For example, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a gaming app that lets users watch and create gaming-focused live streams on the famous Facebook. 9. Cloud Is the Most Promising End-to-End Technology in the Video Game Industry Periods of high demand for online entertainment due to forced self-isolation or other factors, including new releases, promotions, and seasonality, always return gaming companies to the challenges of a high-performance, reliable and extremely flexible infrastructure. In this case, no one can deny the benefits of cloud infrastructure. Most gaming providers are actively using the cloud to solve everyday tasks and speed up most development processes, as well as work with high loads and traffic peaks. For example, Wargaming, the global leader in the multiplayer gaming market, has accelerated the development and testing of its products with the help of clouds. 10. The Demand for VR/AR Continues and Will Continue to Grow in Gaming The demand for VR/AR continues and will continue to grow in gamingVR and AR continue to blur the boundaries between reality and the virtual world more due to technological advances. The global AR and VR gaming user base is expected to grow to 216 million users by 2025. 2020 is drawing even more attention to the virtual reality industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak and to this day delivers a stable CAGR of 30%. For example, the popular Minecraft sandbox video game has made an update that allows it to be played with a PlayStation VR headset. Pokémon Go remains the AR industry’s biggest success story, earning more than $3 billion. The greatest introduction of VR or AR technologies is expected among the developers of various simulations. There is always a lot of innovation and trends in the gaming industry as video game companies are constantly looking for new ways to attract and retain customers. Competition for players is growing, and some new products and services are starting to gain momentum. There are games whose popularity seems to be forever like Minecraft, League of Legends or Counter-Strike. There are fashionable novelties that break stereotypes and overthrow recognized authorities, and over time they themselves become classics and set trends. Every year, new gaming trends emerge that developers and publishers chase to maximize profits and cash in on the popular. And even if 2020 is not easy for most industries, many continue or are just starting to play and discover new things in the gaming world. The List of Best-Selling Games in 2020 The gaming year 2020 is slightly different from the previous ones. First, this is a year of platform updates – the launch of Sony’s new PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, as well as the first games for these consoles will go on sale this fall. Secondly, the record number of 2019 releases was postponed to 2020, so the list of interesting projects this time turned out to be especially long and varied. Tastes differ – someone is waiting for an AAA shooter, someone – an indie adventure, turn-based strategy or a remake of a game from 20 years ago. They all will find something to play this year. And if there is no dispute about tastes, sales are still counted, and the numbers may indicate the popularity of a particular game. Let’s take a look at the most popular names for the first half of 2020. Minecraft Dungeons – One of Spin-off Games Booming in Sales in 2020 This action / adventure role-playing video game is able to captivate players for a long time, as Minecraft once did. Minecraft is still incredibly popular with sales peaking at $200 million and 126 million gamers per month. As a reminder, Minecraft Dungeons is a spin-off of the popular sandbox game Minecraft from the Swedish game development studio, Mojang. In this game, players have to hunt for treasures and confront dangerous monsters in a team of up to four people. Each level will differ from the previous one in the camera angle, the location of some paths and buildings, as well as the number of secrets and chests. The game received mixed reviews. Many found the game fun and engaging, and its visuals and music are highly appreciated. However, some elements, such as simple gameplay, procedural generation, and short storytelling, generated more controversy. Minecraft Dungeons – Game Reviews Taken from Minecraft Dungeons Review by IGN (short for the former name Imagine Games Network). “Minecraft Dungeons is basically Diablo with a Minecraft skin. Sure, it doesn’t mine the same mechanical depths as Diablo, and plays it safe with the formula instead of blazing its own path with bold Minecraft-inspired ideas, but it has all the fun combat, and loot it needs, and it’s accessible to just about anyone. MLB: The Show 20 – One of the Fastest-Selling Game in the History of the Baseball Franchise in 2020 MLB: The Show 20 is a sports baseball video game where players are split into two teams and take turns batting and fielding. In general, the gameplay is built according to the rules of real baseball. The virtual variation of baseball has simplified rules of the game. It focuses on the accuracy of throwing and hitting the ball. Players from the offensive team (batting team) must calculate the strength of the blows using a special scale, which must be stopped in time. At the same time, players can jump to the sides, jump when falling and accelerate. Winners are determined by counting the points earned for an action. Generally speaking, despite all the exciting elements in the gameplay, graphics, MLB: The Show 20 remains a game exclusively for those who are already into baseball. MLB: The Show has been around since 2006, so it had time to grow its fan base and grew in popularity. MLB The Show 20 took the best debut recording of its direct predecessor, MLB The Show 19. MLB: The Show 20 – Game Reviews Taken from MLB The Show 20 Review by Game Informer. “MLB The Show 20 mainly nails its core gameplay, and its many modes deliver compelling experiences. It’s not the best the series could be, but it makes you hold your breath in that moment before a crucial pitch or swing of the bat – a moment I love living in. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – The Game Sales of Which Skyrocketed During the Lockdown MLB: The Show 20 is a sports baseball video game where players are split into two teams and take turns batting and fielding. In general, the gameplay is built according to the rules of real baseball. The virtual variation of baseball has simplified rules of the game. It focuses on the accuracy of throwing and hitting the ball. Players from the offensive team (batting team) must calculate the strength of the blows using a special scale, which must be stopped in time. At the same time, players can jump to the sides, jump when falling and accelerate. Winners are determined by counting the points earned for an action. New Horizons has been destined for success since its announcement. What if you are locked at home during a pandemic? Right, the majority chose to play this game. Animal Crossing: New Horizon is a game where players live on an island with anthropomorphic creatures and complete quests to make money. It was a runaway success during the pandemic, attracting people looking for escape and alternative ways to communicate. Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Game Reviews Taken from Animal Crossing: New Horizons Reviews at Metacritic. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect getaway from daily life, putting players in a serene world where the only thing that matters is catching fish and arranging furniture. Its crafting system creates a sense of ownership over the island while also doubling as a creative outlet. It’s an absolutely delightful and refreshing experience. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – One of the Best-Selling PC Games in 2020 Even though this first person shooter was released in 2019, it is still gaining popularity in 2020. Modern Warfare also benefits from increased player engagement due to the need to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said Modern Warfare has sold more copies and has more players online than any previous Call of Duty game in the same time frame. Net revenue for the quarter ended June was $1.92 billion and monthly active users were 428 million. The game is a relaunch of the Modern Warfare sub-series, and it is not a direct sequel to Modern Warfare 3. Call of Duty has always been about spectacular gunfire and other impressive visuals, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is no exception. If you watch how the series works, how the developers present shootouts and create level designs, you will be pleasantly surprised. There are always impressive episodes to keep the players entertained. No shooter series in the world has managed to achieve the same quality of directing, voice acting and production that you will see in Modern Warfare. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Game Reviews Taken from a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review by The Guardian. “It’s fun and it’s really well made. Modern Warfare looks astonishing, from the almost photorealistic cinematic sequences to the intricately detailed in-game environments: the desert towns, the city streets, the remote villas. Sometimes you just have to stop and admire the orange glint of the sun off a burned-out vehicle. Legends of Runeterra – One of the Best-Selling Mobile Games in 2020 In October 2019, Riot Games announced several new projects at once, including Legends of Runeterra. This collectible card game (CCG) originated from the world-famous League of Legends. While Legends of Runeterra is tied to the League of Legends universe, players don’t need to be familiar with the original game. This product can boast several interesting ideas, thanks to which its gameplay seems fresh against the background of competitors. The game has a huge number of mechanics, both familiar from other CCGs (for example, “choosing the enemy”), and unusual. For example, “Depth”, when triggered, if there are 15 cards left in the deck, creatures with this perk will receive additional bonuses to your stats. The visual part of the game deserves special praise. The smooth animation of characters and objects, detailed 2D art create a lively atmosphere while playing this game. Experienced players will see familiar characters from League of Legends, build an unbeatable deck, fight opponents in colorful arenas and earn many rewards. They all will experience dynamic battles with many options for the development of events. Legends of Runeterra – Game Reviews Taken from the Legends of Runeterra Review by IGN. “The ability to respond immediately is foundational in Legends of Runeterra; its gameplay is intended to be like a conversation between the players, full of exchanges and interjections, as opposed to a debate of dueling speeches. Control can go back and forth many times within a single round as each player gets the chance to counter their opponent’s actions. The COVID-19 Impact on the Gaming Industry It is worth noting that the period from spring 2020 has become a real boom for the gaming industry. The coronavirus pandemic played a role in this, tying everyone to the house. Unsurprisingly, most people have brightened up their self-isolation with computer and mobile games. This is evidenced by the fact that game downloads have increased markedly over this period. Just for thought – 15.2 billion mobile games were downloaded in both app stores – the Apple App Store and Google Play in Q2 2020. Revenue growth (CAGR 2020-2025) is expected to be 2.8%, resulting in a projected market size of $19,097 million by 2025. Along with younger users, older people are also showing interest in games, which is considered another reason for the increased demand for games during the COVID-19 pandemic. People aged 55-64 play mental stimulation games as highlighted in the ESA’s 2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report. So, the COVID-19 pandemic is opening up additional opportunities for game providers. The main thing is to navigate the rapidly developing gaming industry, its technologies and at the same time in the global entertainment sector in order to offer the most popular products and satisfy the basic needs and desires of the gaming audience. Competition in the global gaming market is extremely high, and companies are forced to look for innovative tools and technologies in order to offer their customers the most convenient platform. The developers of game content face a difficult task – to create a unique and modern solution that will be interesting to fans of games of different age categories. As for the key trends determining the development of the global gaming industry in 2020, first of all, it is necessary to note top tricks used to meet the consumer demands: game development on popular platforms with cloud and VR support, impressive graphic design, artificial intelligence, etc. In conditions of isolation, games have been actively integrated into social networks. In this way, they themselves become a kind of social network to keep in touch with others. By the way, with the spread of Сovid-19, the popularity of eSports has only grown, but at a different level. Now esports tournaments are full-fledged championships held entirely in the virtual world. It is possible to even say that the border between the virtual and the real world has disappeared thanks to online streaming of gameplay. In countries with closed borders, in empty cities, virtual life is in full swing. At the same time, the pandemic has become a challenge for the largest market players, confusing their plans. So, in April, it became known that Sony, due to difficulties with logistics, postponed the release of one of the most anticipated games – The Last of Us: Part II. In May, one of Ubisoft’s largest developers and distributors also warned that COVID-19 would delay the release of one of its high-budget games. Another significant change caused by the pandemic is that most developers have to master new formats of work – remote. According to the GDC’s 2020 State of the Game Industry Report, 70% of game developers have been forced to move to work from home. However, many gamedev companies have practiced remote work, hiring programmers around the world – in that sense, little has changed for them. Thus, the gaming market is more likely to outlast a pandemic than any other, such as the film industry or tourism. The audience growth will play into the hands of most gaming providers (if only they understand the big picture of the market with all its key trends). So, let’s move on to the main factors for the success of the gaming market that need to be considered in 2020. The Main Factors of Success in the Gaming Market Today In modern conditions, the competition for the attention of players is very high. But is quality always important to guarantee the success of a game? Is the popularity of game titles or the credibility of developers or publishers in the marketplace the only determinant of high sales? Of course, success depends on many factors: marketing campaigns, ad quality, product features, target audience, release time and many more. Among the large number of developers, everyone hopes that their next game will receive high recognition and become multi-million dollar income. However, few are destined to reach the level of Fortnite, Minecraft or Angry Birds. The success enjoyed by these particular games is far from accidental. What makes one game rank among the most grossing games while the other has a hard time chasing fans? Based on the list of the best-selling games of 2020, the following success factors can be highlighted: Success Factor #1. Game Development in the Most Popular Genres In 2020, 2.7 billion gamers continue to play games of all genres – from board and card games to simulation and strategy. One of the success factors for most game developers is the variety of genres in which they can create a game. There are dozens of game genres, and if you take into account the subcategories and mixed genres, then hundreds. Moreover, between 2019-2020, due to the isolation caused by the coronavirus outbreak, people are looking for new ways of entertainment in new genres such as hyper-casual games or battle royale games. Here you are top 5 genres popular in 2020. The question arises, what genres of games are popular today? It is important for current and future game developers to get a path of movement. So let’s talk about the most popular genres of games this year that are unlikely to leave positions in 2021. Everyone can find the game according to the mood, preferences, and experience of players. Success Factor #2. Correctly Chosen Platforms for the Game There is no one 100% perfect machine that would do absolutely everything that is required in the gaming world. While PC games can perform some tasks better than console games and vice versa, each will always have its own pros and cons. But you can approach the game development process more intelligently, take the following considerations into account for each platform, and choose the most appropriate one based on your needs and goals. The most successful gaming companies in the long run don’t just grab the attention of their audiences with games on the same platform in demand today. They create a stable game that works across platforms to appeal to different audiences. If