What is Full-Cycle Game Development?

Full-cycle game development is a holistic term that relates to the entire process of developing a game from start to finish. This includes early ideation stages to post-release support. The game development pipeline is lengthy and intricate, requiring ample experience to fully understand and master.

Though no two full-cycle game development projects are the same, every project tends to follow the same game development pipeline roughly, albeit with some potential differences depending on the project’s requirements.

The Stages of Full-Cycle Game Development

Full-cycle game development has many stages. Depending on the developer and projects, they could be called different things, but most full-cycle game development processes follow the same framework. Before work begins on a game in earnest, the planning stage comes first. This is where the developers determine what type of game it’s going to be, its target audience, its characters, features, and much more.

With a plan for the full-cycle game development project laid out, developers will move into the pre-production phase. Different departments will meet each other to ensure consistency, its art style, physics, and game mechanics will also be determined. With a set vision in place, the game moves into the production stage. This is where the bulk of the work is done, where the game is effectively built and becomes playable – throughout this phase. This is by far the most time-consuming phase of the game development pipeline, with some larger projects taking years to complete the production phase.

Less of a stage and more of a multi-stage requirement, testing needs to occur throughout various stages of full-cycle game development to ensure the game mechanics work, it’s in a technically acceptable state, and the number of bugs is minimal. The pre-launch phase can be particularly nerve-wracking for developers, as the game’s marketing ramps up and players often get to play the game early in beta tests. This is an important phase for refining the game and incorporating relevant feedback.

The launch period represents the finish line for game developers. The game is complete and ready to launch. The full-cycle game development process is coming near its end, and the most significant remaining bugs are resolved to ensure it’s as smooth an experience as possible for players at launch.

Finally, the post-launch stage occurs after the game has been released. Commonly in the modern gaming industry, game developers will commit to patching their game to resolve any outstanding issues and possibly new content updates, either free or in the form of paid DLC.

Outsourcing Full-Cycle Game Development

Considering how demanding the game development pipeline is, it’s common for studios to outsource their full-cycle game development projects to expert service providers. Magic Media is an expert in full-cycle game development, and we’ve worked on every kind of project imaginable across a multitude of genres. Working with a trustworthy and proven service provider is advantageous because it provides peace of mind knowing that your full-cycle game development project is in safe hands.

Furthermore, collaborating with an experienced full-cycle game development service provider means working with a partner who can help bring out the best in a project. Consultation is a major aspect of game development outsourcing. Working with an experienced team means access to a valid second opinion on anything to do with the game development project and a partner who can help retune mechanics to improve them, someone to advise on when a mechanic needs to be cut or help steer the overall project in the right direction.

Magic Media is an experienced service provider for gaming, entertainment, and tech industry projects. We offer dozens of services across several disciplines, including but not limited to full-cycle game development, game trailer production, and much more. For your chance to work with a trusted expert, get in touch with Magic Media today, and let’s create magic!

let’s Create MAgic

At Magic Media, our strength lies in our size and diversity, allowing us to offer gaming services including full-cycle game development, co-development, video production, trailers, and comprehensive artistic services. Whether you’re in need of innovative technology or a team driven by creativity, we are prepared to put our skills and knowledge into your project.