Game development is an almost limitless space that includes a variety of genres and trends. There are indie games here, the developers of which raise money for development on Kickstarter. There are large AAA projects here, created by the world’s top gaming companies with teams of 500+ people. They are united by the desire of the developers to please the player and make a profit. And it turns out that the second is impossible without the first.
There are many companies providing game development services. It would seem that we must face an oversupply of entertainment products on the market. But in reality, it is not at all like that. We hear and know only about those products that have passed a kind of casting for originality and won the recognition of the players. Tens and hundreds of thousands of other games will sink into oblivion for various reasons, the main of which is the constant repetition of the same.
The only way to avoid a sad fate is custom game development.
First, it makes sense to say what customization is. In general, it is synonymous with individualization, that is, the possibility of adapting a product to the needs of specific consumers. One of the most famous customization options in video games is working with characters, their appearance, and characteristics. But this is not all that can be done to make the player feel the flexibility of the game and its openness to his or her wishes.
Customization depends entirely on the tools that the manufacturer creates directly for the players. The projects differ from each other in that some have received a huge editor with great functionality, while others have a small choice between several options.
Customization implies relative freedom of the player’s desires in the gameplay. In RPGs, for example, this is a required function. There the player creates and develops his or her character from scratch with those characteristics that seem to them to be necessary for survival. In shooters, customization usually involves weapons, which can be crafted from virtually any parts found. Racing games offer to create cars with special characteristics, add different upgrades, and more.
Customization in MMORPGs is a separate topic of conversation. In this genre, this process is practically the main one. These are multiplayer games and every user tries to stand out from the rest. The gameplay continues constantly, there is an opportunity to participate in the adventure as a group. If there is no way to immediately stand out from the rest, then the players, as a rule, will not like this project.
Indeed, if it influences the management of players so well, why isn’t it used in every game? Because it is far from easy. Not every game development agency will undertake the creation of a product with so many alternative options. It turns out that you need to draw each element of game development art and think over an unlimited number of its combinations with other elements. And this is just a cursory glance. Customization takes a much longer development time. Not everyone will go for this, everyone wants a release as quickly as possible.
How does customization affect the game development life cycle? It requires much more detailed elaboration of details. First of all, this is art. More drawings and alternatives for the appearance of characters, items, weapons, and other things are needed. Then all this should be organically implemented in the game so that, for example, the alternative development of the character’s skills affects the effectiveness of the battles and the speed of destruction of the enemy.
More often than not, game development outsourcing companies are trying to disown the need to implement customization. It is much easier to quickly create an uncomplicated product with simple mechanics that players may also like. We know that hyper-casual games where there isn’t even a trace of customization are almost the cutting edge trend of recent times. But to create such a game, you need to stand out among even more analogs. So it just isn’t going to be anywhere anyway if you want a really successful catchy game.
Customization is a direct road to perpetuating an entertainment product in the gaming industry if done properly. A good game development company with extensive experience and a diverse portfolio can help in this. To understand how promising cooperation can be, you need to look at what games this company has already made and whether the elements you are interested in are present in them.