you take another look at the list of top-selling games of 2020 above, you will notice this trend – most of them are released on different platforms. Success Factor #3. Beautiful Style and Atmospheric Graphic Design Games have always been a lucrative segment of the entertainment market, so more and more developers are active, constantly releasing new products with updated design elements. Therefore, the appearance of original, bright, colorful and quite realistic designs is not surprising. Indeed, we’ve come a long way since the days of basic 8-bit graphics in games. Recent advancements now allow gamers to experience games in fully rendered worlds with photorealistic textures. The ability to enhance gameplay with higher image quality makes players feel like they are in the game. A number of games can be distinguished with the beauty of the surrounding world and the visual component and give out a vivid picture. At the same time, most of them are engaged in creating a minimalist and simple design for games. Computer games are built around software, visuals, and storytelling. Graphic designers creates whatever the user sees on the screen. They work on a virtual world with levels, interfaces, characters, environments, animations, graphic elements and special effects. All these components create an overall unique artistic atmosphere and add mood to the game. Visuals that resonate with your audience are more than detailed graphics. It must be attractive and meaningful to the players. In practice, the general aesthetics of popular games include both specific design and general artistic intent. Remember that game design and art should complement each other. For example, most fans of real-time strategies or shooters may not like cute animal units. To determine the visual direction of their future project, many take into account the peculiarities of the chosen genre, the style of their closest competitors. At this stage, it is important to create a mood board to be able to convey the general mood and colors of the stylistics. When choosing colors, do not neglect the tastes and preferences of your target audience and platform features. For example, clean and positive colors are suitable for mobile games that are aimed at a more casual audience, and for PC and consoles, you can choose more harsh shades. Success Factor #4. Replay Value Game developers don’t want players to just download or play their game once; they want the game to be played over and over and over. Yes, that’s right, many are pursuing the goal of developing a game that is played as much as possible. Long-term engagement creates loyalty, which is the best way to gain a competitive edge. In order to make a game that gamers constantly want to play, you can go in two directions: so that the game cannot end quickly, or so that with each playthrough, there are some features that significantly change the gaming experience. Instead of giving players a full game, most developers divide it into episodes (series) and release it piece by piece. In fact, the game is not cut, because there is nothing to cut. The creation of such a game takes place in real time, and the first episode can be released long before the project comes to an end. Aside from these common ways to add value to play, most of them apply to other ways – let’s see which ones. Ways to Ensure Replay Value Implementation Quality Wealth of Game Scenarios Extra Details Follow the set of points that distinguish a good game from a bad one: successful gameplay design, intense plot, well-thought-out level design with challenging tasks, high-quality traced graphics, relevant music, etc. Create a well-balanced gameplay that does not limit freedom to one or two choices; Provide the ability to run the game with different initial conditions; Work on a non-linear storyline with different options for passing the game; Create an open game world without being limited by rigid plot lines Provide endless development of the game with blocked content unlocked after completing a level; Create competitive value in multiplayer games; Focus on team collaboration to make a game an effective communication tool during isolation; Don’t forget about regular updates, additions to games, catalogs, modifications Success Factor #5. The Development Team Working at Full Strength A well-equipped workforce strengthens your business. Given that the gaming sector relies heavily on super-specialized skills and knowledge renewal, it’s worth investing a significant chunk of your time building a stellar team. Game development can be done either by one person or by a full development team. However, while in the early 1980s, with the advent of the first home computers and game consoles, a single programmer could manage almost all the tasks associated with game development, modern game development requires a wide range of skills and support staff. To work on one project requires entire teams, which usually include representatives of different specializations. Who are these experts who are developing games today? As you can see, each specialist is involved in a different aspect of game development. Designers formulate key ideas. Artists paint characters, environments, and other game objects. Programmers implement game mechanics, etc. Each specialist must fill the game with meaning. To develop a game, you need at least a team of a game designer and programmer. All other pros are overkill for indie developers. But for large game studios, it is imperative to hire a full team of game development experts. To sum up, most long-lasting games combine compelling visual design, initial appeal to target audiences, revamped gameplay and a user-friendly revenue model, and leveraging social marketing channels effectively. The Battle Continues: Who Will Be the Next Industry Leader? While the fate of a game is largely determined by its type, style, and many other factors, today’s teams, with a consistent effort, try to attract users using special tools, technology and data available. Hopefully, reading this material wasn’t a waste of time for you. Moreover, you get competitive information which you can use for your own business goals and needs. We kindly ask you not to take the presented data for granted. Our task is to analyze the key trends in the gaming market and present the most likely forecast of potential leaders in the industry. Game development has become incredibly challenging due to the rapid changes in gaming technologies such as platforms, engines, virtual and augmented reality, high-definition displays, wearable electronics, the cloud, etc. It’s an ongoing battle as thousands of games compete for the attention of players. One gets the impression that it is more profitable to release another FIFA or endless Assassin’s Creed than to risk and bet on a really worthwhile project that the audience may not understand and appreciate. … but the winners find and use their ‘sweet’ spots in the market. So, who will be the next leaders in the gaming industry? Let’s forecast together based on the data presented! It can be very difficult for someone “outside” to get into the “production hell” of the industry, because even the teams that are “inside” find it difficult to develop and release their own game. There are enough interesting ideas and scenarios, but often either there are no resources for their implementation, or the project is “frozen” until better times due to too bold ideas and approaches. And better times may never come. So, there are only two ways to get into the world of game development: dive right into the abyss or take a long look and ask questions – “what will make my product outstanding?”, “who will earn the reputation of leaders in the market and why?” and so on. We’ve already presented you the list of success factors above. Now, let’s sum up – who will be the future leaders? Future leaders will be those who will: Find an idea that is valuable to the target audience based on their tastes and preferences Assemble a full team of qualified experts to implement this idea on a professional level “Attack” the gaming market with the competitive advantage and long-term benefits of products and services Kevuru Games is a leading European art and game design company, creating cutting edge entertainment experiences for clients around the world – FoxNext, Epic Games, EA and others. We are proud to partner with leading companies in the gaming industry and are ready to help become the leaders of the gaming world. Please read our website carefully or contact us for more information about our services. Create beyond the limits with Kevuru Games!
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How Much Does Concept Art Cost? – A Simple Formula to Estimate the Project
How Much Does Concept Art Cost? – A Simple Formula to Estimate the Project
What is a fair price to pay for concept art in today’s high tech world where there are many digital resources available to create it? What influences the cost of concept art and how do you find the offer that works best for your project? Concept art can be underestimated, and vice versa, overestimated. Some people think that concept creation is not as difficult as artists describe, while others pay higher prices to get concept work done according to proper standards and specific requirements. In fact, prices really differ from company to company, from artist to artist, but there are significant factors affecting the final cost of concept art. What determines the concept art pricing and how to estimate the project budget is described in this article. Keep reading to find answers to all your questions. Components of Concept Art Pricing Concept art is an important stage – be it in a game, animation, cartoon, or any other video production project. You need concepts, that is, detailed visualizations of ideas for further steps in design. They are used by designers, modelers, animators to get started and make them workable in every single project. Everything you see in video games or cartoons is initially created by a concept artist. These are characters, their weapons and vehicles, clothes they wear, buildings where they run in, and other elements that make up the big picture of the scenery you are looking at. This work concerns the general style, and stylization of all visual elements, materials, and so on. This is a blacksmith, a 2D character that our team worked on from scratch for one of the projects. It took about 40 hours to create an overall design for this character with details that fully reveal this personality. You can find more works in our portfolio. There are specific factors that affect concept art prices: Project complexity. Almost no project in concept art can be considered simple because it is quite difficult to create original ideas for future design. This process takes a lot of effort and creativity to come up with something really valuable before settling on the final design. Some projects come with stringent requirements, specifications, and other demands that may complicate the task of creating concepts. Complex projects take more amount of time, imagination, and skill to complete. For example, creating concepts for 3D models is more difficult than 2D concepts as all of them must be depicted with all elements displayed from all sides. The prices will correspond to each degree of difficulty. The detail level. This is a crucial point when it comes to the time to charge the price of a final product. The logical conclusion that suggests itself – the more details are included, the higher the prices will be. It may happen that modelers or designers need a lot of additional details such as clothing, textures, materials, tones, props and other assets. It is better to create them during the concept phase, which can greatly facilitate their work later in production. In addition, poses also refer to additional detail that concept artists can develop for animation. For example, the character must be in a “combat” position using magic or firing a pistol. It will be a detailed concept creation process that will cost you accordingly. Scope of work. It’s one thing to work on character designs with appropriate references or already created characters in the same style. It’s another matter to develop an entire project with many characters, environments, and other assets from scratch. It is worth noting that concept requirements differ from industry to industry. More work is often done on in-game concepts because the game offers a character, location or weapon view beyond screen time. In films, cartoons or any other animated video, the result of painstaking work by an artist can take no more than a dozen frames. Time frames. Usually, it takes 50-80 hours to create a detailed concept (but again, depending on many conditions – complexity, level of detail, etc.) In theory, all this can be done by one specialist within a reasonable timeframe. You can expect the final product sooner, but be prepared to pay more for urgency. Time is money. During certain phases of work, concept artists need to be quick without being distracted by detail. They need to effectively communicate ideas and moods in as short a time as possible. Since this requires a tremendous amount of knowledge and skills, you can hire the most experienced artists at higher prices than those charged by juniors. So we are approaching the team and its composition. Team and its skill level. There is a widespread belief that artists are endowed with almost divine power, they just need to wave a stylus and then magically create valuable concepts out of nothing, but this is deceiving. Of course, artists must be talented, but at the same time experienced. Although there are geniuses in our world, artists have to work hard to get the most out of CAD experience. As with many industries, art and design experts are also keeping up with the tendency to improve their skills. So, your goal is to find a skilled expert who suits your requirements. Senior specialists with their higher rates are not always involved in projects, except for AAA. That’s right, they can perform most tasks without any supervision. But most projects have an art director who still leads the team based on a single artistic vision. Junior and mid-level professionals also handle most tasks with complete dedication and professional experience. How to Calculate the Cost of Concept Art? Typically, to calculate the cost of concept art, you need to figure out the concept artist’s hourly rate and multiply it by the hours it takes to complete the job. When you need a wide range of concepts, you hire more specialists. So don’t forget to multiply the amount of money by the number of specialists required for the project. And of course, don’t neglect some additional factors – complexity, level of detail, style, etc. The more requirements for the concept, the more money you will pay for the final illustration. Rate x Hours = … $ (Rate x Hours) x Number of Specialists = … $ Concept + Details = … $ Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation Concept artists’ rates are different. Someone works as a freelance and sets rates they find fair. By the way, if you’re interested in the concept art pricing guide – how to negotiate better rates of pay, click here to get familiar with 15 ways to negotiate better rates of pay. Basically, concept artist’s rates like the rates of any other specialists depend on years of experience, skill level, qualifications, the reputation of the artist, as well as where he/she is from. Let’s dwell on the main factor of different rates – location. American or Canadian artists set higher rates than in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe. If you look at the table below, you can see the average hourly rates around the world. And knowing these numbers, you can quickly estimate the cost of a project by multiplying the rate by the number of hours required to implement the concept. Concept Artists’ Rates Around the World CountryRate, $/hr USA $100 – $149 / hr UK $50 – $99 / hr Germany $50 – $99 / hr Ukraine $25 – $49 / hr As you can see, the final cost of the concept art will vary significantly from country to country. This is due to many external factors – economic paradigm, living standards, etc. And this does not mean that concept artists in Ukraine are less qualified than in the UK. For example, Epic Games relied on our team of concept artists to work out new engaging players for the world-famous game – Fortnite. Read more information about this case study in our blog – Character Concepts that Rocked Fortnite Players. Well, How to Select the Best Concept Artists? Among all possible selection criteria, pay attention to the reputation of the art studio or artist you are hiring. Focus on the complexity of the work, the quality, and the time frame you set, and find out if a potential candidate will be able to meet all the requirements. Study the portfolio in detail – whether the style matches the setting of your game. If you are creating a sci-fi world, and the artist’s portfolio has a noticeable preponderance towards cartoony concepts, it probably does not suit you. Keep in mind that concept art is a fairly broad branch of CG. Within the gaming industry alone, there are many areas where concept artists are needed, from icons in free-to-play games to characters in big-budget third-person action games. You just need to find a reliable partner in this endeavor. Kevuru Games are at your service to realize projects you plan.
