Presented by Intel

Debut articles in the highly anticipated collaboration between VentureBeat (VB) and Intel are about to start rolling out. The first posts flying the “Developer Spotlight” banner will be available on the PC Gaming Channel of VentureBeat’s GamesBeat section, starting on April 25. Because each game developer has a unique story to tell, the Developer Spotlight series will showcase some of today’s most innovative and inspiring game developers. New and established game makers alike will find something to take from this look at the ins and outs of the development process, and gamers will get a backstage peek at what goes into building their favorite titles.

In 2017, game development has reached an amazing level whereby anyone could construct an entertaining, compelling, and lucrative game. Whether an established studio with a multimillion-dollar budget and dozens of employees crafting the next Triple-A blockbuster, or a small coalition of developers spread around the globe, working out of their homes to create an “indie” title using a limited budget generated by a crowdfunding campaign, high-powered creative tools can now be used to make photorealistic scenes and characters; render detailed, movie-like animations; and formulate rich story presentations.

Some of these tools — such as the Unity and Unreal game engines — are available for free, so game-makers can start building products right away and for no initial or up-front cost (that’s because a studio only needs to pay for those tools when it starts selling a finished product). Making software available in this way supports the evolution of a game-making democracy, allowing more creators to participate in developing new games.

All developers, however, from the biggest studios to the smallest collectives, face many of the same challenges when it comes to making a game, including imagining a viable game idea; deciding which tools and resources are need to create the new game; designing all aspects of how the new game will look, sound, and play; verifying that the game works as designed, testing, tweaking, and polishing as needed; establishing how the game will be released to gamers; and, finally, determining how the game will make money.

In this series, the featured developers will discuss how they guided their product through this game-making process, the obstacles that can be found in the contemporary game industry — as well as how to get past them — and how to get products to market and into gamers’ hands.

Among the studios that will be covered in the Developer Spotlight profiles are:

  • Freejam Games was founded by five veteran game developers, and has since grown to a team of 40. The UK-based studio’s primary project has been Robocraft, a free-to-play robot-building/driving/combat game that first launched in 2013. It’s been extensively updated, and upgraded with new items, new maps, and new gameplay modes, since its release.
  • High-Voltage Software is a veteran game-developer, headquartered near Chicago. It’s the studio behind the Hunter: The Reckoning series, and has done work for 2K Games, Activision, Microsoft, Sega, and Ubisoft. Most recently, it created the virtual-reality titles Damaged Core and Dragon Front for Oculus.
  • Southern California-based Insomniac Games has more than two decades of game creation under its belt, with games that include well-known franchises (Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance), and interesting experiments (Fuse, Sunset Overdrive, Song of the Deep). The company is currently working on the next Spider-Man title for PlayStation 4 — its first foray into developing a game from a licensed brand.
  • Telltale Games, located in Northern California’s Marin County, is best known for taking high-profile movie and TV licenses — including Back to the Future, Game of Thrones, Jurassic Park, and The Walking Dead — and turning them into deep episodic games with story arcs that branch off from the originals.

The Intel/VentureBeat content project will launch just ahead of the upcoming GamesBeat Summit (held May 1–2 at the Claremont Club & Spa Hotel in Berkeley, California, and sponsored in part by Intel). GamesBeat Summit attendees will be able to meet and learn from experienced members of the Intel® Game Dev Program.

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