Building your own game can take time and money and if you don’t know what you’re doing, the process can be hard and stressful. The process will likely be just that, regardless, so you should be ready to face the stress either way.
A good way to approach game development is to find out what you should and what you shouldn’t do as a beginner developer. Here are some design tips to get you started on your developer journey.
Large Goals, But Small Ones in Reality
Yes, yes, we all want the next Cyberpunk 2077, but without the bugs and with more content than the game was launched with. But, we should settle for a game like Slither.io, or something even simpler like tetris. You want to think big, in the sense that your game could improve at some point, but you should also settle for your game being in progress and actually having parts that work and look good.
You can even settle for the team being in good spirits and pushing towards a simple goal together, like having textures and sound ready for a trial of a part of a level. That is a good start.
Invest Time in Your Own Product
If you design a game but then don’t want to play it, what’s the point of the game? If you can’t convince yourself and the game isn’t good enough for you, why should others play it? You shouldn’t be overly critical and a perfectionist in this regard, but you should also see what makes games like yours great, why they are addictive and why people are playing them.
Look at similar games, successful ones, and try to figure out what makes them great, play them, read reviews and invest time into them. Your product should excite you and make you want to play it.
Copy and Paste, Without Copying and Pasting
In art, music and any other process of creation, we copy what we have already seen or heard, or rather, we use our skill to make something from it, by enriching ourselves with the creations of others. When a guitarist sounds like another but with their own twist, that means inspiration and progress.
A game which is an exact copy of another game won’t sell and you might get a lawsuit instead. However, a game inspired by another game, with your own spin and ideas, could be a great project.
Colors, Themes and Size
Actual design tips for games would be to make sure that your colors are uniform and that they match the style you are going for. If your theme is gothing, then overly saturated colors might not play a good role there. Cartoonish graphics should have dull colors unless you are making a boring cartoon-like game.
Consider the size of the world relative to the characters and vice versa. Size and perspective matter in a game. Details matter.
Feedback and Change
It is good to seek feedback. Send demos to forums and have the people there look at your game and tell you what you can and should change. Suggestions are great, but don’t feel offended if you read some harsher comments. You can improve from anything, except nonsense comments which are there just to insult.
Game development is hard but with these tips, beginners should have it somewhat easier.