15 min
27
Epic Games, Telegram, Spotify, Rakuten and Others Against Apple: The End of Monopoly Era? [Updated]
Epic Games, Telegram, Spotify, Rakuten and Others Against Apple: The End of Monopoly Era? [Updated]
The topic of monopolization, which has never lost its relevance, has sparkled with new colors in the light of the freshest confrontation between Epic Games and Apple. What happened, how it affects the market, what fate awaits the parties to these proceedings, and whether the iOS kingdom will be able to maintain its isolation from the entire technological world – let’s figure it out. What Is the Matter? On August 14, 2020, video game company Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple technology corporation. The reason was the blocking of one of the most famous games from Epic Games, Fortnite, in App Store. The 62-page complaint filed on the day the game was banned contains allegations of antitrust and freedom of competition violations, and demands that Apple’s restrictive terms be revised. What Is the Reason for Banning Fortnite? According to the official App Store rules, all payments must go through the App Store payment system, for which a 30% commission is charged. Disagreeing with this state of affairs, Epic Games released a Fortnite update on August 13, which provides for the alternative method of in-game purchases. It’s about reducing prices for in-game currency V-bucks and the possibility of purchasing them through the Epic Direct system. By using it and bypassing App Store rules, players could purchase skins and in-game items with a 20% discount. Apple reacted quickly: Fortnite was completely removed from App Store. The already installed game will continue to function, but will no longer be able to update. And now it is not possible to download the game for new players. Apple’s statement“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store. Google’s Reaction Google followed Apple’s lead by removing Fortnite from the Play Store. However, unlike Apple, Android users can install the game from other sources. Google’s statement “While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play. Monopolist Territory: Play for High Stakes Accusations against monopolists arise every year. Tech giants like Amazon and Apple are often accused of damaging competition, tax evasion, undermining democracy and breaching privacy. Companies cooperating with monopolies are faced with the problem of a complete lack of alternatives: they become dependent on the conditions of the monopolists and are forced to pay all imposed commissions in order to stay afloat and promote their business. As a company directly involved in the video games industry, Kevuru Games is opposed to monopolization of any kind. Instead of a fruitful partnership, this form of cooperation turns into outright extortion, damaging small and medium-sized businesses. And the tougher the conditions, the more colossal the damage. Consequently, there is a chance that there will be even more companies dissatisfied with monopolization. And they will look for alternative ways of business development. Increased taxation, the introduction of new regulations and antitrust investigations are the first steps in establishing the global economic balance. And we fully support these initiatives. What’s Next for Epic Games? The creator of Fortnite strongly disagrees with Apple’s actions. From their point of view, Apple is abusing its power over iPhone users and restricting them in everything from the inability to install applications and games from third-party sources to the limitation of the only possible payment system. The overly restrictive App Store moderation rules have also always been the subject of bitter controversy and discussion. Epic Games created a special page where it explained to the players the essence of what was happening in detail. The hashtag #FreeFortnite is extremely popular on Twitter right now. Epic’s statement“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the market for in-app payments on iPhones. As for the prospects, it definitely succeeded to draw attention to the issue of monopolization. Many large companies have spoken out in support of Epic Games: Facebook, Spotify, Telegram, BaseCamp, Netflix, ClassPass, Airbnb, Match Group and others. Fiji Simo, the head of Facebook’s main app, said they had asked Apple to cut a 30% fee or allow using Facebook Pay to cover the costs of businesses struggling during COVID-19, but were refused. In March 2019, the streaming music service Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with the EU Antitrust Commission regarding the same notorious 30% commission for user purchases through the iOS app. By demanding a commission from Spotify, Apple is thus forcing the service to raise prices and lose its competitive advantage. Then the prices will be higher than Apple Music has, which Spotify competes with. The streaming service also decided to implement a subscription scheme bypassing Apple’s payment system and commissions, after which the latter stopped updating the application and threatened to remove it from the App Store. Other companies such as Rakuten, Match Group, and Tile have also complained about similar recurring trends at Apple: Apple is entering the technology, apps, music and e-book market without paying any commissions and thus outperforming competitors in terms of price. In this way, Apple fights competition by preventing possible alternatives from entering the iOS application distribution market. The company, among other things, prohibits installing app stores and programs themselves directly from third-party sites, preinstalls App Store and does not allow it to be removed. The US Congress has already spoken out about the monopoly state of Apple and specifically about the too high commission in App Store. The European Union also did not stand aside: back in June, an antitrust investigation was opened regarding App Store and Apple Pay commission practices. Margrethe Vestager, the head of the EU’s antitrust division “We need to ensure that Apple’s rules do not distort competition in markets where Apple is competing with other app developers, for example with its music streaming service Apple Music or with Apple Books. What Will Happen to Apple? The maximum penalty of 10% of all revenue is what Apple can expect if all claims against it are considered fair. However, not everyone believes that this will radically affect the future strategy of the corporation. The example of Google, which was also fined for violating EU antitrust laws, showed that large players view fines only as business costs. However, there are some nuances here. Apple is going through a difficult period: in the light of iPhone sales decline, the company will have to be more careful with statements and decisions. Therefore, it is likely that it will still make some concessions. For example, allowing third-party browsers and email apps, and easing HomePod restrictions for third-party music apps, including Spotify. But while these are only suggestions, there have been no official statements from Apple. Is It Possible to Loosen the Tension of the iOS Bridle? The Epic Games complaint suggests that the app developers have no real power to influence Apple’s behavior. They face a choice: pay a commission or ditch a billion-user base. According to Epic Games, no developer has the ability to single-handedly overcome network effects and cope with the cost of re-attracting users to another platform. The company believes that iOS users cannot be lured somewhere else so that it remains profitable. IOS users are unlikely to be able to abandon their platform for a number of reasons: The need to retrain: users are accustomed to design, control system, functions and are not eager to switch to other platforms. Losing personal data and financial investments in iOS applications: everything will have to be transferred manually, and paid content will have to be bought again. Moving away from profitable iOS family services: the platform encourages family or mass use of the system by offering useful group communication, file sharing packages and features for iOS. The loss of ability to use the kit: often users buy Apple devices in addition to other Apple devices due to the advantages of their work in combination.The loss of opportunity to participate in programs: for example, Apple allows you to get a new iPhone every year in exchange for recurring payments. The loss of ecosystem benefits: there are many benefits that make Apple virtually invulnerable in a competitive environment, so other companies will have to negotiate with everyone involved to duplicate the benefits of the iOS ecosystem. Thus, in the near future, an iOS alternative similar in capabilities and characteristics is hardly foreseen. But What About Fortnite? Despite temporary problems, Fortnite remains available for download and does not lose its audience. Players are free to get it on Android devices through the Epic Games app or Samsung Galaxy Store. We hope that this situation will soon be resolved and that all loyal fans of the game will be able to enjoy it without any restrictions. The Show Must Go On: Confrontation Continues Apple is serious about keeping the confrontation high: on August 28, it removed the account of Epic Games from the App Store. Now the developer will not be able to download updates and new games to the store. After deleting an account in the App Store, the Epic Games page on which the developer’s games were previously collected disappeared. The Fortnite page disappeared even earlier. Apple’s statement“We are disappointed that we had to delete our Epic Games App Store account. We’ve worked with the Epic Games team for many years on their releases. The court recommended that Epic adhere to the platform’s principles during the trial, following the rules the company has followed over the past decade. Epic refused. Instead, they’ve repeatedly downloaded Fortnite updates that violate App Store policies. This is unfair to all the other developers in the App Store and is drawing users into Epic’s struggles. We hope to be able to work together in the future, but unfortunately this is not possible today. The reaction of the head of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, followed almost immediately. Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games “Apple’s statement isn’t forthright. They chose to terminate Epic’s account; they didn’t *have* to. Apple suggests we spammed the App Store review process. That’s not so. Epic submitted three Fortnite builds: two bug-fix updates, and the Season 4 update with this note. Microsoft’s Reaction After Apple threatened Epic Games with not only deleting the account, but also depriving them of the rights to use all development tools for iOS and Mac, Microsoft spoke out in defense of Epic Games and said that such actions were unacceptable. Epic Games again appealed to the court, considering the actions against it unfair and likely to harm other participants in the industry. Microsoft has filed a statement in support of Epic, urging not to deny the company access to development tools while the lawsuit against Apple is ongoing. According to Microsoft, Unreal Engine, developed and maintained by Epic, is a critical technology for the industry, and losing access to it on iOS and macOS would deprive Microsoft and other game creators of a critical component. This can be a disaster for developers if an Unreal-based game is under development. In such a situation, one will have to choose between restarting development, dropping support for Apple devices, or canceling the project. Issues may also appear in existing games as iOS and Mac users will not be able to receive new features, bug fixes, and security updates. In addition, there will be a market split as users of Apple devices will not be able to play online with users of other platforms. Microsoft’s statement “If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games.
