Many of the readers of this article undoubtedly like to spend the evening playing on the computer. Whether it's a popular MMO RPG, an unknown "turkey" or an old, time-tested strategy and gamers. And almost everyone who is involved in the video game industry in one way or another, at least once in their life, thought about how good it would be to create a game yourself.
Someone wants to realize their old ideas, someone wants to show the players the story that was born in his head. It seems to someone that he can create an ideal game in which he himself will then enjoy spending time. All of them thought: "I want to become a game developer!"
Of course, there are those who want to get just money from the production of games. Alas and ah, at least in the world of games for mobile devices, most of them. So, how do you start developing your own game?
What you need to know before starting
It should be noted right away that developing your own video game is a matter, at leastat first, not very profitable, and making a game with the expectation of making money is useless. Especially if this game - the first in your "track record" list. However, you should not be afraid of not getting some kind of payment for your work. If the game is done well, it has a zest that can attract players, then it will certainly find its audience.
So, the first thing a future game creator needs is readiness. Willingness to spend time, money and effort to create something of your own. Willingness to receive criticism from users. Ready to fall, because the first game is not necessarily a good one. What else do you need to become a game developer?
Confidence. Self-confidence and that he will be able to devote enough time, effort and finances to creating his game, to realize himself as a creator.
As you can understand, a lot depends on the very nature of a person, his willpower and ability to overcome difficulties. It would seem, why is this even more important than a good knowledge of the necessary programs and a rich imagination? Everything is very simple: a person can start writing his own game, make it an excellent story, but, having received the first criticism, and it will invariably accompany any developer, give up and give up this business. Therefore, it is very important to be prepared for the fact that the player may not like the game.
Where to start
How to become a game developer if you have never seen the code of a full-fledged game before? Difficult. Therefore, your acquaintance with the world of video game creation is worthstart with less than a real game. You can start by creating fan mods and add-ons for various games. Since this entails intervention in the files of already finished products, the study of the structure, the study of writing languages. Also, mods are mainly created for options that are good: no matter how many improvements you shove into a bad game, if it has disgusting gameplay and a boring story, it will not become more interesting to play. For example, there are a lot of mods for projects like Skyrim and GTA that few people can call bad. And for the extremely popular Undertale a few years ago, fans even created simple fan games, essentially consisting of a fight with bosses, which were not in the original version.
However, if you have no experience writing mods / additions, this is not too scary, although this approach will be very useful. It's just that in this case, you will have to spend time learning programming languages and gaining minimal knowledge about how it all works and on what.
It is worth starting the production of the game itself with the development of an idea. It’s worth figuring out what kind of game you want: choose a genre, outline at least an approximate plot (if there is one), figure out what kind of gameplay you would like to have.
First things you need
What do you need to know to become a game developer? At least several programming languages and the essence of how games work. Here is a list of what you will definitely need if you want to create your own game:
- Knowledge of programming languages such as Java, C++,HTML. This is a necessary minimum, without which it will be extremely problematic to create something.
- Understanding how the game works. The easiest way to get it is by writing fan-made mods and additions to existing projects.
- Readiness for criticism from users, as well as self-confidence and a desire to achieve something.
- Idea. In fact, the idea is everything on which the projects of the creators of indie games are based. It is she who can make the work of beginners really good.
Developing a game from scratch
So you have an idea and knowledge of programming languages, but the question of how to become a game developer from scratch is still there. Indeed, without any experience with a full-fledged game, it is difficult to just come up with a work plan. And without roy alties from past projects, it's hard to find the money to create something new.
After all, one way or another, developing a game alone is almost impossible: in addition to good knowledge of programming languages, for this you need to be able to draw enough to make a design, as well as understand music in order to substitute a suitable free composition / pay its use. Of course, no music will fit the game better than written specifically for it, but in this case you will have to look for musicians, as well as find someone who will play the role of a composer. If the future game is planned to have voice acting for the speech of the characters, it is also necessary to find voice actors, and if the project involves the support of several languages, also good translators and, if necessary,dubbing actors.
