The Process of Game Development
Usually, the first article is of better quality, but below I've created a completely new article to rival my old one. Enjoy!
With this submission, I'm hoping to help out with the "game-making" process. For the sake of this article, we can call the process "SETETP." (I know that this is a stupid name). This acronym will represent my own journey through starting, engineering, testing, engineering, testing, and publishing my game. Though I have not published just yet, I've got the idea of how to make a game. Now that I've went through the majority of the process, I can continue with this same process at a faster pace. Really, I'm just sharing my journey with you in a way that you can benefit from it.
Now that you understand that, let me proceed to the first step, and introduce to you how I think you should start your game.
YOU START AT SQUARE 1.
This first part can easily be the easiest or the hardest part of the whole process.
There's never a point where you can just jump on Hyperpad, and create a quality game for profit, without a great deal of work and dedication.
You start with a concept. If you have a strong imagination, you can dream a scene into reality. You can simply go on Hyperpad, and create your game within thirty minutes to an hour. You don't even have to worry about good graphics. I've borrowed graphics from opengameart.org for this particular step, and created my own later.
In case you haven't guessed yet, that's your easy way through this step. There's the chance that you don't have a concept thought out. So what do you do?
I'll tell you what you can do. You can create one by a few hours of brainstorming. I've brainstormed in many different ways, the successful of which are listed here:
Get out a paper and DRAW. Don't worry about the quality of your artwork. You're drawing your thoughts out, and you're drawing in order to set off a lightbulb that's somewhere hidden in your brain. I'm not a good artist, but it took me two or three hours of silly drawing to come up with the concept (and later the scene) of "Exactly!"
Go on the App Store, and just browse the popular section for cool games. If you see something you like, try to think of a twist to it. Additionally, you can combine two or three games together into your own unique game. I'll provide you with an example (it's available for grabs).
Say the gravity was reversed in "Super Mario" such that you were playing as Mario in the sky. Say that there are no bricks for you to bump. Say instead, you get points for collecting certain creatures, and say that if you get enough of these creatures, you can reverse the gravity.
- Read. If you like reading, read about somebody or something so that you can try to associate the text with something. Similar, you can watch a show on TV, search up art, or even listen to music in order to spark that idea.
Warning: Do not, under any circumstances, start a game without a concept in mind. You do not want to copy a previous game, or create something that's not original and therefore, probably boring. Think about the player and the addictive aspect of the game when creating your concept. Make it so that it counts, and later, when you're finished with your game, you and others can enjoy all the progress that you've made.
You can finish off this step with writing down or thinking up a loose plan. The plan can include everything you wish to do with your game, and its future in updates and upgrades. Think in terms of what you're going to have to accomplish before you publish. Think in the long scheme of things.
Finally, when you're done with this step, you can give yourself a pat on the back. You can even take a little break before the next step.
WHEN YOU'RE ENGINEERING THE GAME, YOU'RE ACTUALLY PUTTING IT INTO EXISTENCE - YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT AS AMAZING AS IT CAN BE.
At this point, there’re a few places you can be with in your project, of which are listed below:
-Depending on how you started out and figured out your concept, you may have already made a rough-type game. This game could be working perfectly, or completely broken. If it’s working perfectly, you can try to refine it. If your game can use some work, then you have to start testing behavior patterns, and you might have to start producing graphics.
-You can have no game, but you might have drawings and sketches of it. If that’s the case, then take your drawings and try to replicate them in your actual project. Sometimes, you might feel that some of your drawings or former ideas are no longer relevant when putting them into effect. Don’t bind yourself to these ideas, but stick with the plan that you created before.
-The lowest of all cases of course, is when you have nothing except for ideas and a plan. You probably might want to start sketching or creating some general beta game. Once you know exactly what you’re going to do, that’s when you put it into effect.
No matter where you are, there’re many things to keep in mind when you’re engineering.
Make sure that you’re doing things efficiently, so that you won’t have to recreate anything later on for no exact reason. That said, keep in mind that you’re most likely going to go through a second engineering step later. You can be more loose if you’re planning on changing your game according to feedback that you hear or receive.
When you publish to the App Store, it’s important that you have a solid idea of where you’re eventually going to take the game. You never exactly know, but what you don’t want to do is have to redesign your game in a way that former users will become unfamiliar with the new additions and lose their progress. Always keep in mind the rest of the process.
