The Ultimate Guide to Game Development

Learn how successful games are built, from start to finish.

Game development

Video game development is the art of creating games, from the initial concept to the final release. It exists at the intersection of multiple fields, including computer science, creative writing, and graphic design. It may involve thousands of developers, designers, artists, writers, sound engineers, and testers, or be done by a single indie game developer.

This guide covers the fundamentals of game development and design, giving you all the tips, tricks, and tools you need to get started with your next game project.

Game development process

The game development process can take anything from a few weeks to over a decade. It can be broken down into three main stages:

Learn more about the game development process.

Game design

Game design refers to the conceptual side of game development. It is essentially a collection of decisions about what the game should be and how it should work. That includes its gameplay, characters, storylines, locations, UI, and so on.

Learn more about game design.

Game design document

The first step of the game design process is to create a game design document (GDD). It serves as a blueprint from which your game is to be built.

Game design document example

A GDD usually includes:

Learn how to write a game design document use our GDD template.

Worldbuilding

A fundamental part of designing a game is to construct the fictional world in which the story will take place. The task of worldbuilding can be as complex as creating an entirely new universe with its own history and laws of nature, or as simple as slightly altering the details of our own world to fit the story.

Learn more about worldbuilding.

Level design

Level design brings together all elements of the game to shape the player experience: game mechanics, gameplay, obstacles, story, and so on. Its objective is to create interactive situations or events within the game environment to challenge the player and keep them engaged and immersed.

Learn more about game level design.