Of course, if there are no such people among your friends, their services will not be free. Also, many programs that are used in development are paid, although they are inexpensive. Therefore, among novice developers who do not have a lot of capital, fundraising on crowdfunding sites is very popular. To do this, you need to register on any such platform, create your own project, in which you need to express a clear goal and the required amount of funds. Various rewards for people who donate money help in their recruitment, such as a free copy of the game or unique merchandise.
So, when you already have an initial monetary base, you should proceed directly to development.
Programs for game development at the moment, there are many. All of them differ in the programming language they use, in the simplicity of the interface, and also in the platform on which the project is released.
Unity3D is one of the most popular programs. It supports most existing platforms, including Windows, Android, Linux, and more, as well as several programming languages, including C++ and Java. Unity3D also has a free copy for gamedev beginners. The main disadvantage of the program is that it only supports English.
Game Maker - is another very popular program. However, it only supports Windows, which makes it unable to create games for mobile devices.
3D Rad -3D game software. Has Russian language.
Also for development you will need graphic editors (for example - Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator), programs for working with sound.
PC game development process
So, all the above factors are available, and there is also a program for writing, but how to become a game developer on a PC is still in question? It is worth starting the process with a detailed study of the idea and writing project documentation. When the paper part is finished, you can go to graphic editors. It is necessary to draw sketches of the interface, locations, characters and much, much more. Of course, if you manage to find people who can do part of the production, that's great, because doing everything alone is extremely difficult. However, in this case, these people still need to explain their idea in detail.
Next, you should write all the storylines and dialogues. This is an important part of the work, because it is through this that the plot is revealed to the player. We should not forget about the calculation and balancing of both the combat and economic systems.
Is everything spelled out? You can start adding content to the game. A lot of character models, weapons, environments and the compilation of game locations from this - not all. It is necessary to make a user-friendly interface, enter all the texts, create a training system, fill in the parameters of all NPCs and characters.
When the idea is almost ready, the levels and characters are drawn, and the mechanics are spelled out, you should test the game by going through it yourself or by hiringtesters.
And the last step will be to analyze the data obtained after the tests, fix the errors found and optimize the gameplay.
How to become an Android game developer
If your game assumes that it will be used by players of the Android platform installed on mobile devices, then you should take care of a number of emerging nuances.
First of all, you should know that the largest platform for the distribution of such games is the Play Market. To add your project there, you will have to pay for owning a developer account. Now, before you become an Android game developer, or, more precisely, put your project into the public domain, you will have to pay about $ 25 (about 1,700 rubles) for a year of using a developer account. All this is done through the Google Play Console service. After that, on the same site, you can add your game and customize how it will be shown. Including note that this is a beta / alpha test or release version.
Secondly, the interface of games for mobile devices should be different from their PC counterparts. Buttons should be visible on the screen and be large enough to be easily reached with your finger, but should not overlap the action area. The text needs to be larger to be readable, as is the video content of the game itself: the resolution of mobile devices is not as high as on PC.
Thirdly, donation and advertising. In a sense, this is the scourge of all games on mobile devices, because even when entering a paid game, the player is not protected from what he will be offered to buy."this is it" for real money. What can we say about ftp-games. However, as statistics show, if a project has too many ads, users quickly abandon it.
An important part of developing games for mobile devices is to make sure that it is available not only when connected to the Internet. Unlike personal computers, phones and tablets can easily be out of range.
After learning all these rules, you can start developing. This is also done through programs like Unity 3D, Construct 2 or Unreal Engine. In general, the development process will not differ much, except for the above points.
Components of a good game
It must be well written and presented to keep the player interested. Do not overdo it with the amount of text: statistically, most players prefer to scroll through large lines and descriptions. So, the plot includes 3 points that need to be considered and considered:
- Script. The storyline itself.
