Crafting Your First Game: Making It Level By Level

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It’s a common deal for everyone to make a move to the Game FAQs page as soon as we stumble upon an unpassable obstruction in a video game. Going through everything point-by-point, a plethora of bugs are readily spotted, even before the problem is solved. This does prove the fact that you have the right acumen to be a gamer and even a game developer may be.

Who knows that your itch to complete every game before your friends gets you to score the best of developer jobs! It’s just a matter of sticking to a few basics and following the right approach to make your own game. The section below will help you in the same.

The Levels You Need to Know

Be it any game, the basic process outlines four major steps- planning, prototyping, developing and releasing it out amongst the audience. Just like in a video game, when you find the obstacles to increase as you progress, making a game too has its own difficulties and hacks as you move from level-to-level.

It All Starts With Planning

Planning the levels of your game and laying out the entire strategy in the most organized way is the first step towards designing a highly enticing game. Ian Schreiber – a professional game designer says, the first 90% of your game takes 10% of the time and the remaining 10% demands for 90% of it. Plan accordingly.

Start with writing down all the details. Think about everything you want to include and write it down to know all workable constraints that would make a difference in the long run. As you do the same, it’s also important to pen down the details associated with each constraint to avoid any issues at the time of development. The major hurdle to be tackled during this stage is the desire to start coding for the next levels and fighting questions pertaining to the future drill. However, reviewing the notes, you can easily find out the answers and proceed to the next level.

Prototyping

It’s often said that design is a process and not an outcome. Well, it deems perfectly fit as far as crafting a video game is concerned. This is the area where you test functionality of the to-be-built product. Right from testing the core mechanics and different features that come along as the game progresses, to fixing all balancing issues, there’s so much you need to take care at this step.

Using prototypes associated with low fidelity often helps conceptualizing ideas that seemed unimaginable on the paper. One mistake a number of developers commit is keeping the prototype limited to the basics and quite menial in terms of graphics. Remember that while you code, you’ll have to play this game a zillion more times. So, try and keep it fun. This can be ensured by creating separate prototypes to focus on different things like balancing, features and the core mechanics. However, there definitely are two hurdles you need to encounter at this stage. First is the urge to start coding and jump to the further stages and the second is the urge to create prototypes associated with higher fidelity. The latter poses a threat of moving ahead on dangerous paths for the entire process. To avert this issue, you should prefer sticking to rapid and quick throwaway prototypes.

Game Development

Not to sound intimidating, this is the most difficult level you need to complete. It is this stage that makes most of the aspiring developers quit and go back to their old gaming ways. Hence, before anything, make arrangements for ample motivation to step in.

Before anything, you should know the platform your game is going to run on. Be it X-Box, PlayStation, mobile phones or desktop gaming simply, your platform will decide the approach to be taken during the future course. Next, comes the tool and programming languages you choose to code in.

Tools like Twine, Stencyl and Gamemaker are quite renowned in terms of game development, especially for those with a minimal coding prowess. You can also keep looking for power-ups like free gaming assets and code libraries that make your task all the more easy.

Discouragement is a major problem you need to tackle at this level. To fight this, don’t hesitate to take a few days off every now and then. Working yourself to death has never been a solution.

Game Release

This might not be as hard as the previous level, but still stands challenging in a lot of cases. This is where you start some client interaction and get people to play your game, followed by a feedback over the same. There will surely be people who don’t like the concept, UI or even the graphics for that matter of fact. Learn to take criticism in some positive light and focus on features that appear likable amongst the crowd. Without a doubt, there is a lot you can improve upon.

It might be a hell load of technicalities you were expecting. But in reality, making a game is all about adhering to the plan and keeping the basics right. Rest is a matter of perseverance.