Video games are no longer a growing industry. She is in her prime. There are more people playing video games than ever. This means that there are many opportunities for new people to break through and make a great game. It could be you! But how to do that? The game making process is very difficult, but you can make the game yourself with a little help or funding. We'll walk you through the basics you will need to take into account in order to make your game and make it good. Just start at step 1 below.
Method 1 of 4: Preparing for Success
Step 1. Understand your game
You will need to plan a lot and think about global issues if you want the process to go smoothly. What genre will your game be (RPG, shooter, platformer, etc.)? What platform will your game be released on? What are the unique and distinctive features of your game? Each question requires a different set of resources, skills, and planning to answer, as they affect game development in different ways.
Step 2. Make a good design for the game
How the game is framed will be very important, so it's best to deal with these things before starting to make the game. How will players progress through the game? How will players interact with the world around them? How will you train the players? What audio and musical accompaniment will you use? This is all very important.
Step 3. Be realistic
If churning games like Mass Effect was easy, everyone would be doing it. You need to understand what you can and cannot do without a huge studio and good experience under your belt. You also need to be realistic about what you can do in a reasonable amount of time. If you don't really look at your strengths, you will most likely quickly become disappointed and give up. And we don't want you to give up!
Step 4. Find good hardware and software
Making a game at any level above “mobile” requires a computer that most would call “fancy”. If you are using an old system, you will quickly find that you cannot run the game you are making on it. You will also need some very powerful and quite specialized programs to create games. Some are cheap or free, but others can be quite expensive. We will look at good software in the following sections, but you can note that the software you need may include 3D modeling programs, image editors, text editors, compilers, etc.
At a minimum, you will need a powerful processor (at least a quad core and preferably one of the newer i5 or i7), lots of RAM, and an advanced graphics card
Method 2 of 4: Build Your Team
Step 1. Make small games yourself and big games with other people
If you want to quickly make a mobile game with uncomplicated visuals and code, that's okay. This is a good project to work on alone, and you can use it to show future employers and investors what you can do. But if you want to make a more serious game, you will need the help of other people. Indie games are usually developed by a team of 5-10 people (depending on the difficulty), while more famous games can be developed by up to several hundred people!
Step 2. Build your team
You will need a lot of people with many different skills if you plan to develop a game in one of the most styles. You will need programmers, modelers, visual designers, gameplay and level designers, audio experts, and producers or people familiar with marketing.
Step 3. Draw up a project document
Think of it as a cross between a summary and a battle plan for your game. The project document describes everything about the design of your game: gameplay, mechanics, characters, plot, etc. By creating it, you will also clarify everything that needs to be done, who will do it, what will be the expectations and the main schedule for all things. The project document is very important not only to keep the team in good shape, but also for potential investors.
- Your project document should be divided into sections and include detailed content.
- The main sections include the game's storyline, main and minor characters, level design, gameplay, art and visual design, in-game sounds and music, and control structure and user interface design.
- The project document should not be limited to text. It usually also features design sketches, concept designs, and even promotional videos or sound samples.
- Don't limit yourself and don't worry about the design and format of the project document. There is no single standard format or things to include in it. Just make the document fit your game.
Step 4. Think about money
It takes money to make a game. Among other things, the tools are quite expensive, and the development takes a lot of time (subtracting it from the time you could spend to make money). The project is more expensive, the more people you need to attract, and the more complex skills they need to have in order to make more and more advanced games. You will need to determine where you will get the money from and discuss with the participants how, when and how much you will pay them before work begins.
- The cheapest way to make a game is to do it 100% yourself. But it will be difficult if you do not have enough skills, or you may need a lot of different ones. For most inexperienced people working on their own, a simple clone of a mobile application is the most that can be done. Even if you make the game yourself, you still need to pay licenses for most of the good engines and for many of the app stores or other marketplaces. Also, don't forget about taxes on the income you receive.
- To make an average quality indie game, you need hundreds of thousands of dollars. Large companies often invest millions of dollars in development.
Method 3 of 4: Doing the routine
Step 1. Program
You will need to select the engine for your game. The game engine is the part of the program that controls everything down to the smallest details of how your game works (like AI, physics, etc.). Engines need tools that sometimes are included, and sometimes they have to be built from scratch. They allow you to interact and create a game on the engine. Once you get the hang of this, you will need to find someone who knows how to write scripts with this engine. When you write scripts, you tell the game engine what to do. This usually requires some programming skills.
Step 2. Create content
You will also need to start creating content in the game. This means modeling characters, creating game sprites, the surrounding world, all objects with which the player can interact, etc. It usually takes excellent skills in 3D modeling and visual arts programs to complete this business. Careful planning is good too.
Step 3. Release multiple beta versions
You will need people to complete your game. Pay no attention to mistakes. You only want people to play to learn how others see and experience the game. Something that feels natural to you might baffle everyone else. The instruction or plot element may be missing. You can never know in advance. Therefore, it is important to get an opinion from the outside.
Step 4. Test, test, test
Once you've finished creating your game, you're not quite finished yet. You will need to test everything. Everything. You will need to go through every possible scenario in your game to make sure there are no errors anywhere. It takes a lot of time and human resources. Set aside enough time in your schedule for testing!
