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Video game development is increasingly becoming popular, just like coding and other tech skills. With an increase in mobile gaming, interested persons globally are taking advantage of the extensive video game demand and market. However, learning to create your first video game can be a fun and challenging but rewarding process. Video game creation is a multi-step process that requires great imagination, organization, attention to detail, and deep research. Below are some tips on how you can create your first video game.
Know the Difference Between Game Development and Game Design
Before looking at the steps of video game development from scratch, you should understand the differences between game development and video game design. Note that both skills are required if you want to create your own game. Simply put, video game design refers to the artistic design of the game. Designers spend time conceptualizing the game.
Video game designers work out what is required in the game, sequences to be followed, and what should be included to make the game enjoyable. On the other hand, video game developers are programmers who know how to create video games by writing codes. Keep in mind that you should know how to design the game before programming it.
Research and Conceptualize the Game
The first step in video game development is thinking about the type of game you intend to create. Do some research to determine what skills are required to build the game and the important features that the game should have. To master various concepts, it is prudent that you take an introductory course before proceeding.
For instance, if you want to develop a game in 2D, a course like “Learn to Make 2D Games in Unity” might be perfect. Note that you can enroll in many other programs depending on the type of game you want to create.
Work on the Design Document
After conceptualizing the game, you should then think about your preferred design of the game. A design document simply means a brief outline of the game highlighting the appearance of the game and tools required to build it. Consider the following when creating the design document;
- Skills available – creating your first video game can turn out expensive if you have to hire other people with skills that you don’t have. Fortunately, you can improve your game development skills online.
- Languages to use – your choice ofprogramming languages to use helps narrow down on several requirements.
- If there is a need for future updates and new releases. If you want to include such, think about how the updates will be rolled out.
- Choose Your Tools
Having conceptualized your idea and distilled the design into a manageable game, it is time to choose the best tools to use. There are endless tools with more being introduced. Below are some tools that suit enthusiastic game developers without programming knowledge.
Twine is an excellent choice for those without programming or coding knowledge. This free program features visual editors with easily understood syntax and codes that allow game developers to design adventure-style games. The tool not only makes it easy to design video games but also teaches you the basics of programming, such as if-then statements and variable manipulation. Those with coding and web development experience can easily advance Twine games into complex programs.
This is another user-friendly interface that helps in creating a plethora of games. Stencyl uses a Lego-like coding approach, where developers arrange code blocks and convert them into logic statements. If you have some coding knowledge, you can switch from block mode to text mode, where you can edit and view the codes in these blocks. This allows you to tweak the codes and create codes from scratch. The tool also has pre-packaged game samples that can be modified to suit your initial design.
If you are an expert in programming, you can avoid the tools mentioned above and opt for software that allows you to program the game from scratch. You can code simple mobile games using basic software, such as code editor or compiler. However, find powerful software, such as image editors and 3D modeling programs for advanced games. You will also need a PC with a high-quality processor and sufficient RAM.
Test Your Game
With everything intact, it is time to give your video game a test run. Testing the game helps you identify any bugs and errors in the development process. You can also invite a gaming enthusiast for external opinions about the prototype. If everything runs smoothly, you can start marketing your game through a website or creating hard copies of the game to be distributed through game stores.
Learning how to create a video game isn’t a walk in the park. If you are serious about this, you will have to learn beyond the basics of programming language. If you’re under 18, you may want to check out specialty coding classes for kids and teens, such as The Coder School.