Hello community members!
Here's a shortend (cheatcheet) roadmap, most professional game developers use for creating a game to a finished product.
- Write out your game idea in a script (begin with a draft)
- Work out the details from that script. E.g. if the script says something about some theme, explain the theme in more detail (visual writing)
- Make some storyboard (like comics, squares with pictures in it visualizing the script)
- make a design document from the storyboard and script. A design document is a very detailed document that covers ALL things related to the game, like objectives, characters, weapons, special abilities, level descriptions, technical explaining (scriptcode and middleware to be used), etc etc etc etc.. In the end when dealing with publishers, they most likely want to get a copy of the design document (it's a written game, the document should represent the whole game in every aspect, so by only reading through it, you surely know how it will be visual)
- Make a detailed but realistic schedule for your team or yourself, and KEEP too it. (even if it seems impossible, just make it happen (crunch time)) Remember: your schedule will be modified by even more strict and thight milestone dates to keep toom, by a future publisher (if you found one during development)
- Make concept art for your assets, the more perspectives the art for an asset has, the better it is for your modelers (as backplanes e.g. or the getting the feel of the character) to rebuild the drawing into a 3d model
- Make primary assets (like main characters, or main object (like weapons or a mesh (like a castle that returns more times during the game) this also includes textures and animations.
- Start prototyping with made assets, for certain functions, e.g. in Splintercell, ubisoft montreal/shanhai have made some prototypes only focussing on fighting moves, untill those worked out exactly as they wanted. Then they made other prototypes covering other element of the game, e.g. light/shadow visibility by enemy etc etc etc.
Prototyping is very important, it can tackle future troubles you might run into from the beginning.
- Create the levels, and more assets (incl. sound fx), and TEST them intensively. (change the designdocument if some radical changes happen, so both the levels/assets and the document are always in sync.)
- Create at the same time some code that is used in the level (game logic), incl using the working prototype code elements.
- Make gui's for the game, and test them intensively.
- Optionally: create cinematics
- Make an Alpha release for internal team testing.
- Fix bugs, i'm sure there are many.
- Make an closed Beta, for internal and some carefully selected external people to test the product.
- When entering the beta stage, you can already start seeking for a publisher and include them as beta tester.
- Fix bugs...
- Make either public beta, or just release it (if agreed with the publisher, if having one)
- Keep seeking for bugs, and fix them (patches)
- Listen to your fans, and respond accordingly.