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Rin's Room #36: What to Focus on When Designing a Video Game. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment. Woman Owned.

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.

top_tech_border. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment.

#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.

bottom_tech_border. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment.

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32 thoughts on “Rin’s Room #36: What to Focus on When Designing a Video Game

  1. Tyler Fields says:

    As someone who is starting work on developing a game and going to school for Computer Game Design, I believe this list is very helpful. I will be sure to take this advice and use it to hopefully better develop my game. Thank you for the great advice.

  2. These are good tips to help make your own video game a reality. Juicy details like which game engine, 2D or 3D art, gameplay mechanics, genre come into play. ..So I just wanted to say that I made my first game and I will be publishing soon.

  3. coyleon says:

    Take out the video game context and these tips can easily become words of wisdom to the savvy entrepreneur. This was a fun read! Thank you, Rin!

  4. roddyw says:

    Said like a pro! Thanks for these pieces of advice, Rin. Good job!

  5. alexsummers123 says:

    I agree these are universal business concepts. It is just tweaks depending on the situation. Good tips none the less I could use it too.

  6. kittyprydexmen says:

    I do not know game design I just play lol. However, like everything it requires effort to succeed. With that said, these tips are applicable game or no game. It is business tactics.

  7. t1na84 says:

    These pieces of advice ring oh so true! Thanks for sharing these snippets of wisdom, Rin! xoxo

  8. Better start small first before escalating. A mobile game is good to test it. If the ratings are good then go crazy ha ha.

  9. charlesxavier123 says:

    If I would to design a game I would make it PORTABLE!!! Come on neglecting other platforms PC cough cough is a NO for me.

  10. pandabearwolf says:

    Designing a game has excited me for years now. I have tried to learn the basics of it, but I have to tell you it is much more difficult than it looks. But once you keep trying, you can get better at it.

  11. wolfbro says:

    It is really fun to make a video game. I love making it really. It takes some hard work and time of course but the end product is really worth it.

    1. edg4r32 says:

      @wolfbro are you a game dev, bro? Care to share some of your masterpiece?! I’d like to give ’em a try as I’m looking for something fresh to the palate 😉

  12. kamaumugo says:

    Too many designers try to make overly complex games and do it on their own. Thats the main reason you find redundancy on some games and apps if its on mobile platform.
    Insightful article here. I like it.

  13. zeus04 says:

    Simplicity guarantees that players would easily learn to love your video game concept. Put in an extensive learning curve and you’ll frustrate folks to… wait, I’ve seen many games with steep learning curves and yet those titles have become classics! Now I’m confused..

  14. rob3rtow says:

    Hmmm.. these tips got me thinking: would a VR version of Snake (or Tic-Tac-Toe) be a potential hit? It’s simple, fresh, and I bet people haven’t thought of it! Ooops, I shouldn’t have shared my idea! 😡

  15. micorobin says:

    It never hurts to have a back up plan. However sometimes you just got to suck it up and say GO big or Go home.

  16. luffyzorro2012 says:

    These tips are on point. If I may add PRAY too. Sometimes we need divine intervention. LOL.

  17. Grecy Garcia says:

    I love No. 5. Don’t Self Defeat. I think it is best to apply in general in life and not only for making or designing a game. You should always think fresh and the experience you had before should always be part of the past. Don’t feel bad if you are not good today, because you have a talent to enhance and skills to develop.

  18. Motivating insights Rin! I totally agree with your ideas. When building a game, we also need to consider the ideas of other people and we should be open to it.

  19. elaine says:

    “so that you can focus on the advanced stuff, such as balancing different elements or introducing more advanced features” What I think that, when you design a new product, more features, more fun, more users.

  20. kadoyatsukasa123 says:

    Good tips!!! Not just for games but for business. Yes these tips can be applied to other things too.

  21. miakayuuki2012 says:

    Focus on function/ substance rather than form. I do not design games but I will apply that thought. Stay away from being too flashy.

  22. Chatingale says:

    These are nice tips to remember. I would want to design my own game someday.

  23. Mau says:

    Good advice Rin! I especially like tips #4 (don’t put all your eggs in one basket) and #7 (don’t try to do everything yourself). People tend to overthink and try to make a single “perfect” game but thinking of it that way might only hinder your progress. Also, we live in a world where being collaborative could take you a long way so don’t hesitate to ask for help or form a team! A number of brains working together is better than just one brain doing everything.

  24. charleenmae says:

    Looking at other successful creator is good as long as one use it as inspiration. Don’t let your insecurities get in the way. Simple ideas branch out to greater ones so don’t over do it.

  25. These are great tips. I know designing video games needs great skills but these tips almost make things simpler.

  26. darkkvader says:

    I think the whole waythrough process is more important at first then after that, the design the graphics itself since game creating is really huge.

  27. valine13 says:

    It’s not an easy thing to do a game I tried doing it in a game creator it’s really fun but you really have to have a good concept and dedication. Thanks for these tips!

  28. Adding too many elements can be distracting for a player so yes I really agree with tip #1. As a gamer, I like simple games where the design is neat and minimal. 🙂

  29. mchesk16 says:

    Good advice. I think it’s good to make it nice and simple especially if this is your first venture into video-game design. Once you’ve gotten used to the process then you can get into the gritty work of making your game bigger and more exceptional.

  30. wokerful says:

    With the great number of good games out there. There is a special attention that a game developer has to follow in order to make one that stand out from others. Getting all of the ingredients in the pot will make the best dish

  31. unvrso says:

    I tried to design my own game once with an application based on the cloud. That is true, there are steps in game designing that should be followed, so that the final product can be obtained

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