Creating your own video game from scratch is not the impossible dream it once was; resources online make it possible for anyone to start learning how to develop games, market them to an audience and make their epic idea a reality. But coming up with a video game idea and actually turning it into a viable product takes hard work. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you get started.
The Basics of Storyboarding
A good storyboard is the start of every successful video game. A storyboard details the events of your video game in a sequential format, helping you develop scope and continuity. Your storyboard will be based on “cards” that represent characters, events and actions that take place throughout the game.
You’ll want to start small. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re passionate about an idea, but first-time game developers don’t benefit from trying to do it all. Rather than making the next “Assassin’s Creed,” think about what made iconic hits like “Pac-Man” so enduring.
Look into game development courses online. Some people want to jump right into a university degree, but this isn’t necessary, especially if you’re a complete beginner who doesn’t know with total certainty that they want to make video games forever.
Most of the skills you need to learn the basics are available on sites like Udemy. Game development introductory courses can teach you the basics, and you can find a wealth of information online that won’t cost you thousands of dollars in student debt.
Novice game developers tend to put too much time, energy and resources into their first projects. It’s a labor of love, but it ultimately costs them valuable experience and learning opportunities, especially when they become disheartened by the inevitable bugs and failures.
Aim to build a prototype first. In the gaming industry, this is a condensed version of your idea that gives you a chance to test out the mechanics, controls and contents without wasting hundreds of hours on something that winds up unplayable.
If you’re serious about creating a project that you can release to the public, you’ll need money. Most people don’t have the finances to independently produce a high-quality video game from start to finish. That’s where crowdfunding comes in.
Crowdfunding on platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe will help you market your game toward its intended audience and give them a chance to help it come to life. Look into the best practices crowdfunding experts employ, such as offering incentives, developing SMART goals and offering different tiers of donor options. This will give you the greatest reach and ability to connect with your sponsors in a meaningful, enduring way that shines through in the final product.
A new video game is exciting for both the developers and the players. Whether you’re a novice or expert in programming, when you’re developing your game, make a plan first to get you from the beginning stages to the launch. It will make the process easier and get you close to your goals more quickly.
About the author: Anita Ginsburg
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.