how to develop your own video game?
are you passionate about videogames? Would you like to create your own videogame, but don't know how? Although the idea may seem crazy, the reality is that now you can do it, and go from being the player hiding behind a screen to the designer of a new world full of possibilities that will develop thanks to you.
Thanks to the huge growth of independent development, creating a videogame has never been as easy or cheap as it is now. We offer you the perfect guide to put into action all those ideas that you have in your head and don't know where to put them.
shall we start?
Before creating your videogame
First of all, you must be aware that creating a video game is a task that requires time, dedication and patience, so you must be very sure of your decision. Creating a video game does not mean seeing results in the first week, or even the first month.
The most important thing and what you need to get all your ideas off the ground is to know the basics. Neither programming knowledge, nor development, nor knowing how to create your own character. All these things are learned over time, once you have developed your idea and put your videogame into action. These are some of the situations that arise around the creation of videogames:
- You think you have to pay thousands of euros to learn. Although this is a valid path and offers you a lot of learning possibilities, this is not the only possible path. Nowadays you can learn how to create video games just by clicking on a link or downloading an application.
- You change ideas all the time. Don't worry, because this is a common thing. To get to the perfect idea you will have to go through many other ideas. The point is to find the one that will have the best potential. In this case you can share your ideas with a professional or someone who can help you to focus your idea.
- You see it as a job. The worst thing you can do is to enter the world of game design thinking that you are going to end up rich. In the end it becomes an obligation rather than something you enjoy doing. You can start creating games as a hobby, and then let things take their course.
There are many other situations that you will find yourself in before you create a video game. The important thing is that you know how to react and know that you can get out of anything, good or bad. And now let's move on to the main idea: how you can develop your own video game.
Guide to develop your own video game
It's time to put all those ideas you've had in your head for a long time into action. Get out a pen and paper, and get ready to create your own virtual world.
- Step #1: Select the genre of your videogame
what kind of videogame do you want to create: a battle game, a racing game, an adventure game, a shooter...? This is the first point you need to establish before getting down to work. There are dozens of different genres in the world of videogames, and the one you choose will condition your entire project.
Perhaps the easiest ones for someone who is just starting out in this world are puzzle or platform games. For this step, it will help you to look at other video games of the same genre you want to choose, or of different genres to make the right decision.
- Step #2: Choose a platform
As you can imagine, a mobile game is not the same as a computer game. The platform you choose to launch your game on will have a significant impact on the way it is developed. It is the platform you choose that will dictate the way your game is controlled:
- A computer game is generally controlled with a keyboard and mouse.
- A mobile game usually uses touch game controls.
Here you will also need to decide whether your game will be adapted to iOS (iPhone), Android or both.
- Step #3: Create the preliminary design
For this you need a blank sheet of paper and a pen, or a blank document from the internet. Before going to the image editor to create the levels, characters and elements of the game, it is best to establish a preliminary design of what your game will look like. How many levels will there be? How do you go from one to the next? What characters are there? What will the difficulty level be like?
- Step #4: Choose the storyline and features of your video game
This is the point that will distinguish your videogame from the rest of the videogames on the market. This is where you will define what your videogame is about. This step would not be possible if you had not defined your genre, the platform, the design, ..
You can start by making a list of all your ideas and concepts, and then transform those concepts into sentences that have their own characteristics, i.e. each of the concepts you establish must have a minimum of 5 characteristics, for example, to establish what each of them is about.
- Step #5: Establish the design of your videogame
The design document will be the backbone of your video game. Here you will develop each and every one of the points that will make up your new virtual world. You can approach this document as if it were a game manual.
Start with the general sections, such as character creation, combat and the main interface, and then bring each of those sections to life with other subsections. Once the table of contents is established, you will fill in each of the sections and subsections that make up the design of your game.
- Step #6: It's time to code!
Don't panic, because to follow this step you don't necessarily need to be an expert in programming. There are dozens of engines that serve as the basis of the game and can help you develop your video game. These engines serve as a host of development tools that facilitate the creation of the game.
They are much more efficient and simpler, and make the manipulation of graphics, sounds and artificial intelligence much simpler. There are engines suitable for 2D graphics and others for 3D graphics. In addition, there are many game development tools that you can use without previous experience. Some of the engines that exist:
- GameMaker: this is one of the most popular 2D game engines.
- The Unity engine: this is a 3D engine known for its ease of use and portability.
- RPG Maker VX: a scripting engine designed for 2D RPGs in the traditional JRPG style.
- Unreal Development Kit: is a 3D engine that can be adapted to a wide range of uses.
Depending on your choice, you will encounter a higher or lower level of difficulty. We recommend the Unity engine for beginners, as it is easier to use to create your own video game.
- Step #7: Design the world or structure of your game
Depending on the style of your game, there are several programs you can use to create the digital assets of your new world: Photoshop (for 2D), Blender (for 3D), Paint.net (for 2D) or Adobe Illustrator, a perfect alternative for creating vector graphics.
- Step #8: You've developed your own video game!
With an established idea, a well-chosen engine and the digital assets and structure of your videogame already developed, we can say that you have developed your own videogame. Now it's time to put all your work into practice, and launch your new videogame to the world.
As you have seen, creating a video game is not an easy task, but it is not impossible either. Video game development can be complex, but nowadays there are thousands of tools that can help you do it in the simplest and easiest way possible.
Fight for your goals, and don't fall behind.