If you have plans to develop your own video game, you’re not alone. Creating games is just as much fun as playing them and that is why millions of people are doing it. If you want the world to play what you’ve created, you’ll probably be aware there’s more to it than picking a concept and buying your polygon assets for game development including characters, environments, props, effects, and everything else you need.
Of course, a cool game concept is the best place to start. It is always a good idea to generate a few of them as you explore what kind of game you want to make. If you’re a first-timer, start small. Look at different genres and subgenres, see what is currently trendy in the world of game playing (or cash in on the retro craze and see what used to be), then make a note of any video game ideas you may have. It’s important to remember there is no such thing as a bad idea at this point – it can be refined and improved to become something that everyone will want to play. Once you have settled on a great concept, here are some more steps to follow as you develop your game:
- Gather information. The creation of any video game means a lot of research. Look into the type of game you want to develop and draw up a game design document (GDD). Think of the GDD as the brief for the project, outlining essential details like game mechanics, genre, worldbuilding, story and even your strategy for marketing the game at some point. As the game’s designer, it’s up to you to decide which programming language you will use, who will be in your team, and the resources you may need.
- Time to build. Once your research is complete, it’s time to develop the game’s framework. You will have to select the best programming language and game engine for your concept. Small mobile games won’t require the advanced technology of more hardware-dependent games. During this stage, you can also start to script the code for your game. If you have the budget, you may consider taking on programmers to script your code and save time.
- Refine your concept. Your original concept is undoubtedly great but it can always be better. Prototypes of your game will help you uncover issues early in the design process – it’s important you iron them out as you go because they will have a negative effect on the player experience once the game is released. Ensure your game has all essential components at this stage, including setting, quests, level design, characters, sound effects and so on. If you are creating a role-playing game (RPG), it’s important you can track the logic of your storyline, and that the character motivations make sense. For a platformer or adventure game, it’s on you to make that world immersive and explorable.
- Test, test, test. Maybe the most important stage? It’s certainly vital that your game is tested before it is released, whether you do it yourself or hire experts to do it for you. This process will get rid of the glitches and errors that make games unplayable, even if they’re free.
- Market the finished game. As you near the end of your game’s development, begin marketing your creation as widely as you can. Make a website just for the game, and use social media to advertise it. A playable demo on your site will give players an irresistible taste of what to expect when they buy the full game. On the game’s release, offer discounted copies or a free version, upload it to game or app stores. Do whatever you can to get it to as many players as possible.
Stores like this will supply all the assets you need. But it’s up to you to use those assets to their maximum potential and create the best video game you can. By following the above steps, you will.