The guide on video game development - Part 2

The guide on video game development - Part 2: How to develop and promote your game

Let’s continue with what we’ve started in the first part of the article “The guide on video game development” and briefly outline both parts contents. If you’ve already read the part 1 you should be familiar with the way how to discover that you have an aptitude for game making and how to succeed in planning. The second part will immerse you in the development process itself and post-production activities.

3. Development process

What’s game mechanics?

It’s what makes people play for hours and enjoy the process. Game mechanics entice players into the virtual reality, where they try to overcome hindrances and challenges. It might become the hardest task for a developer as the rules should be natural for player’s comprehension. Engrossed in your story, a player should have no problems with navigating.

Well thought-out mechanics will obviously engage players in the world you’ve created.

Game design tools

At last! You’re reaching the summit. The crucial thing is to choose appropriately the engine you’re going to work with. Let’s investigate the most popular:

  1. Stensyl – for those who’d like to avoid coding. It allows you quickly make and publish games for a big range of systems: iPhone, iPad, Android, Flash, Windows, and Mac. If you use a free version, you are capable to publish to the web solely.

  2. Twine is helpful if you’ve decided to work in adventure style. It’s for nonlinear stories. There’s the possibility to plug it into the CSS and JavaScript languages.

  3. RPG Maker requires no coding and has a trial version.

  4. If you’re keen on side-strolling games played on the Internet, read HTML5 tutorials and learn all about browser-based game development.

  5. Unity and Unreal are advanced tools, be ready to have a lot of spare time to scrutinize them closely as they’re profound enough. One more thing that makes both engines great is that you can download them for free.

If you can’t decide which of them is better to choose, there’s a piece of advice for you: begin with Unity and if it comes to your mind that professional game development is what you strive for, then continue with learning Unreal.

Graphical tools

Graphical tools make up a component of every above-mentioned design tools. But the more you can learn about graphic design, the more polished your game is. Avoid unnecessary self-reproach, as only years of studies will make it possible to hone your skills in graphic design.

Pixel Art is highly recommended for gaining knowledge in graphic design, especially if you make indie games. No less great is Photoshop, which popularity is only growing despite a monthly paid access.

The music and sound effects

Music is considered to affect people’s emotions. Just remember goosebumps effect you’ve had while listening to your favorite songs or the situations when you’ve held your breath watching a horror film culmination accompanied by swelling music. So here you are! Make the same effect, make people live in your world and feel it emotionally.

Not good at composing, there’re plenty of resources to help you: IndieGameMusic, Incompetech, Freesound, SoundBible.

“Crash test”

Playtesting throughout the development cycle is the crucial thing that will save you a lot of nerve cells.

Not to be one-sided, ask whoever you can only imagine to play it and provide their feedback. If it’s possible, try to watch people playing your game, make notes. This way you’re the most likely to see how people ´┐╝perceive your creation and will be able to escape from overlooking bugs.

4. Post-production

Congratulations on reaching the most significant date of your professional life!  Your first video game is ready to be released.

Game publication and promotion

You’re near the finish line, be prepared to make a dash: publish and promote your game. The publication includes its packaging and delivery over the selected channel. Be attentive when you choose a publishing platform as some publishers set an exorbitant price for provided services.

A web-based game can be either published on your own site or a distribution site. The most known platforms are GamePix, Spread My Game, EA Origin, Steam, Kongregate.  Some of them will pay you royalties; some can offer a full package of customer support.

If you’ve decided on any of above-mentioned platforms, you can relax a little bit, but if you publish independently, you’ll need to be responsible for its promotion. It isn’t obligatory, but necessary if one of your goals is to charge for your product. What to start with? Facebook, Twitter, friends in the game community and so on. Ask obviously for feedback. One more way to promote your game is to attend social events and participate in game design clubs.

And what goes next? Is that the finish or there’s anything else to do?

First of all, you should give yourself a break, and only after this you are advised to go on.

The next step will include the assessment of gained knowledge. You can proudly add new skills to your CV. Think over what you regard as the most fulfilling job within the development process, which will help you to choose wisely the direction in your forthcoming professional career.

Now when your game is published and you’ve got feedback, a good idea is to revisit your game and make necessary improvements such as fixing bugs, correcting graphics and sound quality. All these actions can inspire you to make a bigger version of the game. Put your idea to the test, raise money to your new project by crowdfunding.

Not ready for all this, but full of new ideas, go ahead with creating new games! (or share your idea with KapKan Games Studio, which will make all your dreams come true)