Computer game development is a complex and lengthy process and involves a number of people with skills in a range of disciplines. These people work very hard together to create the polished and technologically impressive finished products we install on our computers and smartphones or insert into our consoles.
Some of these professionals tend to be better-appreciated by the public than others and get more of the limelight; however, all skilled professionals involved with computer game development work equally hard using their own unique sets of skills. These professionals include:
Scriptwriters do not get all the credit they deserve, even for films and TV programmes, as much of the credit for their work goes to the director or actors. When it comes to games, they rarely get much attention at all unless the game has a specific selling point, such as when a TV tie-in game has the same scriptwriter as the show.
People seem to think that games do not have scriptwriters and that development companies simply make up the plot on the fly; however, games with a story or dialogue do have writers. Next time you are playing a game that has a really great plot, such as the highly-praised Bioshock Infinite, give a thought to the writer behind it.
There are two main groups of people involved in testing games, neither of which really get the credit they deserve. The first group helps to identify problems and eliminate issues with the code, like Bug Finders who offer software testing services. This is often viewed by the public as a mere formality; however, just how important this is was recently hammered home when one of this year’s biggest releases, the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight, was withdrawn because poor testing left it filled with bugs.
Then there are the playtesters, who play games to provide feedback and to identify the bugs and glitches that turn up in the process of playing. They get very little credit because people seem to think that their work is its own reward; however, playtesters are usually not so much playing games as deliberately trying to break them to identify glitches. This involves spending hours running around in circles, mashing buttons, and testing out various strange behaviours.