As someone that enjoys playing games, you might particularly enjoy AAA titles like GTA, The Witcher, Red Dead Redemption, and so on. You might be so interested that you might be thinking about making your title.
Thus, you might wonder “can one person make an AAA game?’ Well, in this post, we will answer that question. We will consider what the AAA game stands for, how it is developed, and if it is possible to create it.
AAA Games – What are they?
We see the term AAA game floating around in forums and other spaces on the internet, with there seeming to be a big interest in this type of gaming. Therefore, before we determine whether one person can make this game, it is important to know what it is.
So, what is an AAA game?
There are several definitions for this type of gaming. However, one of our favorites and most accurate is this – an AAA or Triple-A game is a game that is created by a large studio. A studio is comprised of different parts and can involve a big team, and of course, a large budget.
There are numerous examples of AAA games on the market today. Some of the most popular include Assassin’s Creed, God of War, and so on.
From the definition alone, it is quite clear that creating an AAA game by yourself is nearly impossible. These games are frequently quite expensive, which is a major factor why it is nearly impossible for an individual to create one.
We will consider why AAA games are developed and why they are so expensive to make.
In a few words, AAA games are technically complex and highly interactive games. The best AAA games often feature top-of-the-line graphics, have impressive music scores, and incredible video. These three features, along with the incredible marketing campaigns that accompany the releases of such games make them generate a lot of profit.
In some cases, it is hard to differentiate between an AAA game and a blockbuster movie. A large number of people are involved in the creation, and the budget is large enough to hire experts that will give the best quality across board.
Why AAA Games are Developed
Why is there such a massive demand for AAA games? Why are they developed? Let’s see the answers to these questions in this section.
A Global Demand
AAA games are developed because of the incredible demand. Video games, in the past, used to be associated with teenagers and jobless people that had nothing better to do. However, the market has grown and continues to grow. There have been several AAA games and other video games that have been received with widespread anticipation and acclaim.
Gaming is a billion-dollar industry and many turn to the virtual world to relax and relieve stress.
With the pandemic in full flow and lockdowns enforced around the world, more people are staying home, and with nothing to do, they turn to gaming as a way to relieve boredom.
1. Expand Gaming Experience and Market Share
Another reason why AAA games are developed is the enhanced gaming experience that gamers can enjoy now. With the improvement in technology, there are several innovative features from hardware, incredible graphics, high-performance consoles and chips, and much more expansions that allow gamers to feel completely immersed in the gaming world.
There is an increased ability to improve the gameplay from titles, the in-game mechanics, and all of that which appeals t more gamers. It is no surprise, therefore, that the community of gamers continues to grow rapidly, and this in turn increases the market shares of studios that develop these games.
2. AAA Games are Exciting
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, there is a higher level of user engagement – much more than any other point in history, and this in turn means that games make record-breaking profits for their makers.
The most expensive game ever made, GTA V made more than 800 million US dollars after 1 day of release and that figure soared to 1 billion dollars after three days.
3. AAA Games lead to innovation
Make no mistake about it – studios are in heavy competition with each other, and AAA titles are at the forefront of this battle.
AAA games require the best technology, and we are seeing the release of brand new consoles with more computing power, faster speed, better graphics, more storage, and so on. With these new and better engines, the perception and possibilities of AAA games expand and continue to excite manufacturers.
How are AAA games made?
If you are thinking of creating your AAA game, you certainly need to know the process involved in making one. Well, that is what we have set out to discuss in this section.
Consumers might not really care about the process of development, but since you are curious about how to create your own, the process might serve as a blueprint for your own creation.
1. Concept Creation
The first thing or stage of development is the concept. This is one similarity between typical games and AAA titles. Before the game design begins, there has to be a central idea of the game that is created. This comes before making a Game Design Document.
By crafting the idea and putting it down, you can shape how the game is made and not get lost in the other things required in production.
2. Full Game Design
While this involves the visual effects, there are still other things to consider. In this stage, key decisions are made regarding important stuff like the levels of the game, the mechanics, the rules, the characters, the settings, the narrative, and so on.
The Game Design Document comes in handy here as this is where you will store the basic things that are involved in this stage. There must be consistency in the development process. Therefore, the game designers work to give the game its roots.
This is one reason why AAA games are developed in a studio by a large number of people. You have to delegate tasks to teams like the content designers, the UI-UX designers, level designers, and others in the design aspect.
3. Art Production
At the end of pre-production, the art team comes into play. This team is often headed by an art director. It is the art production crew that will create the characters, the settings, environments, visual effects, artwork, and all that. It is a challenging process that requires plenty of attention to detail.
The aim of the art production team is the integrate the art assets into the game correctly and not go beyond the ability of the platform.
After creating the design, the programmers come to play their part. They are provided with the requirements of the game and work within the constraints of these. As with the other teams working in the development of an AAA game, the programmers regularly interact with the other departments to ensure that the goal of a fully playable game is achieved.
Some of the specifics that the programmers work on include the speed of characters, the number of characters on the screen, the interactions, functions, and so on. All those on the programming team have a deep knowledge of programming and can work with engines like Unity.
This stage of development has the game tested. This is done in-house, or a control group of people play the game and see if any things can be improved or scrapped. In other words, this is the stage where the creators step into the shoes of gamers. There are specialists whose primary job is to ensure the quality of gameplay and identify any bugs in the game.
What is the cost of making an AAA game?
The cost of creating this game varies; however, the average is between 75 million and 100 million dollars. This will include the cost of hiring space, equipment, hiring teams, marketing, and other miscellaneous expenses.
What determines the cost of AAA GAMES?
1. The Studio
Several studios can help you to build your game. Therefore, you must carefully consider the studio, look at their record, and of course, consider the cost of the studio.
2. Size of the team
Averagely, you need around 100 experts to help you create your AAA game. For a faster release, you will need more hands on deck.
3. Cost of Equipment
To speed up the production process, developers use some advanced engines to work on the game. These engines are available at expensive prices.
You will need voice-over artists and score creators to enhance the quality of the game. These are not cheap to acquire
5. Quality Assurance
You will need to hire a team of specialists to help with bugs and other stuff. This will involve hiring playtesters, developers, and others.
This eats up a large chunk of your budget, and more often than not, the commercial success of a game is tied to the marketing team.
So, can one person make a AAA game? Well, if you are looking to make a AAA console game, you must be ready to spend a fortune. The popular and successful AAA games right now come from publishers that work with studios. Therefore, although one person can make a AAA game, it is time-consuming and super-expensive.