Also, keep in mind that you’re creating your game for someone else to play. You can occasionally hand your game off to friends. However, make sure that you’re making your game easily understandable and minimalistic in order for the user to really receive the best out of your concept.
Repetitive this article is, but it’s important to know where you are and to stick to your plan; to design with care, and understand exactly what you’re doing.
TESTING THE GAME CAN BE ANNOYING.
It’s kind of self explanatory that you have to test the game.
On the other hand, people delay and skip over this step just because deep down inside they know that they aren’t going to like what they see. If you don’t test the game, you won’t be able to make the necessary changes. No matter how much you feel your anger escalate, keep in mind that after this step, you will again engineer, and your game will come off much better.
Testing the game includes handing it off to friends and perhaps even publishing a beta. Fritz Tod has stated that, “For decades engineers have stood accused that their buildings do not have any cultural value. We have attempted to liberate engineering of this accusation.” Keep an open mind when receiving feedback, but don’t redo your whole game due to just a few comments.
If you get a lot of comments, it will be very painful, but you probably will have to start over. That’s, if you’ve followed every step and handled your game with care, that most likely won’t happen.
ENGINEERING AGAIN IS PROBABLY THE MOST SATISFYING PART OF THE PROCESS.
If you even understand where you are at this point, then this will be the easiest part of the process. It will most likely be the most satisfying and the most joyful part as well. This is because this step will almost serve as a reflection of all the progress you’ve made. This is also due to the fact that this step mostly just consists of small tweaks. You might change something here, something there. This step will at most a week, and serve as a response to the annoying step before it.
Be sure you have time when at this. You want this step to serve as motivation almost.
As you go down the road, each step seems to be easier than the other. This step will last maybe a day at most. It will include general checks and tweaks, and serve as your last check before you publish to the App Store.
THERE’s NO FEELING LIKE THAT OF PUTTING OUT ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK OUT TO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.
You’re ready to publish. Now what do you do?
I made sure to find a great tutorial, one to guide me down this long step. My biggest time is not to put it off, but to try to glide through it as fast as possible. Make sure you have time on your hand, and take the plunge.
Start by making an Apple ID specific to your new professional life, and then follow through with the rest of this tutorial: https://www.raywenderlich.com/127936/submit-an-app-part-1
Use the Hyperpad tutorial in parallel with this tutorial, to truly understand what you’re doing.
Once you publish you’ll find yourself repeating random steps, and responding to users’ feedback. Stick with your plan, and always keep users informed on updates to come. Be approachable and sound as professional as possible. Heck, you’re a professional - you’ve done it!
Lol I've never actually drawn thoughts out for my games. The only time I've drawn (in notes app, not on paper) was for complex maths/trigonometry, like for Three Dimensional. 😛
@Aidan-Oxley That's crazy! Not that I can really draw, but I always do before starting out in order not to start off blank XD.
@GameCRAZY I sometimes draw out mechanics of my game but usually it's just as fast to design the layout of my game within hyperPad without behaviours, using a blank square graphics that I then change to an actual graphic when I'm happy with the basic layout. Designing the game on paper or in notes is probably better, but it's faster this way, so I'm less likely to lose track of what I was thinking of (my memory is not that great with ideas, I'll think of a game then start designing it and then wonder why I thought it was a good idea).
@Jack8680 I guess we all have our own mindsets and our own ways of getting our ideas out and expressed. Hopefully people will understand that I was just listing out ideas and suggestions in order to help them.
@GameCRAZY yeah, I expect your way is far better for designing a game when you're not in a hurry.
@GameCRAZY I too don't tend to draw out a game/level. It's too complicated and sometimes doesn't work as planned.
Although, that is a good idea. If people did that, it could mean that games may come out faster. But that depends on the personality of that individual. I find making it up as I go is easier. How I go about making games is if I find a game to make, I will make it. Sprites? NO PROBLEM! Music? YouTube (Permission is usually granted) sounds? YES. THERE'S A SOUND FOR THAT! Game elements? Sure!
But of course, as I said, personality.
It's to do with what you want to do, and that is your desition and weather drawing something out helps or not.
All games are art
@Cyber_Death You usually make fan games, such as similar or almost exactly like Mario. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm talking about making up your own, original-type game.
I'd like to see you make your own such game... Though, you probably wouldn't end up drawing anyway - that's probably completely dependent on personality XD.