10 Hardest Video Game Genres To Make (From A Game Developer)

Don't start here if you want any hair left by thirty.

the witcher 2
CD Projekt RED

It's fairly evident to anyone that some games just take way, way more effort to develop than others.

There's a reason why the match-three puzzle game or a basic endless runner is normally the best place to start if you're learning to develop; they're self-contained, require very few assets, and have limited systems to build in order to see a working product.

But what about the other side of the spectrum? What's the HARDEST game type to build, besides the "Whingy Gamefaqs Posters DON'T Regard This As Garbage" category (which, up until now, has the fewest entries of any game subgenre)?

No doubt the answer will differ depending on which developer you ask, but these tend to be the most prevalent answers.

TOP TIP: Don't start your developing career with these.

10. Balanced Fighting Games

the witcher 2

Maybe a bit of a surprise entry here, because fighting games buck the idea that having fewer assets... means an easier or simpler product to create overall. But whilst the amount of work required to create a basic fighting game isn't huge, the amount of effort needed to make one balanced and sustainable definitely is.

It's pretty easy to build a fighting game, but it is INCREDIBLY difficult to build a balanced one.

When making a fighting game, it's tempting to think of a diverse and exciting cast of unique characters to choose from right from the starting line. After all, that's one of the cornerstones of a great fighting game, right?

Well, yes, but a far more successful process for building one requires the team to completely exhaust the design for one character, first, starting with just that singular character battling against itself over and over in an attempt to balance them.

Ryu vs Ryu, for weeks upon weeks. It's like every Street Fighter 4 tournament, circa 2009.

The scary thing after that, is... that process grows exponentially. You have one character? Then you have one interacting pair of characters every match, to balance. You have three characters? That's nine interacting pairs to balance.

If you have a proposed roster of twenty-five characters, suddenly you have to balance six-hundred-and-twenty-five interacting pairs. Oof.

Just thinking about it makes me feel like I've taken a full Ultimate Raging Demon to the brain.


Hiya, you lot! I'm Tommy, a 39-year-old game developer from Scotland - I live on the East coast in an adorable beachside village. I've worked on Need for Speed, Cake Bash, Tom Clancy's The Division, Driver San Francisco, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, Kameo 2 and much more. I enjoy a pun and, of course, suffer fools gladly! Join me on Twitter at @TotoMimoTweets for more opinion diarrhoea.