How do Gaming Studios Hire Game Development Teams?
What’s new in the world of game development? The last few years have been very profitable for video game development companies. The gaming industry was worth $178.73 billion in 2021, with a 15 percent increase from 2020. Almost every video game development company is rushing to capitalize on the booming gaming industry. Some of the most successful video-game companies are Sony, Microsoft, Tencent, Nintendo, Activision-Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, etc.
Game development is a complex process involving multiple stages. Game development teams often need to collaborate over long timespans to create award-winning video games. Naturally, gaming studios need highly trained professionals to work in synergy to ensure the success of a video game.
Here is a brief guide for helping gaming studios build and hire the best game development teams. Let’s get started.
What are the stages of game development?
Does your gaming studio plan on developing a next-generation video game? If yes, learning the stages of video game development becomes vital. Video game design companies follow a systematic approach to game development. However, game developers do not follow a linear software development life cycle.
Game developers follow agile software development methods, such as SCRUM. Game design starts from limited features and minimum elements. Gaming studios work on the gaming engine and add specific features into separate prototypes. Later, video game programmers select the stable prototypes and add sections of the game iteratively.
Software prototyping follows a linear software development life cycle, unlike most other aspects of video game development. Gameplay designing requires software prototyping, which is essential to effectively create interactive gameplay elements and in-game assets.
Let’s take a look at the stages of the game development process:
Pre-productionPre-production is the concept documentation phase of game development. Game developers write the initial design and outline various sub-processes in this phase. During the pre-production phase, developers plan and outline multiple aspects of a video game. The subsequent stages of video-game pre-production are
- High Concept: A ‘high concept’ is a short one-line description of the game.
- Pitch: Similar to a marketing pitch, a video game ‘pitch’ answers the question, “Why can this video game be profitable/popular?”
- Concept: The concept is a game plan that mentions important aspects of the game. The concept documentation phase establishes the genre, gameplay, features, story, target audience, schedule, levels, game development team, and hardware requirements.
- Game design document (GDD): The GDD describes the gameplay elements, game design, and concept art. During the GDD phase, the development team prepares rough sketches for storyboarding and level designing.
- Paper Prototyping: Features and gameplay ideas are described with written prototypes in the paper prototyping phase. Programmers and designers use testbed tools and RAD (Rapid Application Development) tools for prototyping.
ProductionProduction is the main stage of game development when programmers prepare all the critical aspects of a game. Game developers create the video game’s content in the form of 2D/3D models, sound effects and composition, level designs, game effects, etc. Programmers write the source code of the game during the production phase. The important sub-processes of the production phase of game development are:
- Game design: Game design is a collaborative phase of producing a video game. Game designing involves a visual aspect of art, a written aspect of the game’s story and its levels, and a technical aspect of gameplay design.
- Programming: Game programmers work closely with the game designers to create, execute (run) and test the game’s code. The code runs on game engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, RAGE, etc. Hire expert Unity programmers to ensure that your video game development process is executed efficiently.
Game developers need a firm grasp of the programming languages like C++, C#, Java, Python, and GPU-related programming platforms. Video game programmers customize the game and incorporate the gameplay requirements set forth by game designers. They are also responsible for finding and eliminating bugs in the game.
- Level designing: Level creators coordinate with designers to develop elements of video-game levels. As the video game progresses, more elements are added to the levels. Level designers offer their inputs to the other departments of a gaming studio.
Level designers clearly understand how the video game pans out as the levels increase. Level designers guide programmers and designers to manage the difficulty levels, complexities, in-game elements, game flow, outcomes, etc.
- Game art designing: Graphic artists work with 2D and 3D art development tools during the art production process. Game designers use tools such as Blender 3D, Adobe Photoshop, and Autodesk Maya to design the video game’s visuals. As a free, open-source 3D tool, hiring Blender 3D artists can do wonders for your gaming studios.
- Audio production: A video game has many kinds of sound effects, in-game music, and voice-overs. Audio producers create, compose, and integrate all of these sounds into the video game. Effective audio production offers an immersive gaming experience.
TestingVideo game testers perform repetitive in-game tasks as a Quality Assurance measure. Game testers test the gameplay aspects to check and report failures, crashes, glitches, and errors in the game. Automated testing helps speed up the testing process, and regression testing prevents functionality failures with code updates.
