Have you ever wanted to make your own video game? I know I have. While real life has done its best to stop me, I am slowly but surely working on a video game of my very own. During the course of this article, I will give tips and resources that will help you make your own video game.
Resources and Tips for Making a Video Game
This article will give you resources and tips for making your own video game, even if you do not have any programming experience!
Defining your Video Game
The first step in making your own video game is figuring out what your video game is going to be about. While this seems rather obvious, you'd be surprised how many people get hung up on this first step. For those of you in the crowd who believe this is not an important thing to figure out, think again. The types of elements you will include in your video game depend greatly on the type of game it will be. For example, if you wanted to make a role-playing game in the same vein as a Final Fantasy game, you know you'll need to concentrate on the story line and character interactions. Those are two of the most crucial aspects of any great role-playing game. However, if you wanted to make a platformer, you know that the emphasis is on entertaining gameplay.
Take a few minutes to think about what type of video game you want to make and then read on.
Determining the Game's Structure
Now that you have defined what type of video game you are going to make, you need to determine details about the game in question. Is it going to be an epic game spanning fifty hours? Or, will it be a much humbler experience that lasts for under ten? Your answer here will partially depend on what type of game you are creating, but if this is your first video game, I'd recommend a shorter experience, if only so you can actually complete it!
Other essential things you want to determine are:
- Game objectives: What is the player attempting to do? Is the player just trying to reach the other side of a level in a platformer? Or, is the player trying to save the world from a maniacal monster in a roleplaying game? How does the player accomplish their goals?
- Targeted audience: This one is very important. If you're making a game for children, you'll want to simplify your game concepts accordingly. On the other hand, if your game is for teenagers and up, you can add a few more mature elements to compensate. Just make sure you don't make a kiddish game for adults or an overly mature game for kids!
- Difficulty: Do you want your game to be hard, or easy? Depending on the genre of your game, difficulty can make or break it. In RPGs, for example, a good story can carry the game and your players won't be so annoyed if it's overly easy. However, an easy platformer in the vein of Mario (which has little story) would probably not be the best choice most of the time. I'm not saying to make an impossible game, but don't make it too easy either. People like to be challenged!
Outlining your Game
Now, you need to sit down for a bit with some paper and your writing implement of choice. Write out how you want the game to flow. Mesh important details such as game objectives and scores. Then, figure out how you would have to lay out the video game so that it works as you want it to. This is where having programming experience is handy, so you can create a flow chart of in-game events.
However, since I'm well aware that not everyone knows how to program (and my personal skills are barely above the beginner level), I'll be explaining how I expect you to make a video game without said experience.
Make a Video Game Using a Game Engine
Video game engines are used by people all around the world to make video games. You would expect that big budget companies do not use these. However, that is actually not always the case. The Unreal Engine is perhaps the premier example of an engine created and licensed out to many video game companies in the industry for use in their big budget video games.
Your choice of game engine will depend on the type of game you want to make. A few engines I have tried out are:
- Torque - Comes in both 2D and 3D versions to serve all of your video game creation needs. It's extremely versatile and allows for a variety of game genres to be created.
- Game Maker - Allows you to make your own video games with literally zero coding. However, depending on the game you want to make, you could implement coding to increase the complexity of your product.
- RPG Maker VX Ace - This extremely powerful game engine can be used to make, as the name states, roleplaying games. This is the engine I'm using to create my very own RPG. You can try it out for free for a whole month. While it is restricted to solely RPGs, you can make a complete roleplaying game without one ounce of programming experience.
Once you have chosen your game engine of choice, all that is left is to create your game!
If you want to read more on the subject.
Now that I have explained the creative process behind creating your video game and given you a few recommendations for game engine use, I am confident that you will be able to create your own game, as time allows. Don't burn yourself by working on your game for ten hours straight every day. Sometimes it is better to get a little progress done each day than it is to run a marathon and then not want to even look at your game for the next month.
If you have any questions or tips concerning this article, don't hesitate to comment in the comments section of this article.
Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)
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Thanks for sharing these resources. I think my son would like his own game engine, he loves gaming.
I've been looking into creating a small flash or app game as a pre-release for a scifi book- I think I could adapt one of these programs, possibly. Good stuff!
I see there are even some free game makers out there. Thanks for these resources!