15 min
6
What Is the Price of 3D Modeling? – Scope of Work, Rates [+ 5 Factors Affecting the Final Cost]
What Is the Price of 3D Modeling? – Scope of Work, Rates [+ 5 Factors Affecting the Final Cost]
Most markets are flooded with a huge number of 3D models. And how beautiful and realistic they can be today – 3D models for architectural design, 3D models of goods in online stores, 3D game characters, and environments for virtual reality, as well as other 3D objects that we can observe in many other projects. They can be used in science, engineering, media, entertainment, and other industries to create realistic models through true-to-life visual dimensions – width, height, and depth. The price of 3D models is often a good indicator of how well they are made (just like any other product on the market). However, is it always true that the higher the cost, the higher the quality and vice versa? If you are trying to answer this question and find out the affordable prices for 3D models, do not miss this article based on an in-depth study of this issue. Get a complete understanding of the possible 3D modeling prices that you may face in the market worldwide – in the USA, Europe, or Asia. What Is 3D Modeling Today? – Top 3 Use Cases of 3D Models Without going into the specifics of 3D modeling, this process of recreating real-world objects in a virtual environment using specialized software brings a lot – firstly, impressive visual effects in games and animation, and other types of multimedia, secondly, interactive solutions in e-commerce and marketing, and thirdly, real useful products in the field of healthcare and manufacturing. However, more and more industries apply to 3D models to visualize objects as they would look like in the real world – architecture (interior and exterior design), science and technology, etc. Modern 3D graphics and CAD software allow you to create photorealistic and beautiful stylized visualizations of various objects of any complexity, experiment with colors, change and adjust to your own needs. 3D modeling services are needed in the following cases: To present a product design, goods in commerce for marketing purposes, or any project in architecture or additive manufacturing; To improve or expand the user experience in movies, games, cartoons or any other multimedia project; To assess the characteristics and properties of the product for scientific, technological, or other purposes. Here are 3 main reasons why 3D modeling services can come in handy today. The benefits of using 3D objects are obvious. They are dynamic and can be viewed from any side, which allows you to interact with them as in reality, even when it comes to virtual reality. So, if you’re going to order or buy 3D models, let’s continue to dig into the question, “How much does it cost to create a 3D model?” Key Factors Affecting the Final Cost of 3D Modeling Complexity Design & art style Workload & Time limits Team & qualifications How complex is a 3D project? For what? What are the design specifications? What will 3D models look like and in what design style? How much work will be done for the final product and how quickly? Who will be involved in production and how experienced are they? 3D modelers take on projects that may vary in many ways. For someone, it must be a simple 3D model for the product development, someone will require thoroughly designed realistic 3D characters for a video game, others will run ads with stylized 3D models, and so on. Different modeling techniques are used to create certain types of models that require a certain set of skills and practical experience in CAD software. Thus, project requirements will differ as well that cannot help but take a toll on the final 3D modeling cost. With solid experience in 3D modeling, we’ll offer you the most crucial factors that may affect your project budget: 1. The Complexity of a 3D ModelIt is wrong to think that the smaller the 3D model, the less work to be done and the less money will be paid. Size is not the best indicator of the complexity of 3D modeling. Many other details will determine how long it will take to create a 3D model, respectively, how much money will be spent on this project. 3D modeling itself is the sheer dimensional complexity – all three dimensions are used to build a 3D model at its best. Let’s look at other measures to formulate the complexity of 3D models: Geometric complexity – the type of lines, curves, surfaces, and shapes will also affect the scope of work on 3D models. It can be any combination of topological, geometric, metric, color, and texture attributes or non-visual characteristics. As a result, the more repeated components are included in the 3D object, the easier it will be to create it. For example, to model windows or pillars will be less time-consuming than 3D game characters. Combinatorial complexity – the number of components used for 3D models is a crucial factor for measuring the scope of work. 3D models are made up of vertices that are connected by edges to form faces in the polygon mesh. From a technical point of view, it is better to count the polygons to see how complex the 3D model is. As a rule, a simple object has a lower number of polygons than a complex one. A low-poly model is almost always cheaper than high-poly models. Other details such as textures and material properties are also present in 3D models, which can also be taken into account when planning the project budget. The more realistic it looks or the more stylized effects are required, the more knowledge and skills you may need to fulfill all the technical design specifications. This is Baby Yoda, a 3D character that our 3D modeling team created for one of the projects. It took about 80 hours to make this photorealistic 3D model with textures of skin and hair, and other materials. 2. 3D Model DesignWe have already partially revealed this point – the more details are included in the design (textures, objects, etc.), the more complex the 3D model. So let’s dive deeper into the 3D design – why is this important in terms of cost? You see a 3D model can be fully described in terms of specific design features – shape, texture, color, unity, balance, proportion, etc. The starting point of any design project is the conceptual sketch of the final product. So, you first need a sketch of the desired 3D models. Before modelers begin creating 3D characters and environments, concept artists always join at the initial stages to make a rough outline of the intended outcomes. You need at least one concept on which you can base your final design. After that, all the necessary reference materials are explored to recreate the object in the desired graphic design. Will it be photorealistic action characters or stylized 3D cartoon characters? This question will help you determine how much the planned 3D model will cost you. Photorealistic 3D models require more work on textures and rendering, for example. Texturing is what gives an object its shape and depth. To add natural textures to a 3D model, it is important to first refer to the existing textures and then tweak them using digital tools – Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, and others. Stylized 3D models also require extensive expertise and creative imagination. The conclusion suggests itself: the more custom design requirements, the higher the cost. This 3D model consists of many design details that represent the big picture of the concept created and developed by our team. It takes an average of 140 hours to create a similar 3D character design and add all the necessary materials and assets. But if you are not an expert in 3D modeling and cannot estimate the overall degree of complexity that needs to be achieved in your project, you can always count on our qualified help. Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation 3. Scope of Work & Project Completion Date The final cost varies from project to project depending on the demands. Someone asks to model a 3D character for a quick animated video commercial, others will order a wide range of 3D characters and other assets for game development. As you see the scope of work on these two different projects will differ. For this reason, all the work that needs to be done to complete the project is fully described in the initial stages by the project manager. No one denies the urgency factor that is also crucial for estimating the project in terms of cost. The shorter the time frame, the more money is paid to the 3D modeling team as it must be expanded with extra hands to finish the project on a tight schedule. Hence, you are hiring a team of 5 specialists instead of 2 people so that they could do different tasks simultaneously. This is especially true if you want to maintain a high-quality standard at the same time. 4. Qualifications of 3D ModelersThere are many skills and tools that 3D modelers need to master to create high-quality models that would meet the customer’s requirements and needs. For example, the requirements and design specifications for an AAA game or a Hollywood blockbuster will be different from simple product or architectural design in animation for marketing purposes. 3D modelers are tasked with creating just about anything you can imagine – from real-world environments to fully realized and detailed characters. At its core, 3D modeling is a combination of skills and practical knowledge and experience that work together to be used in our technology-driven world. The art industry maintains a tradition applied in many other industries to award levels of qualifications and determine salaries and responsibilities based on them. The career ladder consists basically of three levels: junior, middle, and senior. They are based on the following criteria: technical knowledge, day-to-day responsibilities, independent work, teamwork and vision. Junior 3D Modelers Middle 3D Modelers Senior 3D Modelers They have excellent basic knowledge of 3D modeling and CAD software, understand and follow style guides to ensure consistency of assets. But they can receive regular reviews and recommendations from team leaders on possible improvements. They are well-versed in all aspects of 3D modeling, with an expert level of experience in using Maya, Zbrush and other related modeling software. There is a significant difference from juniors – mid-level specialists can take an initiative or a project without much supervision. They have the highest degree of proficiency who are able to work well both independently and in a team. What makes these professionals senior is that their excellent troubleshooting skills enable them to find practical solutions based on knowledge and previous experience. By distinguishing between these positions, you can better understand the levels of competence and set more precise expectations for a particular specialist. As a rule, real professionals are appreciated and paid accordingly. You shouldn’t neglect the skill level of every specialist you hire. But remember that 3D modelers are often part of a large design team made up of many other professionals – artists, designers, animators, etc. And you can save money by hiring junior / mid-level professionals instead of senior ones. Typically, there is an art director and project leader who will oversee them and develop and maintain collaborative relationships within the team. They work like links in a large chain. Rates of 3D Modelers in the USA, Europe & Asia CountryRate, $/hr USA $100 – $199 / hr UK $100 – $149 / hr Germany $50 – $99 / hr Poland $25 – $49 / hr Ukraine $25 – $49 / hr (Rates are based on the data given on online review platforms such as Clutch.co, GoodFirms, and presented through comparative analysis) The easiest way to calculate how much money you need to create a 3D model is to find out the rates of 3D modelers in different markets and multiply each rate by the time it takes to complete the project. Remember that this depends on the difficulty level indicated at the beginning? Apart from all the factors already mentioned, there is not the last factor – the place where 3D modeling services are offered. It means that you’ll pay less for 3D modeling services in European countries (like Poland, Ukraine) than in the USA, Canada or the UK. Let’s have a closer look at the numbers so that you could estimate the project right now! How to Choose a Reliable 3D Modeling Service Provider? It looks like prices for 3D modeling are on the surface and you can rely on the most affordable offer on the market. However, figuring out the price is half the battle. You still have a few steps to follow to get exactly what you need. Among a variety of available 3D modeling services, you should find those experts that can guarantee you particular options: The favorable quality-to-price ratio; Computer-aided design based on custom specifications; High-qualified 3D modeling team with in-depth expertise;Fast adaptability, flexibility, and full transparency; Effective project management and timely delivery, and so on. Basically all the above-mentioned points cause a high degree of reliability among all clients. So, your aim is to find the most reliable partner depending on the project needs. With the growing number of companies offering 3D modeling services, it can be difficult to find the best service provider that suits your specific requirements. When choosing a 3D modeling service provider, factors such as the quality, price, reputation, and others should be considered. However, before making any decision, you should: Take a close look at the website of a relevant service provider – study all the information presented there. Is that what you’re looking for? Do they offer those services you need for your project(s)? Read attentive testimonials from previous clients – explore reviews on other independent platforms. What do people say about this company?Are there any compelling arguments in the reviews? Contact a company representative – find out more about a service provider from the primary source. Does this company have everything you need to successfully complete a project? How long does it take to work 3D modeling for your project? How much does it cost to make 3D models? – these and many other questions are best answered before establishing a partnership with a company. We are glad to welcome you to our website, where you can find detailed information about all the services we offer. 3D modeling is one of the key areas of specialization for Kevuru Games. Thus, you no longer need to look for competent and experienced 3D modelers and other creative talents! They are here to help you with any project – be it for game development, marketing, or any other industry. Contact us to make sure of our extensive expertise right now!
15 min
9
AAA Games – Everything You Need to Know About the Budget
AAA Games – Everything You Need to Know About the Budget
Thousands of games are released to suit any taste and budget. There are those that are growing in popularity and sales, and some are not as popular as their developers and publishers would like. AAA games have a separate place in the industry pushing mobile gaming aside. Millions of dollars are spent on AAA game development to hit the big milestone in terms of sales and ratings. For example, Grand Theft Auto IV is estimated at the total cost of approximately $265 million (including development and marketing costs) that makes it the most expensive video game ever created. You might ask, “Why are AAA games so expensive?” There are certain reasons that are causing budgets to skyrocket, above all, high demands from players. They strive for impressive 3D graphics, gameplay and game mechanics, realistic characters, and high-quality design of other game assets. The whole development process covers many aspects that may contribute to the final resounding success. Let’s dive deeper into AAA game development and find out why developers make AAA games at all. Why do you need to spend hundreds of millions on AAA projects? What Is a AAA Video Game? – In a Few Words… So what does triple-A game mean? AAA is the criterion by which games are classified as technically complex and highly interactive products with top-quality graphics, video, and music. All this leads to high development costs along with high marketing costs to reach a huge audience and generate substantial profits. Best AAA games are designed like blockbusters – large production budget is set to address well-known production studios and hire top experts who will be able to offer innovative solutions and great graphics quality. This is not the finish line – along with high-quality work and original ideas, expensive advertising campaigns will guarantee you high sales. Just for comparison – the global box office in 2019 was $42.2 billion and the worldwide gaming market was estimated at $152 billion! Typically, triple-A games are developed by large game publishers, such as Nintendo, Sony, or Electronic Arts. They set aside huge budgets for both development and marketing to promote a million copies around the world. Are Triple-A Games Guaranteed to Be of High Quality? Triple-A game is almost always expected and discussed long before release thanks to large-scale advertising campaigns, if the developers, for their own reasons, did not decide to keep it secret. Players have high hopes and expectations for these games. The biggest fear of a developer is not living up to these expectations. After all, colossal finances, efforts and time have been invested in the game. Therefore, for their part, the developers will do everything possible to ensure that the game is well received by people and brings income. However, there are nuances here as well. Some triple-A games flop despite all attempts by the developers to tailor them to the tastes of the players. This can be for example provoked by too much emphasis on graphics to the detriment of the plot and game mechanics. Or by the developer’s desire to make a release on all platforms, without having enough understanding and skill in adapting games to, say, consoles, which have their specifics. But in spite of everything, triple-A games continue to be an extremely attractive niche for those who can afford to develop them. It turns out that AAA games are still worth making for many reasons. Reasons to Develop AAA Games AAA games excite millions of players globally While the video game industry is typically associated with teenagers, the audience of AAA games has continued to grow in recent years. Released in 2017, Fortnite has since become a global phenomenon, with 350 million players worldwide as of May 2020. Most gamers find video games one of the best ways to relax and relieve stress. This became especially true during the Coronavirus lockdown, when people are forced to spend more time at their leisure in