How to Design Video Games Online
What gamer hasn't wanted to know how to design video games online? Have you ever played a game and thought: I could do better than that! If you love video games, you’ve probably entertained the idea of designing your own. And though you won’t be making best-selling titles with ground-breaking AI and next-generation graphics, you can create a fun and enjoyable game for yourself and your friends without paying a dime.
- Start with a plan. If you go in blind, you’re far more likely to get sidetracked and never complete your game. Draft up some sort of document describing what you want to make, who will play it, and what features you hope to include. Be realistic with your goals and start small!
- Build a list of resources. There are several free game engines - the platform needed to create and run a game - available online. GameMaker is an excellent, easy-to-use program that can help you build a solid foundation.
- Spend some time with the software. Don’t dive into a huge project without practice! Follow tutorials and create small, compact demos to learn the features and components of the engine before you launch into your actual game.
- Worry about gameplay first, graphics second. You shouldn’t be concerned with making the best-looking game imaginable for the software. You can always go back and design better graphics later on. Instead, work out your core gameplay elements. Make sure they are fun and engaging.
- Test your game. As soon as you have a playable version, start having others test your game. Many sites offer forums where you can post an unfinished game for review and critique. Listen to what others have to say about your game and save new versions often!
- Learn from the pros. While it may seem overwhelming at first, eventually you can gain knowledge and inspiration from sites such as Gamasutra and Game Career Guide. The former offers articles and observations by professional game developers, the latter is designed specifically for students and those aspiring to a career in the games industry.
- Distribute your game. Realize that you can always improve something and release your game when you feel it is complete to your original vision. Test it thoroughly beforehand, fixing any bugs that may crop up. Then distribute it to your friends and family and take pride in the fact that you have accomplished something not many people can say they’ve done!