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Alpha Potato is a team of like minded, growth hungry individuals who love making games and focus on results. If we’re going to fail, we fail fast- that is the base of our game development process. But how does the development process look? In this article, we will look at the main game development phases practiced in Alpha Potato.
Concept and Ideation
Creating a game concept might be the most difficult step of game development as it marks the start of the whole process. Coming up with an original and competitive idea is an essential part of creating a successful game.
At Alpha Potato, every one of our team members are encouraged to play Hyper Casual games and we generate a lot of ideas! If we get a notification from Slack at the middle of the night, it’s definitely someone posting in #game_ideas channel. We also arrange brainstorming sessions regularly, where our design team studies recent trends/themes and comes up with the next big hit game idea(allegedly! :D).
We are always in close communication with our publisher, validating our game ideas with their deeper market insights. Our publisher also suggests game concepts we can work on from time to time.
After we pick a concept to work on, we create the design document with concept art and references- and move to Pre Production once we are satisfied with the design document.
Before the production starts, the team sits together to get further clarity of the game. Usually this team consists of one programmer, one designer, and one artist. This is the phase where we work out the key features, art style, mechanics and technologies to be used in the MVP. We locate the primary challenges we would have to face moving forward and try to figure that out as fast as possible. To keep pace with our fast production cycle, the pre production phase is generally limited to one or two days.
During the production phase, our goal is to make a five level prototype of the game concept and send it out to test. Usually our prototype production phase is limited to two weeks, and we test about 12-15 prototypes per month.
While developing the prototype, we make sure that our prototype has all the essential features that we believe will make the game fun. In this phase, we focus mostly on the game mechanic. If the test results show positive engagements from the early users, we then iterate on making every other aspect of the game fully polished and ready for the mass audience. Our publisher works very closely with us from the beginning of prototyping to market testing and throughout the iterations. After each new test round, we analyze the results and decide whether we keep iterating or kill the project entirely and move on.
In short, these are the steps/phases we go through during our game development process at Alpha Potato. It is iterative, fast paced, challenging, ‘crunch’y, has its highs and lows- but it’s always fun and never, ever boring! Cheers!