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How to Make a Video Game in 10 Simple Steps!

Last updated on June 12, 2018 by Dotsquares

In the past couple of years, with the growing use of technologies like AR and VR, the gaming industry has exploded like never before. Games have become a matter of crucial importance for both developers and gamers since economics have become heavily involved. Therefore, if you have an interesting game idea, this is the best time to manifest and market it. So if you’re ready to start the journey of your game idea’s success, let’s get started with 10 simple steps.

  1. Understand your game
  2. Initial design and the core philosophy
  3. Begin Documentation
  4. Consider Investments
  5. Understand the development premises
  6. Wireframing and Prototyping
  7. Create game assets
  8. Test
  9. Promote
  10. Deploy

Step 1 – Understand your game

Before beginning any of the production processes, it is extremely important for you to have a complete understanding of your game idea, from start to finish. First you have to decide on the genre of the game, for example whether it is an Arcade game, FPS, Role-playing strategic game, basic puzzle, or endless runner game. Once that’s decided, you can move on to the later phases of conceptualisation, for example, decide who will be the key players and what assets will be available in your game, what will be the storyline, how many obstacles will there be and if there would be any power boosters.

Step 2 – Initial design and the core philosophy

After having a complete understanding of your game idea, you can now move forward to create its initial design, but before doing so, it would be really beneficial for you to decide on a core philosophy. Will it be a pure combat game for adrenaline seekers, wherein the power of the opponent will keep on increasing with each, or is it going to be a casual game which users will play to kill time, and perhaps to have some competitive fun with their friends. This core philosophy will keep your game idea together in times when you might get confused with what elements you should or should not add in your games. Right after doing that, you can start formulating the initial design of your game. At this point collaborating with experienced game designers or even a real game enthusiast would be highly beneficial.

Step 3 – Begin Documentation

Since the foundation of your game is almost ready, you should start working on defining its exact features. Here you can mention the types of hardware that your game would require like accelerometer or gyroscope. You can also determine whether there will be any in-app purchases for your game. In short, at this point the entire concept should be documented, wherein all the details about the game can be found. You can create this document with the intent to support the production of the game, and also add certain pitch ideas that will help you in the next stage.

Step 4 – Consider Investments

Now you have a well-defined idea, a basic design, a core philosophy, and a well-documented format of the entire game. This is the time when you could actually present your game idea to investors for funding, unless you’re investing in the game yourself. You may also opt for crowd funding to support your game idea, which would also help in getting enough exposure for your game, in the very initial phases of its development.

Step 5 – Understand the development premises

By this stage, you have both the resources and intelligence of the idea to get your game out there. You now only need to work on the development part of it, which if you have done all the above-mentioned tasks with complete detail, can be handed over to a game development company without further ado. However, if you have certain skills with any of the game engines like Unity, Unreal, or GameMaker, you can accomplish the development part by yourself as well. If you do decide to take help from game developers, there’s not much that you can do at this stage. However, if you’re doing this on your own, and also if you’re new to game engines, it would be advisable to make a playable game as soon as possible, before diving into the game development process of your original game idea.

Step 6 – Wireframing and Prototyping

Regardless of whether you have taken developers’ help or you’re doing it all by yourself, it is important to make sure the Wireframing process is as detailed as possible. You need to define the storyboard of the game with wire framing elements. For example the prototype of your game will have all the logic, gameplay, game mechanics, and storyline in place, except that there will not be actual game assets. Instead, there will be placeholders that will ensure that at least the logic of the game is all set. Doing so beforehand will give you more time to create actual assets with greater details.

Step 7 – Create game assets

You can begin this step alongside the preceding one if you have separate resources for both tasks. This stage is pretty bespoke and will simply involve the creation of all the game assets, including, but not limited to, game characters, ammunition (if any), interface, and environments. While doing so, ensure that you’re following the exact same theme that you’ve decided on in the initial stages of the game development. The tools that would come in handy for this stage of development are After Effects, Photoshop, Creature, Puppet 2d, Spine 2D, Maya, and 3Ds Max.

Step 8 – Test

So your game is all set with exact gameplay that runs on precise game assets, which matches the entire theme that you have thought of in the initial stages, now what’s next? Testing of course. Having your game tested by users or professional testers is a must. They would have an unbiased view of the game and can point out the most elusive of the errors within it. While having your game tested, ensure that all moves are included, even the ones that have nothing to do with the gameplay itself. It’s quite common for the most treacherous bugs to be hiding in the most unexpected of places.

Step 9 – Promote

Even the most fantastic game ideas can remain a mere figment of imagination unless it reaches the audience it is meant for. If you don’t use every resource to promote your game, gamers won’t be aware that it will even exist. Now, since the success of your game depends so much on its promotion, isn’t it an ideal move to start promoting it before the actual launch? Furthermore, if you indeed promote your game before releasing it in the marketplace it will create more anticipation, resulting in greater sales on the first few days after its release. You will also notice that it will have exponentially greater value in the overall popularity of the game, than spending even double the resources in its promotion post-launch. For promotion itself, you can make dramatic videos of the game (most effective of the game marketing contents) and post it on the channels where your target audience would most likely convert.

Step 10 – Deploy

If you have spent enough time and resources on promoting your game beforehand, make sure that the news of the launch of your game reaches all the expectant gamers. You may also want to give people the chance to pre book the game before its initial release. Remember you can publish it on as many platforms as you wish, the publishing tool of the development software will see you through the entire process. However, if you want to target a specific section of the audience first, then, by all means, do so. You can always port your game to other platforms as well, whenever you think the time is right.

The entire journey of game development is quite engaging. It will make you more emotionally attached to your game than you were at the stage of its ideation. This will make you more expectant of its success, which by all means it might even deserve. However, don’t get discouraged if things don’t go as well as you had expected, as the gaming world can be ruthless at times. With so much competition and expectations from the gamers, it is not an easy task to make your game a successful venture overnight. If you have applied best practices, and are of the steady mind to take your game to the success it deserves, you will get there sooner or later. So once you have deployed the game, pay close attention to its likability factor versus any mitigating factors, and then upgrade it for better results.