- Atmosphere. What many people love games for, surrounding the storyline with additional quests, the legend of the world.
- Staging. The way the story is told.
2. Graphics and sound.
Graphics can also be divided into several points: the graphics themselves and the design of locations. The sound should not distract from the passage, but only complement it, helping the player to immerse himself in the world. It is also worth noting that the quality of the voice acting (if any) also has a greatinfluence on the perception of the game world. And the last thing that is extremely important to know about sound, if you decide to voice characters in several languages, you need to check not only the accuracy of the translation, but also the approximate match of the voices and facial expressions of the characters.
Gameplay should be consistent with the theme and idea of the project, and also be quite simple and clear.
The last one on this list, but perhaps the first in importance. Now the game industry is very developed, and it is very difficult to come up with something new. Moreover, somehow shock the gameplay or graphics. Therefore, one of the main "catchy" components that can make the player return to the game and replay it afterwards is the idea and its implementation.
When creating levels, it is important to remember that they must be both fairly simple (if being difficult is not the goal of the game) and interesting. The same goes for open world locations. The environment should not confuse the player, make him wander in search of an exit.
You can set yourself a goal - what the player should achieve in one place or another, what kind of atmosphere should be present there. It is also worth noting that all levels of the game must be completed in the same style, so that they are one.
An example of a great combination of levels is the platformer Ori and the Blind Forest. The game, although it looks like a single whole, is actually divided into several levels, which, being extremely different, look very holistic. Doubt that the Tree of Waters, andFiery Mountain, and the Valley of the Winds, and the Tree of Spirits - part of a single world, does not arise.
- Try more often to see the project from the point of view of the player, to evaluate your creation. Ask yourself if you would like to play this. And replay?
- Participate in various contests. These regularly take place both among games on PC and among games on mobile devices.
- Make a good presentation. If possible, record a video of the game.
- Try not to overwhelm the user with the complexity of the gameplay. It's one thing if the game itself is not easy, and then it will find its own audience. But if the gameplay itself delivers problems, it is unlikely that anyone will return.
- Don't make intros and cutscenes too long.
- Try not to annoy players too much with ads and donation offers. If a project hooks a person, he himself will want to donate to it. But if the offer to buy another thing or currency constantly pops up on the screen, the gamer will most likely prefer to leave.
- If you suddenly think about how, for example, to become a developer of Block Strike games, or rather, a member of the development team of a project, the surest and easiest way out is to talk about it with one of the devs already working there.
Developed in Russia
Well, if you are tormented by the question of how to become a game developer in Russia, then it is easy to answer. Just like all over the world. Except that it may be more difficult to find helpers and most of the work will have to bedo it yourself.
The main problem for Russian-speaking developers is the small number of teams willing to accept them into their headquarters, as well as the fact that 90% of programs and game hosting sites are English-language and do not support Russian.
Cooperation with various companies
Many development companies love an influx of new talent, and no wonder: new people bring new ideas. On the websites of many companies you can see job offers, various announcements. For example, on the website of Blizzard, one of the largest game developers, there is a Jobs tab, where you can see a list of required specialists and the company's requirements for them.
It is worth noting that in order to get into any really large and well-known company, you must not only have an idea and potential, but also have excellent knowledge of the required skills and excellent knowledge of the necessary programming languages. Also, such work usually involves the application of considerable effort and the use of a full day.
- Start by writing mods for existing games: this is the quickest and easiest way to get into the structure.
- Crowdfunding is a great solution for getting initial funding for development.
- A good game has a good story, sound, graphics, gameplay and idea.
- Don't write sheets of text in dialogues. Most players prefer to skip long lines. Pay more attention to reveal the plotthe actions of the characters.
- Even a masterpiece game can be ruined by bad voice acting/dubbing/mixing.
- Try to showcase your creation in contests.
- If you have the opportunity and desire to continue developing games, you can join an existing development team.