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Game Development and Game Design: The Principal Difference

Updated: Mar 11

As the gaming industry is gaining momentum, it spreads its influence and keeps engaging wider audiences. Recently its evolution has been so fast so we have to constantly keep up with the updates and trends. We can see how gaming is making mind-blowing advancements and more people all over the world start taking a great interest in this area.


Some of them are just fond of video games and everything related to them and others go further and start careers in the gaming industry. No matter what team you are, if you’re a newcomer, you may be overwhelmed with questions. But don’t worry - we’re here to provide you with all the answers! Join us and let’s discover the amazing world of mobile games development together!



There is a common delusion almost every beginner falls into. Most think that there’s no difference between game development and game design. But these roles must never be equated. A developer and a designer are separate specialists responsible for different processes.


To cut a long story short, game design is a creative process while development is all about coding and dealing with the technical side of a game.


But let’s discuss it in detail.


What is game design?


Game design refers to the creative and conceptual work that goes into designing the rules, mechanics, gameplay, storyline, visual design, sound, and other elements that make up the overall game experience. It involves designing the game's objectives, challenges, and gameplay mechanics, as well as the aesthetics and narrative elements that support the player's engagement with the game.



If you think the game designers’ work is all about artistic processes, we probably should disappoint you. In fact, it goes much deeper into research and analysis. Before experts get down to designing, they have to consider the target audience, genre, main plot, UI, levels, characters, rules and restrictions, game processes, and more. When all the essential data is gathered and a concept is shaped, designing starts.


Game designers collaborate with artists and developers to create a cohesive and engaging game experience that is enjoyable and challenging for players. It’s important to ensure the overall picture looks harmonious and matches the original ideas.


The properly organized work of game designers is a solid foundation for the rest of the processes. Game designers see the general picture of the future game and understand what players exactly expect from it.


What is game development?


Game development, on the other hand, involves the technical and practical work of implementing the design and bringing the game to life. It encompasses programming the game mechanics, designing the game's graphics and visual elements, creating sound effects and music, and testing and debugging the game to ensure it is functioning correctly. In general, the developer’s task is to fit all the designer’s ideas into the code.


Game development typically involves a team of professionals with specialized skills, including programmers, artists, sound designers, and game testers. They work together to create a game that is engaging, fun and challenging for players.


Game development can take place across various platforms, including console gaming, mobile gaming, and PC gaming. The development process can also involve various stages, including pre-production, production, testing, and post-release support.


It goes without saying that game development is a complex and multi-disciplinary process that requires a significant investment of time, resources, and expertise to create a successful and popular game.


So what is the principal difference?


Let’s say so - a designer works with the game’s concept and thinks through the idea while a developer is in charge of the implementation of the ideas.


Basically, game design and game development are related but distinct processes in the creation of a game. Game design is the ideation and conceptualization phase, while game development is the execution and implementation phase. While there is some overlap between the two, they involve different skill sets and approaches to game creation.


Still, the two roles are interdependent and matter for successful game creation. Game design and game development go hand in hand and therefore are impossible without each other.


HitBerry Games is a mobile app development studio that has deep expertise and prolonged experience in mobile games development as well as game design. Our mobile games development studio brings together high-skilled and dedicated game developers and designers ready to bring your ideas to life. We provide advanced mobile games outsourcing development to enhance your in-house team as well as full-cycle mobile games development services for enterprises and start-ups.


In terms of each project, we use cutting-edge technology and agile methods and apply creative vision to deliver eye-catching games that will hit the target.


Contact us now and share your ideas!




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