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How the hell do you make a game?

809 Views | 33 Replies
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How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-21 22:03:22


just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-21 22:11:22


At 4/21/21 10:03 PM, regtict wrote: just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?


Practice, a slightly unhealthy amount of self-loathing, some game you played when you were 14–17 that you're subconsciously trying to remake.


But also, starting small. A game is a whole ass thing. Starting from nothing to making pixels show up on the screen is an accomplishment. Gotta frame it like that early on, or you'll burn out quickly trying to make 14 year old you excited.

If you're 14 now or something, just trust me

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-22 00:10:53


if art is masochism then being an indie game developer takes it to another level.


As for your confusion, it really depends on your strong suits and skills my guy. As an artist, I'm rarely confused on what I need to do but you will catch me with my ears bleeding trying to produce music, or smoke coming out of my ears trying to code


As for the relevance of this image. . . Technically as a game dev, you're making exclusive designs. Meaning? No tags. No one will give a shit about what you're making until its out there. Whereas fan-art and commission you can use tags and get more instant likes/followers/supportiu_284655_5057906.png


I don't fuckin know, you tell me

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One step at a time. Draw a pixel, draw a line, draw a box, color it in, get it to rotate, get it to follow the mouse, move with arrow keys, change its color when you click it, change its size when it touches something else, bam! You've done 90% of the things that a game needs (graphics, mouse/key interaction, collision detection)


The rest is "just" connecting the things together to form the whole thing. Sounds like a copout but that's really all that it is.


As for the technical side, you have:

  • A set of states (or levels)
  • A way to jump to a particular state (aka a menu)
  • Updating a given state (or a game loop)
  • An end condition (aka game over)

There's plenty of talks that cover each of these things in detail. There's also Game Programming Patterns.


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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-22 05:00:15


You know how in Literature classes they teach that little "brainstorming" dealie where you start with a core idea and then make a little web of stuff relevant to the idea and keep breaking it down into smaller and smaller details until you have a good map of stuff to reference for when you go to build your whole story or essay or whatever it is the final task is? Game development is much like that except on a much larger scale. When you're able to break down a large project into small pieces it becomes a lot more accessible and easy for your brain to grasp.


I recommend if you don't know where to start or are having difficulties parsing what needs to be done to make/design a game to look into small classes or videos on project management and workflows so you can hone your ability to organize your thoughts


Once you feel comfortable with your ability to build on an idea, you can start looking into the ways you can bring that idea to life from there. Don't be afraid to use tools to assist yourself or refer to other peoples documentation on their games development and design philosophies when you get to that point. Read through publicly available design docs to see how other people tackled the concepts they built on.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-24 03:47:48


Well before you do any programming, you should figure out what your game is going to be to begin with. I mean in depth. All the characters, story progression, maybe draw out some levels/concepts on graph paper.


Then break everything down into steps. What functions do you need to make that cool gameplay feature work? How can you implement them? What needs to happen to make that awesome story scene plausible? Once you break it down into chunks like that, you can tackle each problem one at a time, and it's not so daunting.


Failing over and over doesn't make you a failure. The only failures are the ones who don't try.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-24 12:44:12


At 4/21/21 10:03 PM, regtict wrote: just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?


Try to start a project that you will have a clear idea of what the player will be doing moment to moment and then break down and make a list of exactly what you'll need to do to achieve that "core loop". It also helps to plan out what your going to implement each time you sit down to work so you don't end up confused on what to work on next.


Also when watching tutorials make sure you don't just copy and paste what they're doing and try to understand why the steps you're following are doing what they're doing, this is ESSENTIAL to improving.


Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-24 13:34:59


At 4/21/21 10:11 PM, MSGhero wrote: Practice, a slightly unhealthy amount of self-loathing, some game you played when you were 14–17 that you're subconsciously trying to remake.


Hey! It's not just self-loathing, I loathe other things too... sob.


Also realizing that there were full teams of people working together to make spectacular things helps (just look at credits that take several minutes, it's a lot of names).


