This stage is about programming the skeleton version of the game. At the end of this stage we have functioning versions of all of the games features. Graphics are being developed.
Program the game to meet the specifications detailed in the GDD.
Program the functionality of all features.
Use proxy or placeholder graphics for visual representations.
Use test environment to develop basic functionality and features.
Graphic artists and animators continue work on the visual aspects of the game as detailed in the GDD.
Begin to create the levels, models, textures, animations, visual effects, and sprites required.
Audio work can begin here as well.
This stage is the longest aspect of development; it takes the most time as the game is piecing together. At the end of this stage we have a functional game, but some of the graphics and sounds are not polished yet. Also, the game may still have some bugs to work out.
Throughout the Alpha stage there are often Client/Publisher meetings to showcase and ensure development is on track and milestones are being met.
PROGRAMMING AND ART DEVELOPMENT
All developers work on their assigned areas of development, as defined by the PM or as detailed by the GDD.
Nearly done. This stage is about polishing the game and fixing any outstanding bugs. The focus of this stage is testing, and making sure everything works as expected.
It is important to make sure everything in the game works as expected. Debugging is of primary importance to deliver a functional product.
IMPROVING CODE / OPTIMIZATION
Improve the behaviour of user controls, character animation, game effects
Optimize code, fool-proof. Cover every possibility of user input.
FOCUS ON GRAPHICS
Implement final graphics and animation for all elements.
Polish, dazzle and jazz it up.
Involve a group of Beta Testers who had no prior experience with the game and represent the first-time user.
All bugs, comments and suggestions must be documented, submitted to the person in charge of testing who will sort, compile them and submit them to the programming team.
This stage is about delivering the product and distributing it to the required platforms. There may be some last-minute updates for any outstanding bugs.
Deliver product on the specified platform (PC, Android, iOS)
Port product to other platforms, if required. This process is similar to the Project Plan starting from Stage II (Alpha), with the benefit of already having all graphics, animations, sounds and other assets created. However, programming may have to be done from scratch.
The deliverables of this stage include the final, polished version of the game on all required platforms.