Game Development Life Cycle

Game Development Life Cycle

GDLC is a process similar to Software Development Life Cycle, which is used by game development team to design, develop, test and build AAA quality games. The GDLC aims to build a high quality game that meets the design and concept for customer satisfaction, reaches completion within times and cost estimates. It also focuses on the streamlined process to develop games on all the platforms available today including VR (Virtual Reality).

Sadly, GDLC does not have any international standards (IEEE) recognised for game development life cycle as software engineering principles. However, the core concept remains the same as of Software development.

A universal GDLC must consists of the following stages:

  1. Idea or a Concept of the Game.(Game Concept, Story, Environment Visuals , etc.) – GCD
  2. Game Design Phase and Requirement Analysis. – GDD
  3. Game technical Requirement Analysis or Game Architecture – TDD
  4. Game Development on Design and Art Assets – included in GDD
  5. Code and Integration and Development – included in TDD
  6. Testing the product & Deployment. Test Cases and Test Plans Document.

Is Game Development is equal (means) to Software Development??
Short Answer: NO.
Long Answer: Software Development always require a need for an existing problem and developed for its solution. Need to develop a product to solve certain problems is the core concept of SDLC. Software Development mostly involves concept which provides technical solution for any existing problems by building a product. Whereas, Game Development is mostly for entertainment to engage people to have fun and spend good time. Reduce boredom and surely have entertainment experience. Hence game development concept idea will require innovation or a story to attract interest among the people. Hence, talented and innovative game designers are in demand for all over the globe in the gaming studious.

Is Game development a simple standard universal methodology to develop or build games?
The game development process is a highly complex process and will always require a team to build the product. The project includes game producers, game directors, game technical team, game designers, game artwork team, game quality team, game programming team, game testing team and game marketing (Post-Production) team.

The reason for me to write is to provide you an international standard process of game development process which includes all the various methodology a game development team can choose is included in this case study/article.


The GDLC is also based on different models as to build the product. However, there is no standard methodology to be adopted. The most popular is a process which is iterative and incremental process as builds are published in the market and updates being released to provide more features and improvements to its product. The product is been designed and developed and keep adding levels and add multiplayer or more integrated features to be added to the game. This methodology is called Agile Model or technology.

Game Development consists Software engineering principles to develop the project which is after all, a software for the consoles. Software engineering principles are to be considered in the Game Techiniocal Deisn document.

Idea Stage:
In idea stage, it’s the prototype of the Game Concept documents for better understanding of requirements at each stage of development in the game.

Most Indie game developers adopts the design and development process. Which means, the core game concept and story integrating in the game and the interaction (visual, audio and input) in the game is done in the Game Concept document?

The game concept and story has to be has to developed and finalised as a software architecture. It should include the visual appeal and input to the user interaction. The level and story structure with its outcome has to be documented. The story board from the artist team will provide a visual appeal and better understanding of the game. Any game which does not have a story and the entertainment which it provides of losing or winning is incomplete.

The game concept document should also include how the player will begin and follow its story and winning or losing elements in the game. The character features and its story evolving its design. The powerups, level design, winning elements, losing elements, game progress features and interaction of all chracters static/nonstatic(moveable) with the player has to be documented.

Lastly, a game concept document should make sure that it provided an entertainment to the user which will engage the user to have fun, learn and spend good time.

Idea stage is the most important stage in GDLC as any game developed is based on its idea and its story. No game can succeed or be developed without an concreate idea for a game.

Game Design Phase and Requirement Analysis

Game Design is a phase where the game designers write the Game Design Document. Game Designers integrate the story and the characters, environments, the level design, its difficulty to win and to play, incorporating winning and losing conditions in the game, the visual artwork concepts,(To be continued further.)

I will keep updating asap.(Please note this is a small draft published and not edited and reviewed. After completion, attaching reuiqred images and in par with IEEE standards, I will post a message to all developers to have a look.)

Keep developing.Have Fun 🙂


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