Why your first game won’t be your dream game

March 5, 2023

Why hello there! Come have a seat, so I heard you want to make your first game and you are all excited about it, here are some tips to help you along your journey.

What to expect from your very first game

Nothing much, if you made a cube that jumps around then you should congratulate yourself for your amazing achievement, and I mean it!

but I want to make my ✨DREAM GAME✨ (you might think to yourself), it has to have the big red robot that I need to shoot down in order to save the space princess from the evil king carzella, sure thing! This carzella thing might be great and everything but here’s the point you’re messing, nearly every game idea sounds 10 times more fun than what it actually is, so this is why game devs and designers prototype their ideas first before considering putting them into their games. Anyway, your very first game shouldn’t be your dream game at all because of the nature of the tools you are dealing with and their learning curves, game engines, 3d software, digital audio workstations, and don’t forget your coding IDEs, these are some of the tools you might need to learn in order to make your game, but even if you don’t need any of them, say you’re making a real-life board game, it’s highly encouraged to try and test things out, be playful with your approach, create small bite-sized games, with each focusing on one mechanic. This is the best way to learn how to use the tools with your hands.

 

Keep it small

And I mean really really tiny, think of the smallest thing you can make and then divide it by 20, go and take one of these bits and make it your game, 

(But why?) you might be asking yourself, here’s a small story to help you understand what you are dealing with, let’s say you asked your roommate (let’s call him joe) to bring you some water, he nods in agreement, goes for a minute and return with empty (yet wet hands) saying -here you go-  you raise your eyebrows and ask him where’s the water? And he replies -here it is, in my hands- 

This joe is your game, modern software has gone through a lot just to meet people’s expectations of what it means to work as we expect it to, but that’s not the case for your game (and programming in general) just like with your roommate joe, unless you specify that you want the water in a cup he will try to bring it in his hands, which doesn’t work unfortunately, now imagine asking the same joe to buy you a bag of chips from the shop across the street, how many things can you account for in his journey to the store and back from it, he might just jump out of the window if you didn’t specifically say that he needs to use the stairs, and don’t get me started on how is he going to cross the street, long story short, the bigger your game the more things you need to account for, that’s why it’s generally better to keep it small.

 

It’s okay to take your time

Game development is a skill, and just like any skill it needs time to learn and master, so don’t worry about your dream game, you will make it eventually just you have to learn how to utilize the tools within your reach to the best of your ability, if you want more practical guides on how you can become a game developer, there are roadmaps online, so don’t be afraid to follow them, and remember, have fun!

 

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