front of the screen, rather than going to the cinema, clubs or bars. AAA games expand gaming experience and market share exponentially New innovative hardware features, high performance, amazing graphics, and modern technologies (like AR/VR, facial recognition, gesture control) allow users to enjoy video games to the fullest. The ability to improve the gameplay through impressive design, game mechanics makes the players more passionate about the game. More and more players are joining a community of dedicated players, which provides an increase in market share for AAA games. AAA games excite millions of players globally Due to high user engagement, successful promotion, AAA games earn record-breaking billions of dollars. If we return to the most expensive game ever developed, Grand Theft Auto V, we’ll see that the game earned over $800 million in the first 24 hours worldwide after its release. After three days, global sales reached $1 billion. AAA games innovate technologies in the gaming industry AAA titles lead the entire industry to innovate in technology and platforms. We are all witnessing the transition from the seventh to the eighth generation of game consoles with faster speed, more advanced computer graphics, improved storage capacity, etc. Upgraded hardware with new technologies shapes the perception of gaming. How Many Developers Usually Work on a Triple-A Game? First of all, you need to understand how to make an AAA game. Obviously, by putting together the right team. Usually distributors have a separate team for each project. Thus, in one period, they can develop several games at the same time. The team working on a specific game, in turn, is divided into subgroups, dealing with their tasks. It is assumed that each team working on a game includes from 50 to 200 or more specialists, about 20% of whom are programmers. What Do AAA Game Publishers Get Eventually? High revenues (if the game is definitely valuable for an end-user); Global brand recognition on the market and beyond; Loyal customers around the world eager for game updates; The powerful impact on the game industry Examples of Triple-A Games Let’s take a look at some examples of the best AAA games of 2021, categorizing them according to the most popular genres. Third and First-Person Shooter Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, this third-person shooter is a new addition to PlayStation 5 exclusives and a breath of fresh air during the gaming lull in early summer. The game is a sequel to Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus 2013. Rift Apart was unveiled on June 11, 2020 at the PlayStation 5 launch and released on June 11, 2021. The game tells the story of the titular heroes who travel to different worlds in multiple realities to stop their enemy, Dr. Nefarius, who took advantage of the sudden catastrophic collapse of dimensions to finally fulfill his dream of completely destroying organic life in the universe. Action-Adventure It Takes Two AAA action-adventure with local co-op and not from Nintendo, does that still happen? It turns out, yes. The new project from Yousef Fares, developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts under the EA Originals program, looks like a fun children’s adventure, but don’t rush to judge the book by the cover, it’s not so simple. The game requires a second player who can connect over the network. Players control a quarreling couple of Cody and May, who have been turned into dolls by a spell. To make peace and return to the real world, they have to work together, in which they are helped by the character of the magic book, Dr. Hakim. The game features a variety of game mechanics from games of different genres. Fighting Mortal Kombat 11 2021 is not a very generous year for fighting games. Therefore, our today’s subject of consideration in this genre is the well-known Mortal Kombat 11, released on April 23, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows, and November 17, 2020 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Mortal Kombat 11 is a sequel to Mortal Kombat X and the eleventh game in the main Mortal Kombat series. Just like its predecessor, Mortal Kombat 11 is a 2.5D fighting game. Along with the returning finishing moves, Fatality and Brutality, new moves such as Fatal Blow and Krushing Blow have appeared in the gameplay. Fatal Blow is a special technique that deals great damage to the enemy, but becomes available only when the player’s health is 30% or below. Fatal Blow is a replacement for the X-Ray move and can only be performed once per match. Krushing Blow is a special cinematic variation of this special move, triggered when certain requirements are met. Action Role-Playing Biomutant It is an open-world action RPG PC game developed by Swedish studio Experiment 101 for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was published by THQ Nordic and released on May 25, 2021. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world; the developers describe it with the words “kung fu fairy tale”. The main character is a creature that resembles a bipedal raccoon. The player can change the abilities and appearance of the character through mutations, biomechanical prostheses and weapons, and also master “psi-mutations” like telekinesis or levitation. During the game, the character can master different styles of wushu, learning from different masters. Survival Horror Resident Evil Village Speaking of this genre, it’s impossible not to mention one of the top 2021 releases, Capcom’s Resident Evil Village. The game was announced on June 11, 2020 as part of the PlayStation 5 presentation, and was released on May 7, 2021 for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S platforms. The protagonist of the game is once again Ethan Winters, the protagonist of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, who, as a result of unnamed events, finds himself in a mysterious snow-covered village – the scene of the game. How Are AAA Video Games Made: Ins and Outs The development of triple-A games, like the rest of the gaming industry, can be a mystery to consumers. The whole process lies on the shoulders of game developers and publishers. Apart from a huge amount of money, it also takes hard work and precious time. What does it include? Concept creation. Like any game, it is supposed to be based on a high concept and many other concepts in art and design. This is a key aspect of game design to establish a central idea even before creating a Game Design Document (often abbreviated as GDD). Don’t store all possible details in your mind, create a GDD. This is a common practice that will help you shape the final scope for your AAA project as it is large enough to get lost in your own ideas. Full game design. This is an unavoidable part to fully prepare your game for publication. Design elements aren’t just about visual effects. This stage is focused on making strategic decisions regarding the gameplay – levels, rules, mechanics, characters, settings, storylines, etc. Each component is captured in storyboards and layouts and stored in the GDD (as previously recommended). It is vital to maintain consistency within the overall development process. So it’s up to game designers to provide the foundation for the entire game. In triple-A games, the design team is divided into many sub-teams like level designers, content design, UI/UX design, etc. Art production. After all pre-production stages, it is required to develop an artistic vision in practice based on the desired art style – cartoon, realistic, sci-fi, or any others. At this stage, the art team headed by an art director creates characters, environments, props, animations, special visual effects. Artworks of AAA quality require scrupulous work and attention to each technical aspect of art creation. For that reason, it is better to hire technical artists. Their main focus is on integrating artistic assets into the game without compromising the artistic vision or going beyond the technical capabilities of the platform. Programming. Immediately after the design is ready, programmers take on coding a game based on all the requirements. They work closely with producers, designers, and other departments to transform the full vision of the AAA project into a fully functional, playable game. These are specialists who set the speed at which characters run and how high they jump, how many enemies appear and when, and how they react to an attack if we’re speaking about shooter games. Game developers implement all features, functions, events, interactions that will take place in the game. Successful completion of this phase requires deep knowledge of programming languages and experience with engines such as Unreal or Unity. Testing. It’s time to be in the players’ shoes but from the perspective of the quality assurance specialists who are responsible for detecting software defects prior to release. Their job is to ensure the proper quality of gameplay and to avoid bugs that affect the gaming experience. There are two versions – alpha (playable but incomplete) and beta (complete and final) – that allow them to perform testing and bug fixing. Beta testing provides final game balancing to improve the players’ perception and experience. Release and post-release support. After development and testing, the game is finally ready to be presented to the world. Usually, large publishers have their own official online platforms on which they announce the release of their new or updated products (however, they don’t neglect to connect many other communication channels). As an independent developer, you can make use of many available options – Steam, Itch.io, Kongregate. But at this point, you still need expert help – the release can’t go wrong! Otherwise, you risk your reputation among AAA game publishers. All your risk-averse efforts should be directed towards high production and memorable release. We know the AAA video game industry from the inside out thanks to our active participation in many projects implemented by Epic Games, FoxNext, Electronic Arts, etc. Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation How Much Does It Cost to Make AAA Games in 2021? When it comes to AAA titles, it is not only about playing full-featured games, but also about spending money, sometimes, big money. Let’s look at the budgets of world famous triple-A games and draw up your own budget plans below! Budgets of Top AAA Games Game Genre Publisher/s Release Date Budget/Adjusted for Inflation* Grand Theft Auto VAction-adventure Rockstar Games 2013 $265/291 million Call of Duty: Modern WarfareFirst-person shooter Activision 2009 $250/298 million Star Wars: The Old RepublicMultiplayer online role-playing Electronic Arts, LucasArts 2011 $200+/227+ million Red Dead Redemption Action-adventure Rockstar Games 2010 $80-100/94-117 million The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Action role-playing CD Projekt 2015 $81/87 million * Usually no official data about costs is revealed to the public, so the numbers are based on analyst estimates and taken from the authoritative resource – Wikipedia: List of most expensive video games to develop It is not your task to surpass AAA game budgets and stick to large budgets (however, this is the predominant condition to afford AAA game development). Keep in mind that you need to hire different teams of qualified experts to cover all the vital stages of the process. One team will create art and audio, work on game design, narrative, another will program and optimize the game for the desired platform, others will test it, and so on. On average, it will cost you between $60 million and $80 million to develop and launch an AAA game on the market. Top 3 Factors That Determine the Final Cost of AAA Games It is better to calculate costs individually as there are many factors. Get familiar with the most relevant factors that will influence the final AAA game development cost! Factor #1. What Studio to Choose for a Game of AAA-Quality and Where? Today there are many competencies available to you globally. Just visit websites of millions of AAA game development studios and find the best option for your own business. You aren’t limited to local teams of game designers and developers. If you live in the USA or UK but find their hourly rates high, you can outsource AAA projects to countries like Ukraine, Belarus or Poland and get affordable AAA game development services at every stage. Factor #2. What Is the Size of the Development Team? AAA game development process requires an average of 100 professionals if the work is done from scratch. But if you need additional services or want to speed up and release the game as soon as possible before the sensational projects hit the market, take care of the team members – increase the team of AAA game developers so that you can succeed in this endeavor. At the same time, plan the budget accordingly! Factor #3. What Are the Timeframes of AAA Game Development? Certainly, the final cost will depend on how much needs to be done to complete the project and in what timeframe. You may have a well-designed concept and 3D models, and the only thing you need is to implement a full-fledged project and releases it in half of a year. When deadlines are shortened, more triple-A game developers are required to complete a project on time. Consequently, the budget is increased. Final Words… And even if triple-A games are expensive to develop, big-budget games like Fortnite or GTA delight most gamers, making the video game industry the most lucrative entertainment in the world. Without any doubt, there are high risks not to satisfy the end user. But remember that when you’re creating something valuable for yourself and work with true professionals, you have more chances to enjoy success. Our team is working with TOP 10 world game publishers and ready to fulfill your needs due to our extensive AAA expertise – from art production to game release and continued support.
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3D Animation Cost: What’s Behind It? – Brief Guide to Calculate the Price
3D Animation Cost: What’s Behind It? – Brief Guide to Calculate the Price
Most people interested in 3D animation don’t understand how much time, money, and effort go into animated videos of high quality. In general, it requires a 3D animator to know anatomy, physics, animation principles, and have drawing skills to create a real masterpiece. But if to dive deeper into the video production process, you’ll see that many professionals stand behind it – art directors, concept artists, character designers, 3D modelers, animators, technical artists, scriptwriters, sound designers, and others. From our point of view, we consider it very important to show our clients what is behind 3D animation costs. So, this article will not only help get familiar with 3D animation services better but will also help facilitate cooperation with a 3D animation studio. This is crucial to know the 3D animation price before planning the project and its budget. This guide, a kind of a cost calculator, will help determine what you want to see in 3D animation. Look inside the closed doors of a 3D animation studio! 3D Animation Price List: What Are the Key Factors? DurationHow much is 3D animation long?ComplexityHow complex is 3D animation? TypeWhat type of 3D animation is required? Design & art styleWhat will animated objects look like? Scope of workHow much work will be done for the final product? Team & its experienceWho will be involved in production? The animation industry is often considered expensive, but the reality is that 3D animation costs vary from project to project, and of course, from studio to studio. Each project varies in many ways – how long it takes, who is the target audience, what budget, etc. 3D animation pricing depends on different art styles, character design, complexity, etc. Animation studios can set different rates for each part of the project. Be ready for it and let’s consider each of the possible factors that affect the final cost of 3D animation! Animation DurationThis is one of the significant factors in forming a final 3D animation price – as the animation length increases, the price will increase as well. Generally, long animations are needed to display more visual effects and require more skills and render time. You can estimate a 3D animation cost per minute or per second when it comes to cartoons, explainer or promo videos when scrolling is available. In games, 3D animation costs depend on the number of animated characters or objects in the scene and the complexity degree (read more about this point below!).The Complexity of 3D AnimationThe more details are in the animation, the higher cost will be. The details that add complexity are characters and their movements in the dynamic scenes. It may require a team of 10 specialists to create the illusion of movement in detailed 3D environments for a character-based story, while a 2D animator will be able to make flat objects move in a highly dynamic manner. That’s why 2D animation is cheaper than 3D animation. You can find out 2D animation costs in this market analysis. Moreover, techniques in 2D and 3D animation differ. 3D animation is combined with 3D modeling – sculpting from general forms to specific details with various tools. Special textures are used for realistic effects. Just imagine how complex it is to model and animate human features, let alone animation of facial expressions. Type of 3D Animation3D animation has come a long way to have many types in its account – digital 3D videos and films, interactive 3D videos, virtual reality, etc. You can read more about the types of 3D animation that can also affect the final project cost. Techniques, design, approaches differ from project to project that requires more detailed specifications for further budget estimates. Some are less complicated and labor-intensive than others. Thus, you will pay less for technically simple videos with 3D models and more for 3D animation in VR games, for example. 