Do you want to make your own video game? You're going to need a few things first. A good game idea, the right tools such as a game engine, some coding knowledge, an interest for design, and a lot of creativity.
Think of making games like cracking intricate problems, but you also get to have fun doing it. It's a hard learning experience that stretches your intellectual muscles. Plus, it can even be a way to make some extra cash if your game takes off.
At Rosebud AI, we're working on making this whole process easier for you. With our game creator platform you'll be able to write down what you want your game to do, and our AI generates the code for you.
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But even with a ready-to-go code, you’ll need other elemental skills to really make your game shine.
That’s why in this article we’ll guide you from brainstorming your game's concept to designing levels, and even launching your game.
Step 1: Choose a Platform to Get Your Toolkit Ready
Before anything, close your eyes and take a moment to picture your dream game.
How do you see people playing it? Is it a mobile game app that commuters play to pass the time? Or perhaps it's a small but complex indie platformer game? Or a lot of addictive computer games with 3D graphics? Your vision will guide the choice of a platform.
To help you narrow it down, here's a quick review of each.
Mobile platforms are excellent for reaching a wide audience, including casual gamers who may not consider themselves "gamers" in the traditional sense.
Game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine offer mobile-specific features such as touch controls, accelerometer input, and power-saving options to ensure smooth gameplay.
Mobile games are made for quick play sessions, making it ideal for puzzle games creators, casual adventures on a game app, and revamped arcade games.
PC gaming is a versatile platform, capable of supporting resource-intensive games that require high levels of detail —like 3D games—, complex mechanics, and long play sessions.
Popular game engines like Unity, Unreal Engine, and even Roblox Studio offer extensive customization and powerful rendering capabilities for PC gaming. Additionally, the PC platform provides you with more options to monetize your game, from traditional sales to subscription models.
Browser-based games are perfect for those looking for quick engagement without the need for downloads or installations.
They allow for cross-platform play right in the web browser, making your game easily accessible to different types of players.
Game consoles, encompassing platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, offers a specialized gaming experience often targeted towards more dedicated gamers.
Developing for game consoles may require specialized knowledge in their respective SDKs (Software Development Kits) and adherence to specific guidelines and quality standards. These platforms often involve higher development and licensing costs, but they also are a great way to access to a highly engaged audience.
Now, you may be wondering, what is a game engine?
These are the software frameworks that help you build and design your game, handling everything from graphics to physics. Think of them as your game's backbone; you're going to need a strong one to support your vision.
After settling on a platform and gaining a basic understanding of the programming languages involved—which we'll delve into later—you’ll be ready to fine-tune your game idea.
Step 2: Craft Your Game's Storyline and Gameplay
Contrary to popular belief, ideas rarely come from a flash of pure inspiration.
Actually, they're the result of research, observation, and exposure to various forms of media. A good game designer not only plays a diverse range of games, but also reads articles, watches movies, and absorbs everything that can contribute to their game idea and narrative.
Whether it's as straightforward as "finish the race before time runs out" on a platformer game or something bigger like a morally complex quest on a 3D game, having a storyline helps anchor the game and gives your players a sense of purpose.
Something similar happens when choosing a genre and gameplay style: you should start with research.
Play games that resonate with you and take note of what you enjoy about them. Are you drawn to the fast-paced action of a shooter or the decision-making in a strategy game?
This will help you understand the kind of gameplay you want to create.
Step 3: Outline Characters and Levels
Remember, games are a visual medium, and your characters are often the first thing players will notice.
Make sure you define not only their physical characteristics—such as clothing, body type, and accessories—but also their psychological traits, especially if they play a significant role in the storyline.
This cohesion between how they look and who they are will enhance the player's immersion in the game world.
Designing characters can be a monumental task, which is why we offer PixelVibe AI, a platform that simplifies character and asset creation: Simply describe your characters, and our AI will generate a visual representation for you.
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Also consider another crucial element: levels.
Each level is a new chapter in your player's journey and should be designed with increasing complexity in mind. An engaging game not only challenges but also ramps up the stakes as players advance, keeping them hooked and eager to see what comes next.
Step 4: Consider Visual and Sound Assets
Every visual element in your game—from items to User Interface elements and even the backgrounds—is an asset that needs to be designed. NPCs also fall under this category and require their unique look and feel in their art style.
If the thought of creating tons of assets sounds daunting, don’t worry. PixelVibe AI offers pre-designed models that you can use for any design element, giving you more time to focus on other aspects of game development.
Another important aspect of the gaming experience is sound.
The background music can set the mood, tone, and even pace of gameplay. Sound effects, too, can make or break a game. The right 'ping' when collecting a coin or the dramatic orchestration during a final level can make a game immensely more engaging and even addictive.
Step 5: Code Your Way to Gameplay
Now you’ll need to get your hands dirty.
As we mentioned in the first part of this post, your first step into making your game a reality is choosing the appropriate programming language, and this choice is often influenced by the platform you're developing for.
On the other hand, if you're using Unity or Unreal Engine for a more resource-intensive project, such as a 3D game on PC or console, you'd work with C# and C++, respectively.
Writing good code requires good practices, such as proper commenting, version control, and regular debugging. It's wise to anticipate and resolve errors as you go along to avoid headaches later.
Beyond coding, comprehensive game development also involves visual scripting and maintaining a detailed game design document to guide the project.
But what if video game development could become a faster and cleaner process? That's not a far-off dream. The Rosebud game creator platform utilizes generative AI to produce the code based on your inputs. This approach will make the game creation process a lot more efficient.
Step 6: Test & Publish
Once you've devoted ample time to debugging your code, it's time to let others have a crack at your game.
The importance of testing can't be overstated; it gives you valuable feedback that you can use to fine-tune gameplay, eliminate more bugs, and enhance the overall player experience.
There are various ways to go about this: beta testing with a small group of volunteers, using automated testing tools, and even public "soft launches" where you release the game to a limited audience to gauge reaction.
But hold your horses! Even if you think you're ready to hit that 'publish' button, there are a few more things to consider.
Have you thought about how you'll monetize your game? Will it be a one-time purchase, or are you considering in-app purchases or ads?
These questions could warrant an article on their own. However, if there's one overarching piece of advice to keep in mind, it's this: Always be prepared to adapt. The gaming industry is ever-changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow.
Constant adaptability will ensure that your game dev skills stay relevant and that your video games has the flexibility to evolve with market trends and player preferences.
Ready for the Adventure of Game Development?
Creating a game is a thrilling journey that takes you through various stages: brainstorming an idea, choosing a platform, designing characters and levels, creating assets, writing code and a game design document, and finally, testing and publishing your game.
It's a multifaceted process that demands creativity, technical skill, and a touch of business knowledge. There are a lot of online tutorials, game development webinars, and game design courses that can help you start.
We'd love to hear more about your game development adventures, so come join our Discord community of game developers and creative minds to exchange ideas, seek advice, and get inspired. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates of our AI game creation platform.
Now, are you ready to make your game a reality? We can't wait to see what you create!