Pitching Treasure Monkeys #3: What has to be done to make a Game?

Problem solved!

Remember the problem I detected last week? I think I found a solution! There is a Unity plugin named “SmoothMoves” in the Asset Store, which allows to create 2D animations directly in the engine. Creating poses and simple animations for the customized characters should be no problem now.


I am sure that “SmoothMoves” will help me to implement customized characters with animations! :D

Of course, it will still cost some amount of work to create the animations from the drawn pictures, which brings me to the topic that I was working on today: what are all the things that have to be done to bring “Treasure Monkeys” to life?

Ideas are cheap, development is not.

I heard these words in a video on GDC Vault (unfortunately, I can’t remember which one it was) and they are true. The development can be compared to a journey to a mountain which can be seen at the horizon. First it seems as it can be reached in little time, but as you walk, the way gets longer, more steep and stony.


It looks like you can touch the distant mountain with your hands. But there lies a hard way before you. (Copyright see bottom of page.)

It is because the details, which are not considered in the idea phase, demand for a huge amount of work. Many work has to be iterated to be perfect. (Or at least better than horrible.)

Here is a rough list of what I think has to be done for Treasure Monkeys. The list is probably not complete,  but maybe it helps you to get along with your project:


  • Vision Document
  • Game Overview Document
  • Feature Briefs (Detailed Documentation)
  • Mock Ups
  • Dialogs (some games do also have a story line, but even these without one do have some kind of text which has to be written)
  • Math Exercises

Creating Assets:

  • creating all graphic assets (in the needed file format and size)
  • creating several music and sound files (in the needed file format and size)


  • prototyping
  • implementing the graphic assets in the engine and creating animations
  • programming of the game mechanics
  • design and programming of the user interface
  • Level Design (visual and didactical)

Administration / Organisation:

  • gameplay tests
  • bug testing (quality assurance)
  • administer outsourcing
  • administer facebook / website
  • business development (which also holds a huge amount of tasks)
  • localization (I don’t know yet if I will do it with “Treasure Monkeys”)

So much to do! How many people will do this work? And who will it be? I don’t know yet.

Some words of wisdom: Making video games is harder than rocket science.

Games are very complex products. They combine many facets of media in different ways.

And it was no one less than John Carmack who said: “The work that I do in video games is actually far more complicated than the aerospace work.


John Carmack at the GDC 2010 (Copyright see see bottom of page.)

And the people who are working on games are as diverse as the facets. To get the game done, they all have to merge their powers to bring the game to life. And as you may know, getting along with other people is not always easy. (Yet important!) The work (and competences) of many different people is overlapping, sometimes colliding. Communication and respect are really important. Perhaps they are the most complicated part of the game development. (Speaking of Carmack and getting along with each other: I strongly recommend reading the book “Masters of Doom“.)



This blog is about learning game design and game development. Please do not steal my pictures or other content. If you want to use something, ask me!

Picture “Mountain”: www.pictokon.net
Picture “John Carmack”: „John Carmack GDC 2010“ von Official GDC – Flickr: Game Developers Choice Awards @ GDC 2010. Lizenziert unter CC BY 2.0 über Wikimedia Commons

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