3D Character Design & Art Style The more detailed a 3D character is, the more manipulations are needed to set it in real-life settings. Special textures, materials, and proper lighting are set so that 3D characters will look natural in the animation. In addition, the more the 3D character has to move, the more effort is required to ensure that all movements, gestures, and postures are smooth in motion to create a holistic image.Each 3D animation is made in a specific graphic style to emphasize the visual identity chosen for the content being conveyed. It is based on the artistic vision formulated prior to the start of the project. In general, you’re offered to choose between abstract, realistic, or photorealistic, stylized, and cartoony 3D graphics. The number of 3D art styles is constantly growing, and this is not so much related to how 3D models are created, but how they are used and for what. Stylized, colorful, and cartoon-like 3D graphics is applied for children in educational or entertainment projects, or for adults in casual games. In PC and console games, you will find a photorealistic dark graphic style widely used to immerse players in real-world environments, such as shooters that take place during a war. Fortunately, technology allows game artists to create artwork that can simulate the real world with stunning visuals. Aside from visual aspects of each project, an art style determines the cost as well as all previous points. As a rule, it takes more time and skill to display realistic 3D designs than customizing cartoons. The Scope of Work on 3D AnimationYou can ask to animate already created 3D models or work on 3D animation from scratch – starting with researching all ideas valuable for the project to create the overall storyboard. As a result, different teams will be involved to perform specific job functions. Depending on the 3D project, the number of steps can vary. For 3D character animation, rigging is an essential step in setting up a controllable character skeleton that is intended for further manipulations. But if you include concept creation, storyboarding, 3D modeling, texturing, the process will take more time to produce the final output. Any of these areas of work are discussed and carefully planned in advance to provide an accurate cost estimate.The Number of Experts and Their QualificationsIt is important to remember that 3D animation is an interdisciplinary assignment performed by a team of creatives with different skills. Someone must create concepts, another will bring them in life through 3D modeling, and so on. As we’ve already mentioned, the scope of work determines the necessary number of team members. For an average 3D project, you’ll need to hire 5-7 specialists to see well-designed animation. Under the supervision of an art director, the team of 3D artists and modelers will build upon visual images so that they will correspond to the specified style. The team of 3D animators will apply models, characters design to create the illusion of motion. 3D animators need to understand what timing to use, know when to edit, how characters will move, what background is best for a particular scene, etc. 3D animation studios manage to bring together specialists with different competencies under one roof. You can choose between junior, middle and senior 3D animators with different hourly rates. That doesn’t mean you won’t get high-quality 3D animation from junior experts. They are also qualified as seniors, but you will pay less but wait a little longer. Kevuru Games is a 3D animation design studio equipped with all the necessary software to create art and animation of high quality. Our team has successfully launched 3D animation projects in – advertising, marketing, gaming, etc. Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation 3D Animation in Hours: How Long Does It Take to Create? Type of 3D Project Design & Animation Scriptwriting Music & Sound Turn-Around Time Non-game 3D animation (explainer video, motion graphics, etc.) ✓ ✓ ✓ 100 – 120 hours Game animation with simple 3D characters ✓ ✓ ✓ 120 – 150 hours Game animation with complicated 3D models ✓ ✓ ✓ 150 – 180 hours Use this chart with the approximate hours required to complete any of the 3D animations as a starting point for budgeting your own project. The cost will vary based on style, complexity, and other requirements for the production process. Therefore, it is better to contact company representatives for a more accurate estimate of the animation. Hourly Rates of 3D Animators Around the World Country Rate, $/hr USA $100 – $199 / hr UK $100 – $149 / hr Germany $50 – $99 / hr Poland $25 – $49 / hr Ukraine $25 – $49 / hr India < $25 / hr (Hourly rates are based on the data, given on online review platforms such as Clutch.co (Top 3D Animation Companies), and presented through comparative analysis) The hourly rate can vary widely depending on many important factors, including educational background, qualifications and certifications, work experience, and additional skills. As you see the highest cost of 3D animation is offered in the USA – it ranges from $100 to $199 per hour. It means that if you hire an American 3D animator for a simple project that is estimated at 100 hours, you’ll have to pay him/her $10,000 (in the case when minimum price ranges are taken into consideration). And let’s compare how much it will cost you, for example, in Ukraine or Poland. $ 25 * 100 hours = $ 2,500 (but again this is possible if you hire a 3D animator with an hourly rate of $ 25, which is quite difficult to find in the countries mentioned). You can find affordable prices in India, but please keep in mind the experience and reputation of each preferred 3D animation studio on your list. With Kevuru Games, you definitely have nothing to fear: we have extensive experience with 3D animation, as can be seen by looking at our showreel. Follow the practical tips given to you below so that you could achieve the desired result – 3D animation of high quality delivered on time and on budget. Tips on Using 3D Animation Services for Success Define the business needs in advance. Once you know what 3D animation is for, why it is needed, you can easily ask the right questions when choosing a 3D animation team. Skip all possible misunderstandings with future partners through proper project planning. Select a 3D animation studio thoroughly to meet all the project requirements. You need to look for professional 3D animators across all available platforms. Don’t forget to find out as many details as possible about their expertise – will they be able to complete your project as required? Focus on the best working option. It’s up to you what to choose, but the final choice should preferably be based on the most beneficial conditions. Maybe, it will be reasonable for you to hire a dedicated team of 3D animators from Ukraine or any other outsourcing destination to gain access to global talents. Share all your ideas with a 3D animation team. When they know what you’re planning, it is easier for them to define the scope of work and prioritize the tasks. Do you remember that the scope of work will affect the final cost? So, it is much better to determine what you need and share your vision with the team. Don’t hesitate to share reference materials if any to get exact outputs. Don’t lose control over the project progress. You can manage it on your own or make use of project management services from a 3D animation studio. Experienced project managers keep the entire production process well-organized. Hopefully, this guide allowed you to figure out how much 3D animation costs and how many variables it may include. Welcome to Kevuru Games for more details about individual projects. Have an idea for 3D animation or any other creative project? We’ll apply our extensive expertise (8+ years in the industry) to estimate it and pass through all stages smoothly so that you could be proud of the best possible outputs. Just inform us about your needs!
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What You Need to Know About 3D Art [And the Harsh Truth About Taxonomy of 3D Game Art Styles]
What You Need to Know About 3D Art [And the Harsh Truth About Taxonomy of 3D Game Art Styles]
Throughout history, all forms of art all forms of art tend to evolve relative to the ever-changing picture of the world. Today’s people are surrounded by digital technology. This contributes to the emergence of more and more opportunities for their full use in the creative process. The result of the successful combination of the main art principles and digital technology is the emergence of such a direction as 3D digital art. And since we have a direct relationship to it, today we are ready to lay out all the cards on the table. So, make your favorite tea or aromatic coffee and let’s go with us into a three-dimensional digital world full of interesting discoveries. Introduction to 3D Digital Art: Basic Steps Digital art is the practice of creating artistic works, which is based on the use of digital technology as the main representation tool. In other words, this is the creation of art, drawings and illustrations using digital equipment and special computer software. Unlike 2D art, where the artist depicts objects using length and width measurements, 3D art is created by working with polygonal meshes and transforming them into characters, objects and environments. The range of applications for 3D art is huge: advertising, website design, films, and, of course, video games. Working with 3D digital art is a multi-component painstaking work that can take tens of hours even with a high level of skills. We have gone through thick and thin in working with 3D art, so we can tell you a thing or two about it. In particular, we can highlight several key areas that are at the forefront of 3D art creation. Modeling This is the creation of a three-dimensional mesh that can end up being anything from a retro steam locomotive to a graceful wood elf. The result of the work is a model – a three-dimensional digital image of a real or fictional object. Such models are designed on the basis of concept art, drawings, photographs and sketches, and simply using imagination. High-quality 3D models can undergo further texturing and 3D rendering. They can also go to a 3D printer and become a part of real life. It all depends on the purpose of the digital object. Below we will talk in more detail about the types of 3D modeling. Texturing Also known as mapping, texturing is the process of applying a texture to a high-poly or low-poly model. A texture is a raster image, with which a model can be given a certain shape, texture, relief and color. The model acquires the required visual properties. Thus, texturing allows: Demonstrating the material from which the volumetric object is created Illustrating the physical properties of the object that was modeled Adding lighting effects to make the object look realistic Creating a small object on the surface of the 3D model: folds of clothes, small stones, scars and wrinkles on the face, etc. There are 2 main types of texture mapping: relief mapping and MIP-mapping. The essence of texturing is the procedure for unfolding a mesh – completely flatting it out – and creating the desired colors and reliefs over it in programs like Photoshop. When finished, the resulting texture is wrapped over the mesh again. Depending on the complexity of the model, textures can be created for each part, for example, arms, torso, head, or be the only “wrapper” for the entire model (soccer ball). If there are a lot of textures, it is necessary to achieve a smooth seamless merging of all of them to achieve the maximum realism of the object. Rendering Or, in other words, visualization – it is a process during which a photorealistic image is obtained, made from a model or other information, for example, a description of the geometric data of objects, the position of the observer’s point, a description of lighting, etc. All actions are carried out using special computer programs. There are many aspects to creating a good final render of a scene, including camera positioning, lighting that can affect overall mood and shadows, reflections, transparency, and special effects handling. Animation This is giving motion to a 3D object. Sometimes this stage is not necessary and the work ends with the creation of a 3D model. But if you have to instill life in it, then the following options come into play: Animate by keyframes Animate along a path Animate in a dynamic environment Animate using motion capture Keyframes are one of the most common ways to create 3D character animation. The essence of the method is as follows: on the timeline, several main points are set at which the position or shape of the object changes. The animator sets the required parameters of the model in the specified frames, and the program calculates intermediate states automatically. If the animator succeeds in framing the object into the correct shape at every fixed point in time, the 3D animation will be as natural as possible. The essence of animation along a path is to set the start point, the object’s trajectory and the finish point. After the character or object is attached to the trajectory, the program itself calculates and creates the movement. If one adds animation to the object itself (flapping wings, flashing lights, opening air gates, extending the landing gear) and diversifies the viewing angles, it is possible to achieve visually attractive and breathtakingly dynamic effects. Animation in a dynamic environment is the movement of a character or object taking into account environmental factors: gusts of wind, raindrops, light from lanterns, and so on. Therefore, this is a complex computational work with a deep immersion in the physical characteristics of objects. It is a necessary stage for creating a complete picture of what is happening: without all this, even the most detailed 3D modeling with the elaboration of textures will not make the character livelier. We have already considered the technology of motion capture in more detail when studying the types of 3D animation. Its meaning lies in the use of the work of actors, to which special sensors are attached, recording movements and transmitting information about them to the program. It creates a moving skeleton with a set of keyframes. In the end, this skeleton turns into a real character using 3D modeling. As a result, the hero’s actions are realistic and convincing. Types of 3D Modeling: Initial Dive Today creating 3D models has become an extremely common area and many people do not even realize how closely their life is connected with 3D content. And certainly, few people think about how many types of 3D modeling exist. But this is a very interesting topic not only for 3D modelers. So, head on to new knowledge. By the way, all of the following types of modeling can be used both separately and in a complex manner. Polygonal Modeling This is one of the most popular ways to create a 3D model. The bottom line is to create and edit a mesh of polygons, which consist of vertices and edges. Most polygons are triangular or quadrangular. Each polygon can have its texture and color, and by combining several polygons, you can get a model of any object. In order for the edges of the model not to have a faceted appearance, it is necessary that the polygons are small, and the surface of the object consists of small planes. If a detailed development of an object aka high-poly modeling or further enlargement of its image is expected, then it is necessary to build a model with a large number of polygons. If it is supposed to look at the model from a distance without zooming in, a small number of polygons aka low poly modeling will be enough. Such models will be referred to as high poly and low poly respectively. Despite the fact that polygonal modeling is used quite often, especially in the creation of three-dimensional computer games in real time, recently there has been a transition from modeling polygons to working with splines (spline or curve modeling). NURBS and Curve Modeling Non-uniform rational basis spline is a technology for drawing and representing curves and surface geometry. NURBS modeling is a special case of spline modeling and is often identified with it. The main difference between this method and polygonal modeling is smoothness. A NURBS model does not consist of polygons, but curves (splines). However, when rendered, it is still converted to polygons, although inside the modeling system it remains in curves. The spline lines are defined by a three-dimensional set of control points in space, which determine the smoothness of the curve. All splines are reduced to a spline skeleton, on the basis of which an envelope three-dimensional geometric surface will be created. Curve modeling is used to create fluid organic shapes and patterns. There are other more complex spline objects in the various programs that allow working with splines. The advantage of spline objects is that they have flexible settings and one can always return to changing their shape. Digital Sculpting Digital sculpting is a type of disruptive technology that has greatly advanced the 3D modeling process. Modelers are no longer limited to topography or edge flow. This allows them to create 3D models similar to the process of sculpting digital clay. Meshing here is an organic process. It is best to use a graphics tablet. Artists completely immerse themselves in creativity and sculpt without thinking about polygons, the number of which can reach millions. The process becomes much faster and much more efficient. Digital sculpting is the number one technology when it comes to creating photorealistic objects. Most digital sculpture modeling tools use deformation of the surface of the polygonal model, making it possible to make it convex or concave. Other tools work on the principle of voxel geometry, the volume of which depends on the pixel image used. In digital sculpture, as in working with clay, the artist can build up the surface by adding new layers, or vice versa, remove the excess by erasing the layers. All tools deform the geometry of the model in different ways, which makes the modeling process easier and richer. Procedural Modeling It’s more about designs that are created automatically under the control of an artist. Thus, one can create objects, environments and entire locations by setting certain user parameters and significantly reduce the time of work. Various modeling packages such as Bryce or Terragen include a large number of presets for buildings, natural elements and animals to quickly design the desired environment. Also, modelers can change the parameters of precipitation, foliage density, range of heights and much more in a variety of natural locations such as the sea coast, forests, deserts, mountains, and so on. There are many different tools for procedural modeling. SpeedTree, for example, allows generating an infinite number of trees and vegetation, each of which will look unique. There are options for changing the height of trees, the number of branches and leaves, corners and curls, etc. Box Modeling Also known as the subdivision method, this type is close to polygon modeling. Its essence lies in reshaping an initial elementary object such as a cube or a sphere in order to achieve the desired shape. After the intended shape has been achieved, the modeler then subdivides the mesh, smoothens out sharp corners and adds detail. These procedures are repeated until