Which phase of gamedev do you prefer?

Which phase of game development do you prefer? [POLL]

  • Early phase (planning, design, building the foundation, etc.)

    Votes: 19 54.3%
  • Middle part (where the majority of stuff gets built, mapping, eventing, etc.)

    Votes: 12 34.3%
  • End phase (polishing, bug hunting, testing, release preparations, etc.)

    Votes: 4 11.4%

  • Total voters
    35

MushroomCake28

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I asked game devs in general which phase of the game development process they prefer on twitter, with surprising results: all 3 options were tied, but with the little amount of votes, it's hard to have an accurate sample. So I'm asking people here again: which part of the game development process do you prefer?

Early Phase

My personal favorite. I include in the early phase everything that needs to be done before the work in engine begins. It includes character design, world design, story and world building. Of course, this doesn't mean those needs to be finalized in the early phase, but at least they are created in a general manner.

I also include in the early all the planning and building of the game's foundation. That means building the basic systems of the game: menu, battles, other optional stuff like achievements, minimap, etc. Of course, I include here the planning and building of the system in general. That might mean for example adding an achievement plugin and incorporating it in the menu, but it doesn't necessarily adding all the achievements. Same with battle, you might add a couple of plugins and make sure they work, but you don't have to work on all the skills and enemies in the early phase.

Middle Part

This part refers to the longest part of gamedev, and where a lot of people abandon their project. This is where most of the in-engine work gets done. That means mapping all the maps, making all the events, the dialogues, the scenes, etc. It also can include database work, like creating all the items and equip, the animations, the enemies, etc. People who made relatively big games can all relate to how painful writing descriptions for 200+ items or equipment can be.

End Phase

At the end phase, the entire game is more or less done. You can play from the start of the game to the end of the game. However, there are still some polishing to do and maybe some balancing. This is where you play your game and have some testers also play it. There are probably some bugs, so you're testing the game to make sure everything is working as intended. This process can take a lot of time depending on the length of your game and the complexity of the systems you are using.

I also include in the end phase all the preparations needed to release. That means all the marketing, advertisement, the publishing (steam release process for instance), and the social media. This includes all the work that needs to be done that isn't about working on the game itself.​
 

Meowsticks

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Honestly I have the most fun when I am doing all the polishing and testing. For 1)I actually get to play the game :guffaw: and 2)I love adding little details that really bring everything together and make the world come to life and all that happens during the end phase/polishing. For example, I plan to add end of battle victory quotes that will be tailored specifically to plot/party members/dungeons because it gives me a chance to really flesh out the characters, but all of that happens at the very end.

Now I still love coming up with ideas and thinking up designs that will be awesome. I'd have to say my least favorite part is actually making everything. :LZSlol:
 

Cythera

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I really love doing anything database related, so I guess Phase 2?
And as someone with a stupid amount of items, equipment, and skills in their game, I must disagree about the pain of description making. Writing the descriptions is a great opportunity to torture players with bad puns! :ywink:
 

Thefirelion

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The middle phase is my favorite part, because you are already "sculpting" your creation, but it is still a heavy load, it ends up being satisfactory when you see that what you have done works as you want in the "end phase".
 

mardin

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First one and it is not even close.

I like the middle part as well, because I never plan out everything right from the start but make some things up along with the process...as well as being creative and changing things up. Also get extremely excited and happy if a scene that I have envisioned comes to life like I had it in my mind, but it can also backfire and fuel me with disappointment if I can't get a scene or part of the gameplay to work like I envisioned it...

The last part is my least favourite, although I am aware that it is important to take the last step seriously, but I don't enjoy it. I have already playtested the game enough at this point, and going over and over the game again to hunt down grammar errors and bugs is nothing that I can pull joy out of.
 
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dreamfall887

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I like the first phase the most. It's probably where I have the most enthusiasm. I really like coming up with ideas for projects and brainstorming characters interactions, story, boss fights etc. I end up making lots of notes and spending hours looking for music and resources.
 

Milennin

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Early phase is when it's mostly just coming up with ideas, and feels like your game can go any direction you want without being bound by the limits of reality.

Middle phase is the big grind. Not really all that exciting for the most part, and easy to give up on before making it to the end phase.

