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To Make Engaging Video Games, You Need a Diverse Team

People all over the world, of every age group, enjoy video games today. From Candy Crush to Minecraft to Overwatch, video games are a fun experience for billions of people. 

Creating such popular, powerful entertainment requires the contributions of many talented people who have unique skills, experiences and perspectives. For people thinking about game development as a hobby or career, perhaps the most important thing to learn is the power of teamwork.

A team of hundreds

Hit games like For Honor and Horizon Zero Dawn have development teams of hundreds or even thousands of creative professionals. Even the simpler mobile games require engineers, artists and designers to work successfully together and to be able to advocate for their ideas, problems and solutions with marketing and production staff. But if you aren’t able to effectively communicate with team members who have entirely different needs, opinions, and perspectives, you won’t be able to contribute as much as you could to a successful game.

Consider how a team might work together to create a new heroine in a video game. The creative director may ask a narrative designer to create a background for the character that helps tell an important story in the game. A character artist creates the character’s appearance based in part on the story but also on her understanding of the overall art style of the game and its world. The art director, in partnership with the creative director, provides feedback on the appearance of the character, and an animator helps bring the heroine to life with movements that are relevant to the game design, consistent with the character and interesting to the player.

Where business meets creative

Each person on the creative team plays a part in the development of the new heroine, but many more people provide important contributions before the process is complete. A producer makes sure the work is done on schedule, a marketing manager may test player response to the character, and a software engineer ensures that the art and animation can be integrated into the game. A sound designer might design a specific musical theme for the heroine, and her amazing sword could require new sound effects.

At any stage of the project, if someone can’t work well as part of the team, everyone has a more difficult time creating the excitement players feel when they play a video game. But when teams work together effectively, with each person contributing their ideas to a shared goal and vision, the result can be an unmatched entertainment experience.

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