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Video Game Web Design And Development

By Michael Macneil on Monday, 11 October 2021

The video-game market is a massive growth industry and at ID Studio we have certainly seen an uptake with enquiries in regards to game web design and development. With the current lockdowns and problems throughout the world, game playing is on the increase, up 17% in the UK according to Mordor intelligence.

ID Studio has been creating successful websites for the video-games industry for many years now, one of our first forays was with Gfinity, the internationally recognised esports company based in London, UK. At ID Studio, we are proud to be associated with the initial start-up and success of this highly regarded gaming giant.

If you look back just five years and compare video-games websites to their modern equivalents, it becomes blatantly obvious how quickly technology and capabilities have progressed. Not only have graphical and backend workings improved, but internet speeds have also moved on to ultra-fast cable, 5G capabilities with unlimited usage plans. This advancement in technology has enabled the gaming industry to include user experiences only dreamt of in the past.

What are your goals and objectives?

The core objectives of your website need to be outlined and fully understood, as this will form a key part of the design and development process. For example, a website used as a promotional platform for existing and upcoming video games might need to include a stunning showcase format, blogs, reviews, and user accounts. All these elements can be included within the planning and wireframing process and will allow for a smooth and efficient development cycle.

A game such as Minecraft has selected a retro, dated look and feel, however, this does not diminish its aesthetic charm or popularity. Quite the opposite, the retro look is one of its most appealing features. When assessing your goals and objectives, you need to cover:

  • Target audience
  • Brand, UX and UI
  • The core purpose of the website
  • Future growth options

Mobile Experience

It is well known and startlingly obvious that the mobile game market is massive, according to Udonis, it accounts for 51% of all game revenue distribution. Just take a look at the Apple app store, the list of video games is endless. I am going to stay well clear of the 'mobile gamers are not real gamers’ mindset. This blog is working on the basis that any game is a game, Candy Crush or GTA. As a web design agency, I would go by the notion that if it can be built to accommodate mobile experience then it should be done. The new smartphones have larger screens, better processing units and the ability to embrace gamification. Dot Com Infoway states that by late 2021, 59% of the video-games market will be on mobile phones. You would be foolish to neglect this market, it is massive and continually expanding. Even COD (Call of Duty) has seen the potential and transitioning to include the mobile game market.

UI and UX is paramount

Having a player-centric design is paramount to a successful video-games web design process. By building your website around UI and UX, you will create maximum user utility. UI and UX need to be planned prior to starting the design process. This will involve brainstorming, wireframing, and testing over and over again until a completely user-centric experience is created.

3rd Party Integrations

Will your website need to integrate with third-party back-end systems? This could increase build costs and add to the development time but be an essential part of your business strategy. If you chose not to integrate you might reduce the functionality of your game's website and hinder its appeal. Potential integrations that you might need to consider include:

  • Payment gateways and eCommerce functionality
  • User accounts
  • Leaderboards
  • Multiplayer integration
  • Backend accounts system

Hosting requirements

Depending upon the type of website you are creating, hosting requirements can vary greatly. The video-games world has changed enormously. It is no longer a case of playing on your own, many are interactive, playing with other gamers anywhere in the world. This can be extremely resource-hungry and requires specialist hosting to cope with the bandwidth and performance needs. Some factors you will need to consider will include:

  • Anticipated bandwidth requirements including spike periods
  • Hosting support, 24/7 365, not all companies offer this
  • Automated monitoring and scaling
  • The ability for the host company to grow with your needs
  • What security protection do you require?
  • Budget

Cloud Video-Games

According to TECHNEWSWORLD, cloud video games revenue is set to increase to $12billion US dollars. So what is Cloud hosting? On a basic level, cloud gaming is the ability to play a game using remote servers. Gone are the days when you need to insert a disc or download large files. With the correct configuration, software installed (and of course payment), and a decent internet connection you can play directly from their servers. Currently, cloud gaming is dominated by the ‘big boys’, PlayStation Now, Xbox cloud gaming, Google Stadia but this area is set to explode.

GDPR Compliance & New Cookie Policies

GDPR is the new European privacy law that came into fruition back in May 2018. Some of the main points cover data storage, privacy, accountability, data minimisation etc. Make sure that you adhere to the new laws, as the fines can be significant. You can speak to ID Studio if you require more information on GDPR website compliance.

If your website creates any cookies other than essential cookies such as session cookies, you need to receive explicit consent from website visitors before these cookies are created on their devices. These even include analytic cookies like Google Analytics. Implied consent is no longer an acceptable approach.
Rules state that you need to:

  • Tell visitors there are cookies
  • Explain the purpose of the cookies
  • Receive their consent before storing cookies

You can read more on the ICO website (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/cookies-and-similar-technologies).

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Michael Macneil