Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
chapter 5
The Game
Production Cycle
Some games are developed in six months. Others take many years. No matter how
long projects last, each one goes through well-defined phases that have become stan-
dard across the industry.
This chapter looks at nine development phases and describes the tasks that accompany
them. Some game projects may not incorporate all of these phases. For example, console
games typically do not get patched. It's also possible for the activities of one phase to
continue while part of the team begins work on the next one.
1. Concept Development
2. Preproduction
3. Development
4. Alpha
5. Beta
6. Code Freeze
7. Release to Manufacture (RTM)
8. Patches
9. Upgrades
Concept Development
Concept development is the fuzzy front end of game design. It lasts from the moment
someone first comes up with a game idea until the day the game goes into prepro-
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