Step 5. Advertise your game
Show people your game as soon as you finish it. Show it to companies that might want to invest in it, as well as people who you think might want to play it! Start a developer website and blog, upload screenshots, walkthrough videos, trailers, and more to show people what your game is about. Generating interest is critical to the success of your game.
Step 6. Release your game
There are many places where you can release a game, but the exact location will depend on the type of game you made. The app stores and Steam stores are the most open to newbies right now. You can release your game independently on your site, but hosting prices are usually prohibitive. In addition, you will not be so noticeable.
Method 4 of 4: Finding Resources
Step 1. Try programs for creating games for beginners
There are some great programs that beginners can use to make simple games. Probably the most famous of them are Game Maker and RPG Maker, but Atmosphir and Games Factory are good too. You can also use educational programming tools for kids like MIT's Scratch. They are surprisingly well suited for teaching the basic skills you need.
Step 2. Learn about different graphics programs
If you are not going to hire a professional to do your graphic work, there is a lot to learn. You will need to learn how to work with a number of complex graphics programs. But you can do it! Photoshop, Blender, GIMP, and Paint.net are good places to start if you're looking to create visuals for your game.
Step 3. Consider becoming a professional first
It will be much easier for you to make a successful game and attract investors if you have experience, education and a well-known game associated with your name. Therefore, it is a good idea to work for a regular, well-known game development company before starting to make games yourself. This may require going to school or acquiring some skills, but it still leads you to your goal and is ultimately worth it.
Step 4. Make your way to the indie community
The indie game community is strong, warm and welcoming. If you are good at supporting, promoting, discussing and helping them with their projects, they will repay you in kind. Talk to them, get to know them better and let them get to know you. You will be amazed at what you can do with community support.
Step 5. Use crowdfunding if you are serious
If you want to make a professional game that can stand up against other serious games on its own, you need money. And it is not discussed. Fortunately, things have changed in the last few years, and crowdfunding has enabled unknown creators to make great games. Check out Kickstarter or similar sites. But be prepared to do a good job to deliver a great campaign, which means real goals, good rewards, and ongoing communication.
- Don't think that your first game will be revolutionary. If you really put in the effort, who knows, it might happen, but it's unlikely. But don't give up right away, find out what went wrong and what the players liked. Use things people liked in the next game and fix or remove things they didn't like or bad parts of the last game.
- Keep learning. If you ever need help, ask for it. There are millions of people in the world who can help create a game, so never be afraid to ask and look for them. And remember, there is always room to grow. Keep learning and learn more about making games.
Test, test, test.
One of the most annoying and annoying things is finding a critical bug, glitch or bug in your game after it's released. Divide your game into stages such as "development" (still in development), "alpha" (initial or early testing), "closed beta" (testing before release for invited or selected people), and "open beta" (testing before release for all). Select the right people for the alpha and beta stages and gather as much information and constructive criticism as possible. Use them to improve your game and fix as many bugs as possible before release. Note: add "pre-" or "version xx.xx" to your stages to further optimize them. Be sure to accurately flag the improved release if this is it.
- Remember to back up your files frequently. You don't know in advance when your computer might break.
- Make hype and advertise. Let's face it, you're not the only new game creator. You can release a game that is immediately overshadowed by newer and / or better games. To combat this, spread the news about the upcoming release of the game by all means available. Let's "leak" some details here and there. Set a release date so people look forward to it even longer. If appropriate, you might even consider paying for ads.
- Practice as much as possible to get better and better at making games. As the saying goes, "practice leads to perfection"!
- Finally, never give up. Making a game can be boring, tedious and annoying. At times, you will be tempted to just quit and do something else. Do not do that. Relax, take a walk, postpone work for a few days. You will feel confident again when you return.
- Remember that working in a team is always better than working alone. You can significantly reduce the workload and time wasted by dividing participants into graphic designers and coders, and then adding subgroups such as "writers and composers" and so on. This is an important part, which depends on which software you choose, as graphical game designers like BGE, Unity, and UDK have almost no support for teamwork and direct code editing. Moving to a version control system like git is probably the best idea.
- Make a work plan. If this is your first time and you want to take your time and experiment, then you don't have to. However, it will help you keep pace, and is especially important if you have a promised release date. Think about when you intend to finish everything, and then refine the plan by dividing it into code, graphic design, etc.
- Copyright! Be as original as possible with ideas for your game. If you can't think of something else, it's a good idea to take some aspect of the game and change it. If you absolutely need to include copyrighted parts of the game, such as story, characters or music, please notify the creators of the original. Conceptual ideas (gameplay, how you write code, etc.) cannot be copyrighted, while character names and the story universe, on the other hand, are protected by default.
- Make sure to comply with the licenses of the tools you are using. Many proprietary software (such as Unity) do not allow commercial use (which means you cannot sell a game made with it) without paying an expensive license. Open source software that allows commercial use can be of great help here. But be careful about preserving copyleft rights for some open source programs. The GNU General Public License is an example of such a license. It stipulates that you must release your program under the same license. It's good for games, and you can still sell it if you keep art resources and the like for yourself. However, you may run into legal problems if you use closed source libraries such as FMOD. In addition, especially if you are a good programmer, you will have access to the source code and you will no longer be working with a black box. Therefore, you can modify and add tools as needed. You can read more about open source software (also called "free software" by the creator of this movement) here.