Post-productionA completed video game enters the ‘post-production’ or maintenance stage. End-users detect and report glitches to the gaming studio. The studio collects the reports to work on eliminating glitches, and releases improved versions called ‘patches.’ Game programmers must make changes to the game’s code to create stable patches that fix the in-game bugs, issues, and errors.
How can gaming studios hire game developers?
Gaming studios seek developers from multiple sources. The efficacy of individual methods for hiring game developers may vary. Hiring managers can source game developers in the following ways:
- Game development communities: Certain gaming forums such as r/gamedev, Kongregate, Develteam, TIGSource, Dream In Code, and IndieDB host individual sections for game developer jobs. Video game developers from across the globe frequently visit these websites. But remember that these websites may be a hit-or-miss approach to hiring game developers.
- Freelancing websites: Websites like Upwork.com, Freelance.com, etc., offer jobs for video game developers. However, such platforms do not have good quality control, skill assessment, vetting, or profile verification in place.
- Hiring specialists: Organizations specializing in sourcing and vetting developers, such as Turing.com, are a great option for hiring video game developers. Turing conducts a rigorous vetting process to ensure that companies can hire the best game developers with excellent game development skills.
Remote game development teams are a great alternative to in-house game developers. But hiring remote developers can be challenging for gaming studios. Check out this article on challenges to remote hiring to understand how you can tackle them.
What are the roles that game developers fulfill?
Companies hire game developers to fulfill various roles. Some of the standard roles of video game developers at a video gaming studio are
A game designer is responsible for establishing the rules, narrative, writing, gameplay, structure, and the other aspects of a video game. Designers can directly or indirectly influence the graphics, mechanics, UI, characters, dialogues, and other elements of game development. Game designers work closely with level designers to customize the levels of a video game.
Autodesk Maya is the industry standard for designing characters, levels, and animations for 3D video games.
The artists are graphic designers that create the visual art required for the video game. Game artists manage the appearance of a video game, its internal assets, weapons, cars, characters, and all the other visual elements within a game. Artists offer a visual framework and reference for designers to follow throughout the game development stages.
- Sound Engineers
The sound engineers produce the audio effects and position them across the in-game instances. The team also includes musicians that produce the musical score. Sound engineers maintain the soundbank containing all the auditory assets, and the voice acting for the characters in the game.
- Game Programmers
Video game programmers are software developers who manage the coding side of game development. Game programmers control the following aspects of a video game:
- Input Processing
- User Interface
- Video game’s Artificial Intelligence
- Game development tools
- Network and cloud integration
- Game’s Physics
Hiring managers can choose to set up in-house developers or outsource game programmers. To make an informed decision, check out this guide to hiring in-house vs outsourcing developers.
- How much does it cost to hire a game development team?
The cost of setting up a game development team depends on factors like technologies required, seniority of developers, number of developers needed, etc.
- How much does it cost to hire a game designer?
The cost of hiring game designers varies, depending on skill, seniority, location, coding technologies, and years of experience. Hiring remote game designers and remote game developers can help employers reduce recruitment costs. With Turing, you can hire remote game developers at unbeatable prices.
- How to hire a game development team?
To hire a game development team, decide your number of required team members, game development technologies needed, budgets, timelines, and other factors. Convey the requirements to a hiring specialist like Turing.com, which will hire the game development team on your behalf. Set realistic goals, and timelines when delegating the tasks to your hired game development team.
- How much does it cost to set up a gaming company?
To set up a gaming company, one has to pay the taxes, insurance, salaries of game developers, cost of the computerized setup, registration fees, etc. Companies also incur other operational costs of utilities such as electricity bills, internet charges, rent, etc. Companies must consider other ancillary expenses such as the cost of marketing gaming titles, the cost of hiring game developers, and the cost of video game production. A mid-level gaming company may require almost $1 million or more to be set up.
The future of video game development markets
Free-to-play games account for nearly 80 percent of all revenue generated by video game companies. Gamers are predicted to spend more than $65 million on in-game purchases. Gaming enthusiasts crave an immersive gaming experience, paired with cool features, levels, mods, and skins.
And thus, gaming studios must rise to the next level to meet the demands of the growing gaming industry. If you’re looking to hire pre-vetted, skilled game developers, visit our Hire Developers page!
Tell us the skills you need and we'll find the best developer for you in days, not weeks.