the model gets the desired look. Contour Modeling Some call it edge modeling. It also refers to the polygonal type of 3D object creation. Its difference from the subdivision method is that here the artist creates a model step by step based on the initial outline and gradually adds polygon loops along the already created polygons. The gaps between them are filled in the process. This method is used when it is difficult to clearly work out the meshes using box modeling. For example, a human face requires a more comprehensive approach than just elementary reshaping. Each part of the face is more conveniently formed by creating initial outlines for the nose, mouth and eyes, and only then filling them in from the inside. Image-Based Modeling It is an algorithmic way to transform 2D images into a 3D environment. It is most often used when a modeler is faced with serious time or budget constraints that prevent creating 3D models from scratch using any of the above methods. Requiring relatively low costs, this method only needs high-quality images of the desired object from all sides in order to ultimately be able to get a whole picture. Image-based modeling is commonly used in the film and entertainment industries.. How to Choose a Perfect Art Style for Your 3D Game When it comes to art styles, even Google throws up its hands (or whatever it can throw up). The harsh truth we have promised is … There is no taxonomy of art styles for games as such. At least there is no standardized official version that is used by everyone. Unlike fine art, the approach to creating game art is somewhat more dynamic. Many different styles are often combined here and the line between them is so blurred that there is no point in trying to classify them. In addition to game design, there is a gameplay, mechanics, and history, which also affect perception. To get a rough idea of which game style is best for you, try to answer the following questions. At first glance, they seem to have little to do with the concept of style, but in the end, if you have clear answers, the desired style will be determined by itself. What resources do you have? Perhaps you want to create a game on your own or in conjunction with your friend. Maybe you’ve already gathered a team of artists, some of whom even have experience. Or maybe you’ve pulled out a lucky ticket and has a staff of super-specialists ready to work on a AAA game. The fewer resources you have, the easier the style to choose. Otherwise, you will definitely face a discrepancy between what you want and what is real. What is the essence of your future game? Is it a game about cyber technology, nature, animals, detective investigations, or is it a classic puzzle game? The style will be selected based on what you want to convey to the player. Often a list of adjectives is selected that can describe the game: perky, sad, mysterious, cheerful, gloomy, and so on. What is the age category of your players and what gender is the game more focused on? It’s impossible to say for sure, but quite often men prefer more sever color palettes, weapons and laconic landscapes, while women want something brighter and less brutal. Are you considering focusing on design or gameplay? How much time are you willing to spend creating art? It is important to understand how important the visual component is to you and whether you are going to draw the smallest details. It will also have a great effect on your style choices. What platform are you targeting? Once you’ve decided on this, it will be easier to immediately brush aside styles that are definitely not suitable for your game. For example, high-poly 3D games are hardly a good option for smartphones, but just right for PCs. Final Thoughts We’ve talked about a lot of aspects related to 3D art. This direction is actively developing right in front of our eyes and it would be unforgivable negligence to overlook the curious and bright path of its evolution. At this point, we, the creators and storytellers of 3D art, finish for today. And you can always admire our 3D art portfolio and consult with us about your 3D art project.
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Key Types of 3D Animation That Transformed the World
Key Types of 3D Animation That Transformed the World
3D animation is becoming more ubiquitous. It takes us by surprise in yet another film scene that is impossible in real life, catches the imagination with the richness of forms and colors in advertising and immerses us into completely different worlds in computer games. Its amazing ability break down the boundaries between the real and the imaginary sometimes makes it impossible to determine what is in front of us – a natural shooting or a carefully designed and implemented computer simulation. Walt Disney, animator, writer, voice actor and film producer Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world Unlike 2D animation, 3D animation invites the viewer into space with height, width and depth, providing maximum realism and stunning detail. But 3D animation is just a general name for a three-dimensional kingdom that encompasses a wide variety of animation types. Let’s try to look into their straight classification row and understand what they are and where they are used. The Unbearable Variety of 3D Animation Art Styles The very name of 3D animation implies that here we are talking about giving movement to a certain three-dimensional object. If a 2D drawing cannot be viewed from all angles and the animator needs to create a separate perspective for each of them, then the 3D figure perfectly rotates 360 degrees, approaches and moves away at the animator’s discretion. So, frame by frame cycle with strict compositional rules of 2D animation turns into complete freedom of viewing angles in the case of 3D. This is the main thing we need to know first about the differences between 2D and 3D animation. Now let’s go directly to 3D animation types. Digital 3D Also known as computer-generated imagery, this is the creation of animations and special effects using computer software such as Maya, Cinema 4D and SketchUp. A feature of this type of animation is the scope of its application. Basically, this is cinematography: creating visual effects and scenery that cannot be achieved or received using traditional methods, or replacing the work of stuntmen with especially dangerous stunts. It is also used to create digital heroes for live-action movies and in-game videos for video games (Stormdivers by Housemarque with character animation by Kevuru Games). This type of 3D animation is intended solely for visual experience: the audience does not interact with objects in the digital environment. The essence of animation is to create a 3D character model, set certain positions aka keyframes and use a system of splines to determine the movement of the character within these positions. The software interpolates the necessary frames connecting the key ones, after which the animator refines the details. Thus, 3D animation is a complex and time-consuming process that requires the involvement of several specialists at once: The concept artistVisualizes the main idea and makes detailed sketches of the character or object with all possible nuances.The 3D modelerTakes the baton and creates a 3D model based on the concept art. The 3D animatorCreates a skeleton for the 3D model, rigs it with bones and controls and sets its movement. It is important to understand that the animator is responsible for a huge piece of work: unlike hand-drawn frames of 2D animation, each part of a 3D character or object in 3D animation is constantly in sight and must be worked out regardless of whether it moves into the next second or not. When rendering, each frame is processed by the computer separately, and therefore the process takes a lot of time. It depends on the length of the animation and the quality of the image. Interactive 3D Interactive 3D animation is created exclusively in digital form using special software. As the name suggests, there is an interaction between the viewer and objects in the digital environment in this type of animation. This is a classic option for creating computer video games: the player has the ability to move around in a three-dimensional environment using a mouse, keyboard or joystick. The possibilities for implementing this kind of animation are great and limited only by the game engine used to create the game. But at Kevuru Games, we are able to skillfully weave any 3D animation ideas and limitations of game engines into a single organic canvas: this is quite possible if experience, skills and creative vision are on board. Due to the possibility of interaction, special demands are put in for animation. It should be highly customizable as the player can approach the object from different angles and under different conditions. Animators need to carefully work out the dynamics of the animated 3D background and provide smooth shape transitions at the right time. The same goes for character animation: the main character must strictly follow all the control requests from the player. Virtual Reality 3D Partially similar to interactive animation, this type takes a step forward towards total immersiveness. The exploration of the three-dimensional world is carried out using special VR headsets such as Google Glass or Oculus. For example, Boneworks by Stress Level Zero is a virtual reality game using the Unity engine that supports all PC-compatible VR headsets. Animation production for VR games is extremely difficult. Since the player is immersed in them completely literally, all the environments and elements must be perfectly worked out and look like real. Augmented reality animation is also a front-runner in the gaming world. Games with it do not require special headsets and are often released for Android and iOS. All you need is an AR supported smartphone. A legendary example is Pokémon GO, which opened augmented reality games to millions of players. The combination of influencing nostalgic feelings and using modern technology, previously known only to narrow range of people, gave the game several Guinness records and stunning profits. Stop Motion This is a kind of homage to 2D animation: a frame-by-frame technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames to depict the independent movement as a series of frames are played back in quick succession. Simply put, animation is created by taking frame-by-frame photographs of elements. The space for creativity is limitless here: you can use objects, toys, products, dolls and so on. Most often, this type of animation is used for commercials, presentation and music videos. Stop motion animation is divided into different subtypes depending on the objects used: Claymation – clay or platinum objects Cutout – characters, objects and backgrounds are cut out of flat material: paper, cardboard or fabric Silhouette – flat characters, objects and backgrounds depicted in the form of black silhouettes Action figures/Lego – Lego characters or action figures Puppet – dolls and puppets Pixilation – live people and existing environments Regardless of the object chosen, stop motion animation requires you to adhere to the main rule: take pictures only straight-ahead from the same angle. It is very difficult to correct an incorrectly captured frame, because for this, you need to recreate the entire composition at a particular moment. Therefore, this type of animation requires special attention and patience. Cel Shading Also known as toon shading, cel-shaded animation is the stylization of 3D to make it look like a hand-drawn flat art. Therefore, if you come across the question of how to make 3D animation look 2D, feel free to answer that it can be done with cel shading. This effect is achieved by special rendering settings. Cel shading is very often used in video games (Afro Samurai by Bandai Namco or Astral Chain by PlatinumGames), cartoons and commercial videos. The main features of this technology are: Non-photorealistic textures in a soft color palette Hard shadow boundaries Ink outline effect in the best traditions of the hand-drawn style The point is to make the volume look flat in real time. Shadows should be smooth and uniform. These rules are more difficult to implement in practice than when creating realistic objects, and often they are applicable only for stationary or non-animated bodies. For example, this is implemented in many 2D animated series like The Simpsons or Futurama. Motion Capture A must-have for developers of films, AAA titles, and mobile projects, this technology allows making the movements of characters truly realistic and to stage almost any scene. The main application of mocap is recording the movement of an actor for character animation. Animals, horses and dogs are often recorded. Sometimes mocap data is used as a reference for further manual character animation. The main advantage of a mocap is that the animator immediately gets the correct weight and timing of the character. Realistic movements are most often not as smooth and accurate as in a cartoon, and just this vitality is quite difficult to animate just with hands. The first to make all game animation entirely based on motion capture technology was Quantic Dream, which released Fahrenheit in 2005. Along with this, a whole series of cinematic games was born, culminating in Death Stranding. Modern engines like Unreal Engine 4 make it easier and faster to work on a mockup, because they help with pre-rendering and allow you to see the whole scene at once. Mocking is much easier today than it was ten years ago: actors can see their 3D avatars and surroundings right on the set. With the development of technology and graphics in games and movies, the combination of Performance Capture is increasingly used instead of Motion Capture. Thus, the merits of the actors are emphasized: both those who are responsible for the movements of the characters, and celebrities who donate faces and voices to computer models. Collaborating with dozens or even hundreds of actors has long been an integral part of the production, and for Keanu Reeves or Mads Mikkelsen, being involved in the development of a game today is as exciting as filming a blockbuster. Motion Graphics This is a large section, including both 2D and 3D directions and having a huge field of application: commercials, television programs, product and explainer videos, presentations, sporting events, live streams and much more, where the dynamic movement of text, logos and images can be useful. As a rule, characters are not involved here due to the complexity of implementing their movement when you need to create fast and high-quality motion graphics. But the number of logo animation options, visual effects and the ability to add 3D animation allow creating a huge variety of high-quality corporate videos, animated videos for product presentation, creative CVs and much more. Motion graphics design technology is the use of keyframing and tweening to ensure smooth transitions. Modern technologies allow you to quickly create motion graphics, even for online videos and streams. Motion Wizard Toolkit or Simply 3D Animation Software Let’s take a short break before the last gasp and cast a glance at the main animation tools that allow working no less than miracles. Type of 3D animation Animation software Price Digital 3DInteractive 3D Virtual Reality 3DCel shading Autodesk MayaBlenderCinema 4D $205/Monthly$1620/1 year$4375/3 yearFree$94,99/Monthly$719,88/1 year$3495/Perpetual Stop motion DragonframeStop Motion Studio $295 + USB controller$305 + Bluetooth controller $4,99 for iOS/Android$9,99 for Mac/Windows Motion capture Autodesk MayaAutodesk MotionBuilder $205/Monthly$1620/1 year$4375/3 year$1855/1 year$5010/3 year Motion graphics Adobe After EffectsCinema 4D $31,49/Monthly$239,88/1 year$94,99/Monthly $719,88/1 year $3495/Perpetual 3D Animation Techniques Worth Paying Attention To If we are already so well versed in the varieties of 3D animation, then why not expand the result and add the top 3 animation techniques used by animators throughout the world to our knowledge box. Skeletal Animation Also referred to as rigging, this technique involves animating a 3D figure with relatively few controls that resemble the skeleton or structure of a puppet in appearance and operation. Each bone is attached to the previous one, taking into account the anatomical rules, so that when a single bone moves, all the vertices attached to it also move. This greatly simplifies the work of the animator since one need to set the position and rotations of the bones and not all existing vertices of the model. The vertices movements are ultimately calculated based on the movement of the bones. The skeleton itself is called a rig, and the surface representation of the model is called a mesh or skin. Inverse Kinematics This is an animation method, the essence of which is to find a set of joint configurations that would provide the softest, fastest and most accurate movement to the given points. It is most often used to work out the movements of the arms and legs of characters and is applied to models of any characters or objects that are created using skeletal animation. Movement is achieved by setting the position of the last bone in the bone chain, and other bones are automatically positioned in the right place. For example, if the grip of the object with the fingers is animated, then the wrist will naturally move in the desired direction as well. This is how it differs from forward kinematics: in its case, in order to move the character’s hand to the object and take it, one first need to give it a general position by moving the shoulder, then set the position for the forearm and, last of all, turn the hand in the right direction and ensure that the object is captured with fingers. Fluid Simulation The name defines the purpose of this technique – animating fluids such as water, lava or smoke. The essence lies in the imitation of the movement of fluids as close to reality as possible, due to which one can create impressive pictures of thunderstorms and storms. This same technique is used if it is needed to illustrate the behavior of fire or large-scale atmospheric effects. Therefore, it is popular not only for games, but also for films and even commercials. The Bottom Line Well, that’s all, now you know about the most famous types of 3D animation and their use cases. 3D animation continues to penetrate the most diverse areas of our life and expand the boundaries of reality. If you are considering options for creating your animation, then you can try your hand in the programs we have indicated, or … Or just drop us a few words about your wishes – we are extremely passionate about working with animation and will be happy to help you.
