CREATING YOUR FIRST GAME
Hey there Dev Squad, Virtus here.
Today we’re going to be taking a creating your first game project and some of the things you need to consider written by Dev staff Virtus.
This isn’t going to be a tutorial and is going to be focusing more on the process of creating your first game and giving you direction to get you on your way to being a developer. We’ll go over the best practices and common mistakes that a lot of new developers make and we’ll be breaking this down into 5 sections covering:
Getting InspiredWriting a game design documentRealistic ScopeLearning the skillsMarketing & Release
Now before you can make a game you need to have an idea, and coming up with a solid viable game idea can be a challenge whether it be the lack of creative flow or just inability to come up with a game concept that people will want to play. Typically when I’m trying to find inspiration I like to play video games or even watch movies, it’s almost guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing. Overall though, when creating game concepts I tend to think about a gap that I want to fill and what I would want to play. The games industry is very much over saturated with call of duty clones, generic RPGs and even horror games. Having said that, if you want your game to stand out you need to make something that’s different to what’s out there at the moment whether it be combining mechanics and functions from successful games in a way that hasn’t been done before or even just something that hasn’t been done before entirely.
Game design document
Once you’ve got your game idea you need to spend some time fleshing it out and refining your idea so that you know how every game mechanic and detail is going to work, Whenever you’re making a game you’ll be doing this as part of a game design document. Your game design document will cover everything from player characters, gameplay features, levels, art style, target platform and story. Now this is just a short summary of some of the things that would be included in game design document. If you want to learn about the full extent of what needs to be included in a game design document you can check out various GDD (Game Design Documents) online. The main purpose of these documents is to push you to think about your entire game to make development easier and to communicate your game easier to other potential developers, something which is crucial when you’re working in a team as everyone needs to be on the same page so you can work together on a coherent game product.
While you’re putting together your game concept, there’s a few things that you need to take into consideration which I will cover in the next section.
Learning the skills
So you’ve got your game idea, now it’s time to learn the skills to make it happen! First and foremost you need to choose a game engine that you’ll be developing your game on and there is loads of options out there such as Unreal Engine, Unity, Cryengine, Game Maker and more… You need to make a decision based on the needs of your project, taking in the pros and cons of each of the game engine. The two main Unreal Engine is great for high fidelity games targeted at a variety of platforms whether it be mobile, console or PC. It also allows rapid prototyping with Blueprints and has extensive amounts of documentation, something that is perfect for beginners!
The last of the three we’ll be covering is game maker which is great for 2D games as it’s more optimised and has more 2D feature support as it’s purpose built for making them. Once you’ve chosen you’re engine and ready to move onto learning the development skills, there’s a variety of different ways that you can learn. Personally I recommend that you checkout online courses on youtube and search the various game engine’s forums and documentation as there’s loads of material out there. Myself I have a variety of FREE unreal engine 4 development courses aimed at teaching you the fundamentals of the engine, giving you the core skills required to build you game. If you want to take it further, you can also checkout our various ‘create a game’ series which cover how to make an FPS, RPG, Endless runner, Sidescroller or alike, taking you through step by step the entire workflow and process to bring the skills together to make a game.
If you have a question or need a little bit of help along the way with learning game development, checkout out our Discord server which has thousands of aspiring game developers in it at discord.gg/virtus. Be sure to show off your game along the way to get feedback and build hype in our dedicated showcase channel!
All in all creating your first video game can be a very intimidating experience and if you follow some of the best practices here you will be well on your way to releasing your first game. Be sure to checkout our various FREE development courses to make it easier. I hope you enjoyed this article, but as always guys, stay awesome… keep creating…
Your boy Virtus, signing out!