Some of you might be majoring in game design or art in college, but others might just be hobbyists who have always toyed with the idea of designing their very own game. Being in school to study game design is helpful because you’ll meet industry leaders, get guided help, and learn almost everything you need to know. What about the people who DON’T get to go to school and learn video game designing? Here are a few tips for any of you who are thinking about trying to create your own game.
#1 Don’t add too many elements!
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff you can add in a game, but if you want to make a serious production, there has to be a limit on how much you can add. If you’re just hoping to get your first game out of the way, then maybe you don’t have to focus so much on finding all of the perfect colors, and you can spend that time mapping out what you really need.
#2 Don’t get too attached to your ideas
You might have a good idea, but what if your attachment to it, is preventing you from seeing a better one? It’s always helpful to take a step backward and examine your project: remember, other people will be playing it and they may not be as affectionate with your game. They’ll be objective and focused on what’s most straightforward and most accessible for them.
#3 Don’t begin from zero if you don’t need to
Maybe you’re a total noob who wants to start from scratch to learn the inner workings of game design. But if you’re trying to create a massive game or already know the basics, there’s little point in wasting time trying to code things from zero. It’s better to use the tools you have at your disposal to build things so that you can focus on the advanced stuff, such as balancing different elements or introducing more advanced features. If there’s an existing engine that you could use to build parts of your project, it makes sense to just use those engines.
#4 Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
It’s tempting to spend months and months designing a single game, but that can ultimately hurt your progress or development in the long run. Instead of trying to create your holy grail video game off the bat, why not try churning out a bunch of basic games, understanding the process, and then focusing on your ideal game?
#5 Don’t self-defeat
It can be hard to look at other, more experienced game developers and think, “I’m never going to get there.” Maybe you’ll think, “I’m a horrible writer,” or, “I’m a terrible artist”. But ultimately, designing a video game isn’t about the best art or music. That’s important, but it’s not going to push your game into fruition. The most important aspect of designing a game is being committed enough to follow through.
#6 Be realistic and focus on simplicity
Think of a game idea that’s been rolling around in your head a lot. Got it? Okay, now try to make it as simple as possible. SO simple that even a five-year-old could understand if you try to explain it to them.
OR! Think of a game that you love but you know could be improved. Got one? The first step to making a game that’s better is being able to create an original game. Once you’ve got that down, you can proceed and add the improvements you believe are necessary. When creating a game there are a lot of different engines, but you will need to program in your game, so it’s recommended that you learn at least a tiny bit of code along the way.
#7 Don’t try to do everything yourself
We all have big dreams, right? The thing is, some of us are better at certain things, and others are better at other things. When working alone and trying to get everything done, you can quickly get overwhelmed. But if you partner up with someone that you feel you can work together with, magic happens, because you’re each doing the best of what you do and working together to create a great game.