I’m the head of the game development team, which is responsible for writing the first versions of all the games. It’s a collaborative process; while we are programming a game, we first work with the math team to get all the gameplay right, then we work with the art team to get all the static art and animations in. There’s a lot of back and forth between the artists and the programmers. The artists will put some art in, then the developers will look to see how it plays in the game and say, “Oh, this needs to play a little earlier, or you need to loop the animation a little longer, or it’s not correctly synced up with the gameplay.” Then, when the art team’s done with the prototype, it goes on to the sound team. The sound team creates each bit of audio individually for each animation, but then they have to see how it sounds in the game, because sometimes more than one sound plays in the game and it sounds jarring. Again, there are more adjustments going back and forth between the artists and the programmers, then it gets passed on to quality assurance – the testing department – and that’s another collaboration. They find bugs and tell the programming team where the bugs are, then we fix the bugs, they test it again, and we have a finished product.
How long does that process typically take?
It could take months. It’s not always a consecutive, linear development process, but I guess if math, art, sound, and QA all go one right after another we could possibly have a game in a couple of months.
How was the game development team involved in the launch of High 5 Casino?
Well, a large amount of our Facebook users are slot machine players in casinos, and a big draw of our site is that they are the same games that you find in casinos, so it’s very important that the games match. The Flash programmers need to see a version of the original game so they can be sure to match it. That’s where we come in – we make protoypes of the games so that the programmers can check to make sure the social game matches the original title.
What’s your favorite part of working at H5G?
I love the people who work here, and it’s exciting to be part of such a successful company that is growing so fast. I look forward to coming to work every day!