Do Game Designers Work Independently?

Game development is an intensive profession that often requires game designers work independently on segments of the game design process. Even so, the true nature of game development is that it is far more collaborative than independent, since designers must come together to assemble their segments, test and troubleshoot the game from start to finish, and commit to patches, refinements, and slight modifications to the game, in order to create a finished product that is as cohesive as it is fun to play. The game development process, therefore, involves both independent and group work at various stages.

Group Collaboration: When is it Necessary in Game Development?

Game development requires a team of professional programmers, animation experts, graphic designers, and storywriters, who can all come together to create a singular product that entices gamers and catches on in the marketplace. This means that the game development process itself starts as a collaborative one in which various professionals come together and start pitching ideas for a game. They’ll decide on worlds, villains and battles, an aesthetic approach, the platform or console that the game is designed for, and numerous other considerations that will determine the future course of their product development.

Collaboration in this manner is also equally important as development wraps up. These same professionals will come together as they assemble their various design segments to complete the game. They’ll work together to test and patch each other’s segments and design work, making sure that the final product is smooth and seamless, attractive and exciting. Without collaboration like this, a great game simply would not be possible.

Independence During Design: There’s a Time for That, Too

While game design is a collaborative process, much of the development work is quite independent in nature. After the fundamentals of the game’s design, focus, and strategy are decided upon, designers essentially break the new game down into segments. They’ll each work on a certain number of game levels, worlds, characters, villains, or other elements. As they finish each of these elements, they’ll meet to consolidate their work and discuss the product. Then, the designers decide on new game elements and styles that must be created. Once again, they break away form the group to work their magic on graphical elements, dialog and writing, and whatever else must be completed to create a highly polished product.

Collaboration and Individuality are the Keys to Great Games

Game development is not exclusively independent work or exclusively collaborative efforts. Instead, modern game designers work in both settings as they try to bring together an initial idea and turn it into an addictive, adventurous, and exciting game that will take users for a wild ride from start to finish.

The best designers in the industry know that the peak time for collaboration is at the beginning of the development process, when the game is being conceived and planned, as well as at the end of development, when all of the segments are assembled and tested as the final product. In between the start and finish of the process, game designers work independently so that they can work faster, harder, and more consistently, at a pace that will allow a shorter time-to-market for the final version released to the public.