While many video games might feel nearly effortless to play, letting you make impossible jumps, drive cars at breakneck speeds, cast magic out of thin air, and so much more, actually making those games is a superhuman feat of its own. Just one game often requires the efforts of a huge team laboriously crafting every minute detail, and very little of it that comes easy, as detailed by numerous developers who spoke to IGN’s Rebekah Valentine in this article that you should read.
Valentine’s article has a lot of fascinating stories from developers answering this question: “What is a thing in video games that seems simple but is actually extremely hard for game developers to make?”
Take elevators, for example, which, in a video game, aren’t just a moving platform behind doors. BioShock and BioShock Infinite’s lead level designer Bill Gardner described the potential problems of just trying to get inside one:
Or how about the act of responding to any player input? Here’s how Johnnemann Nordhagen, a developer at Dim Bulb Games, discusses it:
And developers in the article don’t just discuss the challenges of game mechanics; they also describe difficult aspects of things like storytelling and localization. Here’s just one really good anecdote, from JC Lau, a producer at Harebrained Schemes:
The whole article is packed with other interesting details and stories. Great games are easy to take for granted while playing them, but these developers’ tales are a good reminder that game development can be very hard. I highly recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to go read Valentine’s story on IGN.