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If you are reading these lines, you most likely had the idea to make your own game thanks to game development agency. Maybe you even tried to tackle it – but when you first saw the interface of the game engine, you said to yourself: “No”. And then they closed the engine and never touched it again.
In fact, everything is not as scary as it seems. We advise you how to stop worrying and love making games due to game dev tips.
Do not strive for the ideal
Don’t repeat the mistake of those trying to make the game of their dreams right away.
Many take on development in the hope of bringing their brilliant ideas to life. Sometimes newbies come out with The Stanley Parable – but much more often their ideas die at the first stages of development, buried under the weight of ambition.
Not because you have no talent – it just requires experience, knowledge and, if we are talking about at least some big game, a team of professionals. Your goal at first should not be a good product, but something that you can quickly assemble and start testing just as quickly.
In other words, look at your first projects as learning exercises. After all, that’s what they are.
Choose the right tools
Find an engine to help you master the basics of development. At this stage, convenience and ease of learning are much more important than the power of the technology and the list of options – although they are also important.
With the help of specialist developers, we have sorted out the pros, cons, and features of three game engines that are suitable for beginners – GameMaker Studio 2, Unity and Unreal Engine.
Assemble a prototype and show it to your friends
“Don’t put off the practical part until later,” recommends Kirill Zolovkin. Once you have a little understanding of the engine, it’s time to make a prototype – a model of a future game designed to test game mechanics.
Build on the skills you learned when you got to know the engine so you don’t get stumped. Build something small – one level platformer or a track in a racing game. The main thing is that it can be played.
Such self-restraint will help to assemble a prototype in a week or two, which should then be shown to friends.
And you have to be prepared that it will not be appreciated: after all, your creation is far from the high-budget games they are used to. Any reaction is valuable in itself: firstly, your friends will give you feedback, which will help you avoid mistakes in the future, and secondly, it will save you from the feeling that you are doing table games.
Follow the principle “To each according to his ability”
Did you manage to torment your friends with your prototypes? Already managing to collect a whole level without getting tangled in the engine? It’s time to make a full-fledged game. And here it is important again not to drown in the sea of your own ambitions.
In game development (and not only), there is such a thing as a minimum viable product – that is, a set of mechanics that are enough to launch. In the case of a shooter, for example, these are shootouts. All other mechanics:
- destructibility – can be added later.
Don’t try to do everything at once. Game development for beginners can really help. Minecraft, too, was once just a virtual construction set – and look at what it has grown into.
Participate in game jams
Game jams are events aimed at developing new games within a limited time frame. As a rule, participants are given two days to create a prototype, and the topic and conditions are usually announced before the start of the jam.
Yulia Kozhemyako explains why these events are so important: “There is a limited period of time on the jam, [therefore] you will not sit for several months without results, but you will get it in two or three days … You will see what you can do, even if in a team with other guys. There is no way to procrastinate on jam. You need to fully concentrate on the game. “
Make a development schedule
Finishing the game is too big a task. Divide it into major stages – building a level, writing dialogs – and then break these stages into small tasks that you can complete in a week. More details on https://whimsygames.co/
Yes, even free artists need deadlines. The schedule will give you the ability to track your progress and feel like you are not standing still.