How to Make a Video Game
How to make a video game what if today, you start creating your own video game? The idea may sound crazy – and in a sense, it is.
But if there’s a time in development history where a beginner can go from zero to basics in a matter of days or weeks, it’s now.
Designing your own video game
The game design is usually the most underrated aspect, and yet it is the pillar that is patient.
There is no use in having spectacular art or a solid game that works without technical gaps if it is not fun or does not serve its purpose.
No, I’m sorry to tell you that playing a lot of video games doesn’t make you a designer:
- It does help to know what possibilities there are and how to mix or manipulate them to achieve your goal, but you also have to know how to land ideas.
- Know what makes them attractive, structure them, and take into account the limits of your development.
- If you’re willing to invest in knowledge, there are two highly recommended books on video game design that should be in your library.
- On the one hand, we have an encyclopedia-style one called The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell. On the other, a much more enjoyable and fun one called Level Up! by Scott Rogers.
- If you hunt, you will find many more, but they are the ones I like to recommend the most.
- If checking out isn’t an option, both authors have blogs and resources that you can take advantage of for free.
Schell has a blog and a collection of presentations that can help you learn more about the world of design.
- Rogers maintains a blog where you will find an interesting approach to video game creation and its inevitable relationship with board games.
- If you want more or have an idea in mind, attending the GDC talks on YouTube can teach you a lot about how your favorite games were created and what secrets are behind their ideas.
On the Google video platform, there are also other exciting channels such as Snowman Gaming or Ahoy that will help you understand how specific mechanics were born or what makes them unique.
Knowing the keys about why Mario collects coins or why there are games that you understand how to work without going through a tutorial will be of great help for your next steps :
- Clutch a pencil and paper and start writing and drawing all your ideas.
- Please find out more about the mechanics you want to include in your game and find out what makes them fun.
- Go back to the paper and pencil and check what you can take advantage of everything you have, what you want to discard, and what limits you will put on yourself.
- Write how your game will be ( here are sample documents and how to approach their creation).
- Otherwise, every day you will wake up with a new madness that will lead you to lengthen your development until you burn out.
- Jot down those new ideas and come back to them later to see if they’re worth it or not, but since you’re just starting, don’t get drowned in your creativity. Remember, one step at a time.
What did you learn about a video game?
Now that you are clear about how your first video game will be, the time has come to start shaping it. How?
They were hugging very tightly all those titans who one day decided to create a video game engine and open it to the public to use them without paying.
The number of video game engines out there is enormous, and it is easy to fall into the maxim that some can be of great help for your idea and others be more suitable for another.
You are not without reason, but there are many reasons to consider.
Primary of all, keep in attention that you are a beginner, and you will need all the help and documentation possible to carry out your idea. So going with the flow of the herd is your best option.
Without underestimating other options such as GameMaker, Godot, Stencyl, or Buildbox, I recommend sticking to the two big ones: Unity and Unreal.
I would just close to Unity, but I also add the Epic engine for themes that we will see later when we get to the programming part. But first, let’s focus on the main thing:
They are free even though putting your game on sale or exceeding individual income implies having to go through the box to thank Messrs.
Unity and Unreal for their invaluable help, tinkering with the tool, and creating personal games is completely free.
The amount of educational material on them is enormous. The number of tutorials you will find not only on the platforms themselves but also on forums or YouTube is overwhelming.
Start with those focused on introducing you to how the engine work:
- And then jump to all those related to the idea you have of your game. You’ll see that something seemingly complex like creating an FPS is just a handful of clicks away.
- You can fill your set of assets without paying. Although we will later talk about how to learn to create the objects and characters that will later populate your game. Getting into that well is not essential, thanks to the asset stores.
- There you will find everything, from what you need to set up a Viking village to an animal with its own set of animations.
- Although there is a lot of paid content, you will indeed find something free that will save you a good handful of hours.
- Finding help is going to be a lot easier. If at any point your video tutorials or blog posts fall short. The next step is to get out there and see if someone has already asked the same question.
- Open roads. If you are lucky and very likely that you are. Someone will have already encountered the same challenge.
- If not, do not hesitate to go to the platform’s forums to ask your question. Even Reddit has communities willing to give you a cable.
- They have tools that will save you months of learning. And as incredible as it may seem, it is not hyperbole from creating a mountain range.
- For your stage to creating basic animations like a door that opens when you approach. That’s not to mention the visual programming that we’ll cover next.
- Download your preferred option and start messing with them while following tutorials like the ones mentioned above. Create a prototype in which your mechanics start to work based on cubes, spheres.
- And capsules to create a first-time version of what your game will later be and, from there. Go ahead and share your progress with your friends or online looking for feedback.
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The terrifying world of programming:
- If you don’t distinguish how to program, you can’t create a video game long ago that passed away.
- It is no less accurate than having notions of programming can be of great help and that. If you pursue more complex ideas.
- Knowing the programming language of your platform will allow you to tinker with them in more diverse and crazy ways. But no, that has long since ceased to be essential.
- That is precisely why a few lines above. I hesitated to focus only on Unity as a platform for your future game. I think it is a friendlier tool than Unreal.
- But the latter has an especially in this field, including a visual programming tool called Blueprints.
- Also available in Unity through payment options such as Bolt or Playmaker, visual programming invites us to create actions through boxes.
- Taking the example we mentioned earlier. The idea is that when the character reaches a door, a box will be activated.
- A question is activated within the game system that checks whether the character has the key to that door. If it does, jump to another box, and it opens. If not, it skips a message indicating it and returns to the initial box.
- All this is based on boxes. Arrows that go from one package to another. And actions already created by the platform itself or the community support it.
- If something you need is not installing the tool. Another developer has likely created or modified one of the basics to offer a solution to the problem.
- Let’s say you don’t want to stay there, and you want to dive right into the developing world. Trying to play every possible suit.
- Well, three-quarters of the same that we have discussed in the rest of the aspects:
- The internet is your friend, and the number of tutorials and courses available can be of great help.
- If you are looking for a good starting point to get started in the world of programming.
- FreeCodeCamp has more than 5,000 tutorials to learn the basics of almost any programming language that comes to mind.
- And also in a fun and entertaining way that allows you to learn by writing your code.
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