Video Games: From Concept to Console

Video games have come a long way since the days of Atari’s PONG or Super Nintendo’s Duck Hunt. Today 59 percent of Americans play video games and the industry brings in more than $21 billion in revenue each year. However, long gone are the days of video games being played on game consoles that are tethered to an outlet.

Now video game consoles are portable laptop computers, totable tablets, handheld players and pocketable smartphones. There are video game development courses at the college level, an industry full of creative, driven developers and a consumer audience eager to play the latest games.

Game Development Infographic

Game development is a team effort and there are many different layers and people involved in bringing a game from concept to console. There are game designers, artists, programers, producers and developers. “Video games are a growing genre,” said Bailey Lund, a University of Texas video game design student. “For the fact that there’s an interactive element to it.”

A number of people are drawn to video games because of their interactive side. Not only are more interactive games fun to play, they are also more fun to make. To find out more about how video games are made and how you can make one yourself slide through this slideshow of helpful links.

Make Your Own Game

SXSW Interactive Goes Gaming

In late March, South by Southwest hosted SXSW Gaming, a three day gaming expo at the Palmer Events Center. The South by Southwest organization proudly says, “with the full force of SXSW Interactive behind it, SXSW Gaming heads the next era of gaming expositions.” There were Gaming Awards, the Gaming Expo, Special Events, Geek Stage Programing and Gaming Programing during SXSW Gaming.

The expo, which was free and open to the public, was at capacity with wide-eyed children and teens excitedly playing playing games and patiently, sometimes not so patiently, waiting to play next. The gamers aged 18 and up, which make up 71 percent of total gamers, were enjoying talking with developers and industry professionals in the dimly lit space. Bright screens, flashy graphics and imaginative sound effects filled the Palmer Events Center’s main hall with a vibrancy it rarely sees.

Across the way at the Long Center for Preforming Arts were a variety of talks, panels and interactive opportunities for gamers to participate in. One topic many panels mentioned by only one covered was the role of women in the gaming industry. In a 2014 survey conducted by the Entertainment Software Association, 48% of game players are female.

Age and Gender in Gaming

While game developers play a huge role in the industry as a whole, the people playing the games are the most important. Without the huge number of men and women of all ages being interested in video games the industry would not exist. Take a sneak peak inside the SXSW Gaming Expo and hear from some games who can’t get enough gaming in this video below.

Why Play Games

Women & Gaming: A Love Story

A growing number of women are playing games in addition to becoming game designers, artists and developers, but on the first day of SXSW Gaming a panel dedicated completely to women drew a meager crowd.

Women in Gaming: Navigating Successful Careers, was a panel of four industry professionals who tried to tackle some of the tough questions about women’s roles in the gaming industry and how to get ahead of some of the challenges young women in the industry will face.

“The positives outweigh the negatives but they’re still there,” said Alison Carrier, a designer for Electronic Arts’ Red Crow mobile game studio. “Sexual harassment is one of the biggest challenges to have to overcome.”

Women in Gaming

“I had to abandon manners,” added Carrier. “Interrupting was something I never did before gaming.” The women who are successful in the gaming industry have had to assert themselves in order to be heard because their work is judged even harder than their male peers’.

These women are working harder to fit into a heavily male dominated industry. Why? Because they love it and because gaming is in their blood. Video games are more than just a hobby for these women and for many women game developers and players. Gaming is a passion, a way of life and the ultimate creative expression.

Game Studios Around Austin

Written by Katelyn Orlowski
Photos and Video by Lazaro Hernandez
Graphic and Map by Lauren Lowe

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