End phase feels good when you finally get there, but bug hunting and endless playtesting to finetune the experience gets tiring very quickly. Every time you think you got everything in order, something new will pop up that needs fixing.
 

KazukiT

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I like the early stage of game development because that is when my ideas run wild and develop into something substantial.

The middle phase is my favorite because I get to see my ideas come to life and actually explore my creation.

The end phase particularly bug hunting is my least favorite part of game development. It can get tedious and frustration very quickly. Although once its done it feels like great and no other hobby I have ever had gave me such satisfaction as a completed game.
 

TheoAllen

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As I already answered on Twitter, I prefer the last.

When everything is already in place.
When everything is already proven.
It is more fun to polish something than trying to make a new idea work (most of them fall apart even on draft level, probably because I'm too pessimistic).
 

turbobumblepuppy

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Why does the last phase seem to take up 90% of the whole game development time?! It might not really be that way, but it seems like it's the least favourite part for everyone, including me at the moment, and really drags after the fun part is over (haha, apart from TheoAllen who posted just before I did!). I've just got two minigames to tidy up and get working without slight event hiccups on a game that's in the final stages right now, but they're taking FOREVER (almost) to get done (alongside other general tweaks)! I love developing the game in the middle section most, designing maps, creating or editing artwork, writing dialogue and expanding characters and storylines (sometimes unexpectedly). The first section is cool too, working with fresh ideas, but when it comes to troubleshooting events that I can't see any faults with but keep throwing up problems, it's really energy and spirit sapping. Of course, it's a necessary stage, and will be cool once the game's completed, but having to get things working by trial and error almost every time to then bring up something else that's a problem is so demoralising. I find I start a new game or work on another newer one instead, to reignite the flame and do the enjoyable part again. It doesn't help get things finished, but it sure is more invigorating and less of a headache!
 

MushroomCake28

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As I already answered on Twitter, I prefer the last.

When everything is already in place.
When everything is already proven.
It is more fun to polish something than trying to make a new idea work (most of them fall apart even on draft level, probably because I'm too pessimistic).
It seems that the last part is a lot less popular here though xD :hswt:

Why does the last phase seem to take up 90% of the whole game development time?! It might not really be that way, but it seems like it's the least favourite part for everyone, including me at the moment, and really drags after the fun part is over (haha, apart from TheoAllen who posted just before I did!). I've just got two minigames to tidy up and get working without slight event hiccups on a game that's in the final stages right now, but they're taking FOREVER (almost) to get done (alongside other general tweaks)! I love developing the game in the middle section most, designing maps, creating or editing artwork, writing dialogue and expanding characters and storylines (sometimes unexpectedly). The first section is cool too, working with fresh ideas, but when it comes to troubleshooting events that I can't see any faults with but keep throwing up problems, it's really energy and spirit sapping. Of course, it's a necessary stage, and will be cool once the game's completed, but having to get things working by trial and error almost every time to then bring up something else that's a problem is so demoralising. I find I start a new game or work on another newer one instead, to reignite the flame and do the enjoyable part again. It doesn't help get things finished, but it sure is more invigorating and less of a headache!
I do like the last phase, but I prefer the initial stage. The middle part is the part I hate the most. But I do agree with you that sometimes the last phase can be so long and tedious, but at least you get the reward of releasing your project (if you put up with the tedious work xD).
 

slimmmeiske2

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I would say for me it goes First phase > Last phase > Middle phase.
The long grind in the middle really necks/drains me every time. I also often have the perception I'm not making enough progress during this phase. I enjoy testing and polishing a lot more than the average user, but I do love world building/planning the most. Which probably explains why a lot of my projects stay stuck in that first phase xD
 

Meowsticks

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I also often have the perception I'm not making enough progress during this phase.
You know I think this is why I don't like the middle phase as much as the others. Because of the sheer size/amount of stuff to do it, even when you make progress it just feels like you don't. You can finish something big, but there's still that looming todo list that still looks impossibly long.
 

Saireau

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I like the early phase and the end phase. :) I like being creative working on the concept of a game (early phase), and I like fine-tuning and optimising things (end phase).

If you're interested, I have actually written an article about this. :) (I hope linking it is fine?)
 

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