07 Nov YAHAHA, and What UGC Means for Game Devs
In this, the final part of our series of articles on YAHAHA, we’ll be discussing the idea of User Generated Content (UGC) as a whole, and how it is becoming a game-changer on the game development scene.
Do It Yourself
While the idea of players creating and sharing their own content in a game isn’t new, the extent to which the idea has been taken in recent times certainly is. We’ve gone from simple level editors within games to full-blown platforms dedicated entirely to that purpose, such as YAHAHA. As technology has advanced, the tools available have not only grown to be more powerful, but also easier to use. The gates of game development are no longer kept by a requirement for programming skills; now, anyone can make a game, regardless of their technical ability.
This aspect, accessibility, is particularly important to YAHAHA. The teams’ mission is to make the game development process as accessible as possible, and YAHAHA has taken big steps toward achieving this with the YAHAHA Studio platform. It is a streamlined game engine that lets users create experiences, and even full games, without writing a single line of code.
Breaking Down the Barriers
Beyond this, with libraries of art and audio assets, UGC tools like YAHAHA Studio remove nearly every possible barrier to entry in the game development process, distilling it down to an exercise in pure design. It can be hard to convey how important this change is for game development as a whole. However, with more accessible tools, a larger number of developers from a range of different backgrounds can start making games, which opens the industry up to a whole new generation of interesting projects.
YAHAHA enables people to develop their skills at whatever level they want to acquire. Whether they are already a master in game design or want to practise making their own creations, the YAHAHA platform lets users explore with their ability. The games industry has long had a problem with diversity, and tools like this, which open things up and democratise development, will undoubtedly help to address that problem.
Brave New World
In addition to streamlining the development process, UGC platforms also streamline distribution. The major step of deciding where to release your game is removed when you can release it on the very platform you developed it on. Again, making the process of creating and releasing a game quicker and easier, particularly for those without much knowledge of the different distribution platforms available in the industry, or the business know-how required to choose the right one for their game.
Full studios have already been formed entirely around developing games for UGC platforms; something which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but is now an extremely viable business model. As the available tools have improved, the games crafted with them have too, and the platforms hosting those games have grown in popularity. This cycle has repeated over and over, eventually bringing us to where we are today; the thriving UGC landscape where you can run the entirety of your game business on a single platform.
A Bright Future
However, the beauty of UGC platforms is that this isn’t all they can do. While you can certainly build your whole studio around a UGC platform if you wish, you can also use them to dip your toes in and see if game development is right for you. You can explore the huge range of available games on these platforms, drawing lessons and inspiration from each. You can even use UGC platforms as a gateway into a more traditional role in the games industry, leveraging a portfolio of UGC projects as proof of your development ability.
In short, what platforms such as YAHAHA bring is a whole new way to work in the games industry, and a new way to learn about game development as well. They let you build a quick game, release it into the wild, and get feedback from a huge international player base in record time, allowing for the kind of rapid-fire cyclical iteration that leads to the very best games. And in many ways, these platforms are still in the early stages; the possibilities they could present in the future when they’ve reached their full potential could see the games industry of tomorrow looking very different from that of today.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of articles on YAHAHA, and we want to thank the team for their support during the first-ever Scottish Games Week. If you’d like to learn more about them or try the YAHAHA platform out for yourself, you can do so here.