Game Development Best Practices & Tools

Whether you’re an aspiring game developer, part of a game development team, or an industry professional looking to enhance your skills, understanding and implementing game development best practices can significantly improve your workflow and increase the chances of creating a successful game.

Top 4 Game Development Best Practices

At Assembla, we’ve been working with game developers for a long time, and we’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of not following best practices—like delayed game updates, missed release dates, and an angry playerbase.

The following practices encompass various aspects of the development process and will definitely help teams overcome challenges, enhance productivity, and deliver high-quality games.

1. Practice Excellent Communication

Clear and effective communication is the cornerstone of successful game development. It ensures that team members are on the same page, fosters collaboration, and minimizes misunderstandings that can lead to delays or mistakes. Excellent communication practices should be implemented throughout the development process to facilitate smooth workflows and enhance overall productivity. Here’s how you can practice excellent communication in your game development team:

  • Maintain open channels of communication: Utilize team messaging platforms, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, to facilitate real-time communication and quick information exchange. 
  • Encourage regular team meetings: Schedule regular team meetings to foster collaboration and keep everyone informed about project updates. Consider using video conferencing tools for remote teams to enhance engagement and strengthen team connections.
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities: Defining roles and responsibilities clearly for each team member ensures that everyone understands their tasks and knows who to approach for specific questions or issues. 
  • Document important discussions and decisions: Document important discussions, decisions, and agreements made during meetings or other communication channels. Centralized project documentation, such as a project management software, can serve as a repository for important project-related documents.
  • Foster a positive and respectful communication culture: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, providing feedback, and addressing concerns. Active listening and constructive feedback are key components of effective communication.

2. Use a Project Management Software

Project management software plays a crucial role in organizing and tracking game development tasks, schedules, and milestones. It provides a centralized platform where teams can manage their projects effectively. Here are the benefits of using project management software in game development:

  • Task and resource management: Project management software allows teams to break down their projects into smaller tasks and assign them to specific team members. 
  • Scheduling and timelines: With project management software, you can create detailed schedules and timelines for your game development project. 
  • Collaboration and communication: Project management software allows for discussions, file sharing, and commenting on specific tasks or project elements. 
  • Progress tracking and reporting: Project management software allows team members and stakeholders to track the completion status of tasks, identify any overdue or pending items, and generate reports on project performance. 
  • Transparency and accountability: By using project management software, teams can have visibility into task assignments, progress updates, and changes made to the project.
  • Security: Communicating about your project within project management software adds an extra layer of security and prevents details from leaking to the outside world.

3. Move to a DevOps Game Development Workflow

DevOps practices in game development involve integrating development and operations processes to enhance efficiency and collaboration. Automating build processes, employing continuous integration and deployment, and utilizing cloud-based services can help DevOps workflows streamline game development, reduce errors, and facilitate rapid iteration.

4. Keep Organized Game Design Documents

Creating and maintaining well-structured game design documents is essential for a successful development process. Game design documents outline the game’s concept, mechanics, story, characters, and more. They serve as a reference for the entire development team and help ensure that everyone is on the same page. That is why it is important to keep design documents up to date and organized, so you can minimize confusion, maintain consistency, and effectively communicate your vision throughout the development cycle.

Choosing Your Game Development Software

Selecting the right software tools is crucial for efficient and successful game development. Here are some key areas where the right software can make a difference:

Game Engines

Game engines provide the foundation for developing interactive games. They offer various features, including graphics rendering, physics simulation, scripting, and asset management. Popular game engines like Unity, Unreal Engine, and Godot provide developers with powerful and flexible tools to bring their game ideas to life. When choosing a game engine, consider factors such as your target platform, programming language preferences, and available resources.

Audio Design Software

Audio plays a vital role in creating immersive gaming experiences. Wwise, FMOD, and Adobe Audition, along with other types of audio design software, enable developers to create and implement high-quality sound effects, music, and voice-overs. Consider the specific audio needs of your game, and choose software that provides the necessary tools and capabilities for your audio design workflow.

2D Art and 3D Modeling Software

Creating captivating visuals is essential in game development. 2D art and 3D modeling software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, and Blender, allow artists and designers to create stunning graphics and 3D models. Consider the art style and requirements of your game and choose software that aligns with your artistic vision and skill set.

The Best Game Development Tools

In addition to game engines and design software, there are various other tools that can enhance your game development process. Here are a couple worth mentioning:

Version Control Software

Version control software, like Git, Subversion (SVN), and Perforce, allows teams to manage and track changes to their game’s source code, assets, and other files. It enables collaboration, facilitates code merging, and helps maintain a history of project revisions. Select version control software that integrates well with your chosen game engine and offers the necessary features for your team’s workflow.

Cloud Hosting

Get fast commit performance, a backup of every commit, and on-demand storage when you move your game development to the cloud. Use your favorite software, like Perforce and SVN, without having to manage on-prem servers. 

Project Management Tools

Project management tools like Assembla assist in organizing tasks, tracking progress, and facilitating team communication. Tools like these provide features like task assignment, progress tracking, and issue management. Choose a project management tool that suits your team’s needs and aligns with your preferred workflow.

Improve Your Game Development Process with Assembla

In the dynamic and competitive world of video game development, following best practices and utilizing the right tools is crucial for success. Assembla is an all-in-one platform that combines project management, version control, and collaboration tools specifically designed for game development.

With features like task tracking, code repository hosting, and team collaboration, Assembla simplifies and streamlines the game development process. By centralizing your development activities on a single platform, you can enhance team productivity and deliver high-quality games more efficiently. If you’re ready to level up your game development process, get started with Assembla today and experience the benefits of streamlined project management and collaboration tools tailored for game development.

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