If you’ve ever wondered why new games are so easy to make, the answer is simple: the cost of development has skyrocketed, but game studios are making more money by expanding upon their previous work. In the past 15 years, for example, Ubisoft has produced twelve new mainline Assassin’s Creed games. The company has developed a “production line model” for game development, which it has adapted for other properties.
To develop a game, a team of computer experts must first write millions of lines of code, using different computer languages. Each line of code must account for every element of the game, from characters to settings and sounds. A complex computer code controls all of these elements, making the game play experience seamless and enjoyable. The goal is to make the game experience as real as possible, and this is made possible by the team’s expertise in gaming.
The time players spend in a game’s world increases their likelihood of spending money. Brendan Keogh, a researcher at Queensland University, says that the largest game publishers aren’t interested in selling copies of their games; they are interested in holding players’ attention, which is priceless to the entertainment empires. That’s the best way to earn a profit. But, how does a game publisher achieve this?
Ultimately, game designers must find the right balance between difficulty and reward. Too hard a game will be frustrating, while too easy a game will bore players. The best games have a good escalation of difficulty, and a story that will entertain players. If the plot is interesting, the experience will be even more rewarding. But there’s another reason to keep making games: a game’s difficulty is a good indicator of whether the player is getting the most enjoyment out of the experience.