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How to Estimate Costs and Plan a 2D Animation Budget Correctly
How to Estimate Costs and Plan a 2D Animation Budget Correctly
Planning to use 2D animation for your business? Today, there are good reasons to create motion graphics, explainer videos or any other type of 2D animation! Primarily, animated videos allow you to deliver various messages to the target audience in a more fun and clear way. It is easy to understand and good to see. 2D animations of high quality are doubly magnetic in games, cartoons, movies, and other entertainment projects, creating a cohesive visual experience. Depending on the purpose, the types of animation vary, as well as animation costs. If you search for 2D animation costs, you will find different numbers – $300, $1,000, $10,000, $30,000 and so forth. If you are going to create something similar to Toy Story, for example, be prepared to pay for rigging, modeling, animation, and rendering. Well, if the question “How much does 2D animation cost?” arises in your mind, now we’ll try to answer it and provide as many details as possible so that you could plan your budget accordingly. In addition, we will help you find a cost-effective solution that is especially suited to your business needs. Anyway, don’t skip this article if you want to know the 2D animation cost for your project. Top 7 Factors Affecting 2D Animation Costs Typically, the final cost of 2D animation or other services remains still hidden or not fully disclosed on most sites, which puts obstacles in proper planning of the project budget. As a result, you need to spend a lot of time contacting various animation studios to collect numbers and eventually make a decision. This is to be expected that most studios want to contact you to find out more about the project requirements, aims and goals, special features, and other video production details that will consequently affect the final 2D animation cost. Endless hours are wasted on phone calls and replies to emails. Let’s make it less time-consuming for you to wade through innumerable details without contacting someone from a 2D animation studio! Below, we’ll present to you the key criteria of price-formation you may face today. Timeline. How long will animation go on?Whether it is a 10-minute explainer video or full-length animated movie, the illusion of movement is created with images (or frames) changing sequentially over time. Depending on the animation style, there can be up to 24 unique drawings shown in one second of animation (in general, 24 frames per second). You can make a rough estimation if you know that 2D animation will take, for example, 30 minutes. Complexity degree. How complicated will 2D animation be?Along with motion graphics, 2D animation can include many backgrounds, characters, sound effects, scripts, and other assets, that determine how much money you will have to pay for the final animated video. You can figure out how complex a project is with the help of a storyboard – this is the visual representation of animation, frame by frame. Number of characters. How many characters will be included in the animation?It’s one thing to animate a 2D character, it’s another to animate several characters. All this takes time to create and rig a character for the future animation. The more complex the character, the more professional effort it takes to complete the project. Design. How will it look?This question is about both motion design and 2D environment/character design. So, the task is to create 2D environments for the animation, design 2D characters, create a storyboard, choose colors, and other visual details. You shouldn’t neglect the services of concept artists to develop the key ideas of 2D animation and create corresponding concepts.Extra animation effects. Is there any sound or script?All additional options such as music, voiceover narration, scripts must be also considered before budgeting a project. Without any doubt, additional effects will make your 2D animation valuable. But again, the choice will depend on the purpose of 2D animation you’re going to work out.Video production team. Who will be involved in the team to produce 2D animation?Depending on the team you gather to create 2D animation, the final cost will also vary. 2D animators are an integral part of the entire process, from rough sketches to finalizing animated videos. However, you may need additional help from graphic designers, artists, screenwriters, sound engineers, and others to give your audience something worthwhile.Qualifications of an expert. Will experienced or entry-level but talented animators/designers work on the project?This is last but not least to determine the qualification levels of experts you’re going to hire for your project. If you don’t strive for fast good results and want to economize a little, you can hire a junior 2D animator or designer. And vice versa, apply to senior specialists if you’re looking for a high level of competence in 2D animation and want to get a product of high quality in a short time frame. 2D Animated Video: Where to Order & How Much Will It Cost? This is an example of an animated video to figure out how much time is required to make 2D animation of a similar type (when a 2D character looks realistic and has many details in clothing). So, our experts spent about 15 hours to animate this mouse (including character exporting, rigging and animation itself). 2D Character Animation in Hours Scope of Work on 2D Animation In total (hours) Character exporting & rigging – 5 hoursSimple animation (idle, walking…) – 5 hours 10 hours Character exporting & rigging – 5 hoursComplex animation (attack, fighting…) – 10 hours 15 hours The hours are approximately calculated to make it clear what to expect when ordering 3D animation. Contact us for an accurate estimate of your project from our qualified experts for free! Doubt about style? Trust the professionals: we will suggest the best option. Get a free consultation In general, there are two ways to get 2D animated videos – from freelance 2D animators (self-employed professionals who are not necessarily committed to a specific project in the long run) and from specialized 2D animation studios (a team of experts that offer a variety of services). Pros and cons of each engagement model are as follows: Pros and Cons of Engagement Models – Freelancing Vs. Specialized Studios Freelancing Services ✔ Special skills and expertise ✔ Short-term projects ✔ Global reach of talents ✔ Flexibility on demand ✔ Cost-effectiveness ✘ No quality assurance ✘ Simultaneous work on multiple projects ✘ Time-consuming to find a good specialist 2D Animation Studios ✔ Extensive expertise ✔ Project-based work ✔ Unlimited resources ✔ Long-term cooperation ✔ Formal guarantees ✘ Time-consuming to find the best animation studio ✘ A little more expensive than freelance services Let’s see what numbers you are offered in each type of cooperation. When we analyze both markets (freelancing and specialized 2D animation services in companies), we take into account various offers and show you an average cost so that you could turn it every way in mind. 2D Animation at the Cost of $40 per Hour on Freelancing Platforms Percentage of Freelancers (%) Hourly Rates ($) 10% $15 / hr 20% $30 / hr 60% $40 / hr 10% $60 / hr (Data was taken from various freelance platforms and presented using comparative analysis) Hiring freelancers allows companies to reduce costs. You’ll pay freelancers an agreed amount of money for a project or work completed in a given period of time. What is there in the freelance market for you? A lot of freelance 2D animators are available around the world and ready to implement your idea at different hourly rates – starting from $15/hr. On average, hourly rates of 2D animators range from $30 to $60 on various freelancing platforms (UpWork, Fiverr, Freelancer, etc.) Affordable rates make it more profitable for the company to use freelancing services instead of giving full-time employment to a 2D animator and other experts. When you hire a new full-time employee, you are selecting from a limited talent pool. Prospective employees should either already reside in your area or be ready to relocate soon. Conversely, if you decide to look for remote human resources, freelancers will not work internally and therefore will not have to leave or relocate to any area. This offers your company worldwide coverage in talent selection for different tasks relevant to full-featured 2D animation (concept creation, sketching, design of 2D characters, storyboard development, creating special sound/visual effects, animating scenes, and transitioning backgrounds). Specialized 2D Animation Companies It is true that with direct access to the global talent pool, you’re not exclusively limited to your city, country, or even continent. But is it always wise to rely on someone online without 100% confidence in professional competence and guarantees of quality? There is one more option for you when you aren’t sure about freelancers but want to cooperate with true professionals. This is a dedicated team of creative 2D animators, designers, artists working together in a well-trusted company. They come together with a passion for art and enthusiasm for work on various projects. Outsourcing animation studios serve as offshoring or nearshoring partners of most growing businesses today for certain functions and tasks (usually those that can’t be delegated internally) based on different engagement models (T&M, dedicated team, fixed price, and others). Small animation production studios focus on full-cycle development of different animation projects with exclusive ownership of all products created by an in-house team of animators, designers, producers, etc. Large corporate enterprises started out as small studios and grew into a large corporate business. They are now major players in the global entertainment media who either took over an existing studio or just went their own way. 2D Animation Cost Estimates in America, Europe & Asia Today, you can reach a wide variety of companies specializing in 2D animation to bring the craziest ideas to life. They are located in the USA, Canada, European and Asian countries. Whenever you turn to, you’ll find 2D animation services, but at what cost? Let’s see below! (Data was taken from Clutch.co, GoodFirms.co and presented using comparative analysis) As you see from the diagram, most American animation companies charge $100 – $149 or $150 – $199 per hour, most European companies offer 2D animation services at the hourly rates between $25 and $100. In Asia, you can hire a 2D animator for $25 – $49 per hour. On the surface, it seems that this is not so cheap. This becomes even more important with creating long 2D animations for cartoons, games, and any other large project that is supposed to be eye-catching. Eastern European companies are leading among the most popular outsourcing destinations. They are in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and other countries that continue to attract customers around the world for the following reasons: Although in Eastern Europe 2D animation costs are lower than in America, the quality remains top-rated among US and Western European customers. For example, TOP 10 world-famous game publishers come to Kevuru Games for 2D animation services. Outsourcing to external resources helps overcome the skilled labor shortage. If you are missing a few people on your own in-house team, you can opt for outstaffing and hire 2D animators, developers, or designers you need for a specific period of time. They can work exclusively with your team, just like in your office. The only difference is that you will save a lot of money and focus on core business functions. As a result of close cooperation with Ukrainian companies, global customers can save 40-60% of their total operating costs and reduce time-to-market. You can simply come up with an idea for your project, describe it to an outsourcing company, and a team of qualified specialists will prepare a detailed project scope and then create the entire product for you from scratch. How to Budget a 2D Animation Project Based on the Above Stated? Budgeting a 2D animation project involves many different factors – length, style, type, team, and others. There are two main approaches to budgeting: Contact a reliable 2D animation studio, state the business needs and goals, and ask them to budget the project for you. Go to a studio with your own budget (which you can plan with the help of this article) and ask to stick to the budget you set yourself. Contact us to create amazing first-class 2D animation videos that match your vision and resonate with a target audience. Show your 2D animation project to the world in a skillful way with Kevuru Games!
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