I am a game developer, and since I was in high school, my passion turned into the development phase. As I enrolled into my first internship, I realized that web development and game development has many things in common. If you dig deep, you will realize that it is not just about developing a game, on the long-haul, it is about creating something that will be used by millions of users across the globe. You will be required to start with a technical team, a significant number of quality assurance guys, and a top-notch customer service. Game development is like human evolution. You need to pivot things as you move to the final phase of your game development.
In reality, gamers are quite a challenging audience. Many of the small businesses and Entrepreneurs protect their game development processes behind a shadow to prevent the strategy of the organization. Game developers on a different context, are quite transparent. This isn’t because game developers are morally superior or anything.
On analyzing more strategically, we predict the behavior of the game developers just by watching how they handle each project. Of course, they won’t tell us everything, but in some instances, we can learn a lot just by watching how it is done. Here I will be sharing some of the lessons I learned while I did an internship at a game development company.
1) Stay open to your intentions
From the creators of Overwatch, you can learn to set clear goals before you put the design on paper. The developers at Overwatch announced publicly what they are willing to achieve, which helped them to reach their goals in record time. When you know what you want, you get there faster than everyone else.
For Designers, the same strategy can be adopted. Figure out what your consumers are exactly looking for. Do not keep your users in the dark. Whenever you make a change make sure you announce it publically. Tell them how you’re planning to make the design more efficient and why. Trust me, this might not seem like a big deal, but when you include users in your work, they sort of own your design and try to enhance it with you.
2) Learn from your mistakes
Often times the game developers face issues with their leaders. Sometimes you only reach to a certain point, other times you cannot grab them for even a couple of seconds. This is why there is an inevitable lag between the games. To reduce the mistakes by game developers you need to cut down boundaries.
Same goes for website designers. The communication between the client and the designer holds an important position. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it and tell the customer what you are doing to overcome the error.
3) Write Everything Down
This I’ve learned the hard way. After the few initial app failures of the company for which I was working for, came to the conclusion that since there is no proper documentation for everything that is why there are huge decision mistakes that are frequently occurring.
From a designer’s point of view, documenting is everything. You will notice this quite often that when you do a meeting with a professional website design agency, their representatives often carry a pad with them. In that pad, they jot down everything they compiled in the meeting and during the design process they review the pad to make a clear picture of what client really want.
Documenting things often leads to saving unforeseeable bugs and save a lot of time.
4) Try your own game first
For best results, you need to play the game yourself. This is the known fact. And keep in mind that all of them are not professional. So, the purpose of this is to check the difficulty level of the game with a various set of users. At times, the game developers assume that certain game features are easy but not all the users get that. So, the best approach is to play the game yourself.
From a designer point of view. This is called “eating your own dog food”. You should be confident enough that your design is usable for various set of users. If your users are stuck in certain elements, it is best to remove the complexity and go with a simple flow of design.
5) Don’t forget the basics
Many game developers make a mistake. When game developers launch the second version of the game, they usually forget what made the game successful in the first place. This is why we have seen that second version of the games is not quite that successful. Changing the mechanics is okay, but changing the mere existence of something that worked is totally a lame risk you really don’t want to take.
Before making any changes to the development, interface or the design, talk to your users. What made them tick? What are the design elements that touched them in the first place? If you do small changes by yourself and don’t inform the user, it will often be taken as a negative point.
To wrap it all up. Not everyone will be happy with your efforts, but you can surely try to make something that will be loved by few. If you consider it realistically, users can sometimes tell us what is wrong with our design. Pay attention to what people are looking for and make the necessary changes.
This article is written by Mohammad Ali. He is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently associated with Branex, as a senior digital marketer and brand strategist.