Developing a game is an intimidating task. You have to invest a lot of time to create and polish a game. Independent game developers are on a rise because of ready-made templates and engines that are now available for everyone to work around with.
This how to make a game guide will teach you the necessary steps to get into game development. It is for those individuals and small groups who desire to get into game development. We will go through the basics concepts such as creating the very first draft around your game idea. We will discuss things to look out for when you are choosing a game engine. Starting the development process and then finally publishing it. If you are thinking that you are going to produce AAA games like Call of Duty, Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid, and Grand Theft Auto, It is not possible at this stage.
It’s not that you can’t create such games but in-fact you will require a massive team and thousands of dollars of investment to create a AAA product. Even by some miracle, you develop all these skills that are required to accomplish this task, It will probably take decades for a single person to make a AAA game.Now, what is the structure of a basic game that is produced by a single person? Well, the answer to this question can actually be explained in a few words. These games are very short. These games are usually developed and rendered in 2D graphics. Always remember that these games are targeted for mobile platforms and we have seen a lot of success in the past by independent mobile developers such as Flappy Birds. It broke records.
Enough with the chit-chat let us just jump right into the game development process.
The very first step in the process of game development is to come up with an idea of the very basics functions of your game. Which themes and playstyle are you going to cover in your game. It should all start with writing a small description, the introductory story of the game, make a storyboard and draw your imaginations on it. This will be the very first draft for your game.
The second step includes some small gameplay details, like how you are going to connect the story with gameplay in your game. This is the part which determines the genre for your game. It all depends on how you want to represent your game to the audience like is it going to be an Adventure, explorer, RPG, side-scroller etc. Every story can be explained in all of the genres that I have mentioned above. To sum it all up, here are the key points that you have to keep in your mind:
1. Game plot
2. Game genre
3. Length of the game
4. The budget you are willing to spend
5. Your skill level
Visualizing Project Pi
The idea of this game emerged while I was developing a college assignment to code a program which made tasks of business management easy. During that, an idea popped up in my mind regarding a game which was about acquiring businesses and managing them. On this very basic concept, I started to design my very first game. The very first version only included text-based open world environment, It was challenging in terms of managing businesses but it lacked all other elements which are crucial for engaging gameplay experience. So, then I learned about unity and unreal engine. I tried them and realized, it will take forever for me to complete this game.
Long story short, RPG Maker MV did the job for me. It made my game making the task a lot easier. I made a lot of features and embedded them in this single standalone project. Give it a try and let me know what needs to be done to improve it because I am in fact making a remake of this game.
Choosing the Best Game Engine
Once you have come up with an idea, The next step in this process is choosing a game engine. The software that is going to combine all the elements of your game together in a single object. If you have some spare amount available you can opt for licensing a game engine but you won’t do that. You will employ RPG Maker, no matter how skilled of a Programmer you are, starting from this engine will teach you the necessary basic knowledge about game engines and its working.
How are you going to proceed into game development?
How assets work together?
By using the built-in coding functions you can design almost anything in a well-constructed game engine.
This game engine allows you to create 2D RPG games just like the ones that were published back in the 1990s.
It comes with built-in features such as graphics assets, sounds, music, skills, weapons, dialogue boxes, character generator, turn-based battle system. There are many different versions available for every level of programmers and game designers at a different price range.
Full-featured RPG Maker MV will cost you $79.99, RPG Maker VX Ace at $69.99. You can check out more details on their website. There is also a Trial Version available for these engines. Luckily, with many features stripped down a free version is also available.
Game Maker Studio
This is a tool which is decades ahead of RPG Maker, it is stuffed with amazing features and tools which gives you complete control over the development of a 2D game.
Like everything else, you have to learn certain elements in-order to use it to the fullest and same is the case here.
There is a free version available which has certain limitations and if you want to experience its full power it will cost you around $39 – $1,500.
This is a beast in terms of flexibility, it offers amazing development and design tools, starting from a very unique sprite designing tool which is very easy to use and after some time you will be designing game assets like a pro. Also, there is a music editor, map editor.
This engine is perfect when it comes to rendering graphics and huge codes together. It remains stable and hardly uses any CPU resources.
This is a complete AAA game engine, This thing can do anything from 2D to 3D. There are a variety of tools, if used perfectly together it can make your game look stunningly good.
Learning this tool is a daunting task but with the help of guides that are available on Youtube and some commitment, you will start the game building process on unity in no time.
Like the previous game engines unity also comes in free and paid versions but the difference here is its free features are enough for an independent developer to make a game.
The Epic Games Unreal Engine is the best open-source game development platform out there, The realistic 3D detail it offers is beyond comparison, The realistic lightning details, the photorealistic graphics rendering.
Just like Unity, it is beyond this universe. This tool also has free and paid versions available to download and all sorts of helping guides are available to master this software.
The Engine of Project Pi
As I mentioned before, I choose RPG Maker MV for the development of this game because getting a hold of its features is easy.
I learned a lot of things while tinkering around with this engine. I installed a lot of plugins from different developers to add extra functionality to the game. Then a time came when I was coding everything myself. It was a fun time.
Now, that I have planned to remake this game. After some testing and watching tutorials, I have decided to use the Game Maker Studio.
Game Design and Graphics
Now that you have decided the game engine you want to use. It’s time to move down to the designing part.
This part is little complex I strongly suggest that you learn some sort of graphics development because creating unique graphics are always going to attract more people to your game. As only you are who truly understands the actual theme and idea behind your game. So the color choice, graphics style should also represent that idea.
Use photoshop or GIMP to accomplish this task. Download pre-existing assets from the internet edit them, add filters to them or if you are skilled individual make your own.
I used pre-existing graphics/assets that comes with RPG Maker MV which caused a disconnection between the story and the actual looks of the game.
The 2D style that came with RPG Maker MV was impressive in every way but you have to go with the theme of the game to impress your audience.
So, I am playing around with assets and tilesets to decide which will go best with the upcoming remake.
I will conduct a poll on the website before implementing it. So stay tuned.
Game Testing and Re-testing
Once your project is ready, you have to conduct a very thorough game testing process, this includes testing all game features in every possible way.
The best way to accomplish this task will be to ask someone from friends and family to play your game until the very end.
They will not only find some mistakes and flaws that you generally miss but will also provide you with some crucial feedback which will have a definite effect on your game.
Now, we have entered the final step in the game making process which is to publish and market your game.
There are many websites that allow you to market your game for free. So, post your game on all of these platforms like itch.io, rpgmaker.net. Share gameplay footage and pictures on social media platforms. Soon you will be watching some very interesting feedback that will be handy when you start your next project.
After reading this through we have come to the conclusion that making games can be achieved with dedication and hard work. All you need is a unique idea, tools, and resources to make your own game.
Thank you for reading this till the very end. What did you think of this how to make a game guide and what kind of games are you planning to create? Let us know in the comments. Have you tried playing Project Pi? You can download the game by clicking on Download Project Pi.