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10 Simple Video Game Features (That Are A NIGHTMARE To Develop)

It’s as easy as riding - but not designing or tuning the gameplay for - a bike.

SIE Santa Monica Studio

Often, when I ask individuals to think about game development (and which features/mechanics are the trickiest to create or tune), it’s normal for them to respond with those flashy, elaborate, ornate ones that take up the most screen space, or look the raddest.

It’s not daft, though - if you saw a plain Victoria sponge sat beside a seventeen-tier wedding cake, it stands to reason that you’d also think the latter would’ve been harder to make.

But, contrary to this belief, some of the things you’ll try to make in game development which take the most time and effort... are actually the simplest, the most unassuming, the most basic.

Take, for example, a cool-looking super move where the camera pulls away from the player’s control, and you see the protagonist doing a 100-hit turbo-combo. Looks complex, right?

Well, it’s actually simpler than regular combat - it’s a canned animation, it takes place independent of in-game systems/physics, and you don’t need to worry that it looks great from all angles, because the camera’s in the same place each time you pull it off.

Sometimes, the trickiest things to make... are the things that appear the simplest, and vice-versa.

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Hiya, you lot! I'm Tommy, a 35-year-old game developer living in Gateshead (not "Newcastle", never say "Newcastle"). I've worked on 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 suffer fools gladly.