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At 4/22/21 12:10 AM, Projects-Dev wrote: if art is masochism then being an indie game developer takes it to another level.

I love this statement for some reason.


You definitely have to have the ability to learn as you go and to zone out if you wanna program for games. It’s gotta be something you love/tolerate. Though if only one aspect of game dev is your strong suit, find people to collab with!


I like Newgrounds a little too much.

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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-24 22:25:57


At 4/24/21 10:05 PM, Dungeonation wrote:


You definitely have to have the ability to learn as you go and to zone out if you wanna program for games. It’s gotta be something you love/tolerate. Though if only one aspect of game dev is your strong suit, find people to collab with!


yeah, though the best you can collab is with short games or perhaps jams. You need quite the experience, leadership, and circle of friends to have them committed to a serious project which may or may not yield profit only later upon release


I don't fuckin know, you tell me

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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-25 06:17:24


At 4/24/21 03:47 AM, johnsoma wrote: Well before you do any programming, you should figure out what your game is going to be to begin with. I mean in depth. All the characters, story progression, maybe draw out some levels/concepts on graph paper.

Then break everything down into steps. What functions do you need to make that cool gameplay feature work? How can you implement them? What needs to happen to make that awesome story scene plausible? Once you break it down into chunks like that, you can tackle each problem one at a time, and it's not so daunting.


This is great advice because I started making a game with COMPLETELY no idea or structure and it is horrible


Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-25 10:08:43


If you want to dev in an engine or framework that's pretty heavy on coding (Unity, Godot, HaxeFlixel, and Phaser are what I've used): The single most useful tutorial I ever came across was when I downloaded Unity and did their Ruby tutorial for an RPG. That taught me everything I needed to know to make Daxolissian System: Cat's Eye. But I went in already knowing how to program in C.


If you don't already know programming pretty well, I would recommend learning how to program first, just looking at tutorials for programming in general (not in a game dev environment). Ideally in C if you plan to use Unity or Python if you plan to use Godot or JavaScript if you plan to use Phaser, but if you can program in any language then learning another one isn't terribly hard. When you feel you can do reasonably complex tasks -- like if someone came up to you and asked "If I had a shuffled deck of playing cards, flipped through them, and counted the longest series of consecutive cards with increasing value, then how long should I expect that series to be?" and you feel like you could write a program to come up with the answer, then you should be able to handle game devving.


If you don't want to use such a programming-heavy engine (maybe GameMaker, Construct, GDevelop, or Defold although I haven't worked with them) then the above probably doesn't apply.


My newsfeed has random GameDev tips & tricks for Godot, Unity, HaxeFlixel, and Phaser

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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 09:42:05


This question isn't really akin to 'How to make pie' but rather 'How to make a whole bakery, it's infrastructure and decoration'. That depends, what's confusing ya; is it getting a platform? You find the tools and learn how to use 'em. Is it the assets? You hire someone, find it in the web or make it. Is it the construction/development? You need to look into techniques used to get things done and sometimes go through a long process of theory formulation and pen testing to develop something new to do what you want. You gotta realize, making a picture takes, let's say, two hours. An animation with twelve unique frames a second is gonna take a whole 24 hours per second to make if you don't somehow downscale the work per frame. A game is another step further where you gotta include interactions as well. It requires knowledge in music, illustration, programming and design, if you do it alone. At the very core, you should limit the scope of your game to tackle realistically your current skill level and time expectations. Doing a short arcade, point 'n click or puzzle game can be achieved under a month. With previous knowledge and a small team you could in theory dish out games like those seen at ludum dare in the same 72 hours the jam allows devs to use. Meanwhile, a game like Stardew Valley took years to finish. I tend to scare people when I say things like these, but I'm not trying to demotivate you, just give perspective. A masterpiece is going to take a lot of work, so enjoy the little things, even as you're learning something new just try things out for the heck of it. And if you find yourself unfortunately frustrated out of your mind like I did so many times, just remember to take a break and maybe try a different way. But idk, I just made 2 shitty half-finished desktop games that grew out of control bc I used a 60 yo language and nearly no libraries except for graphics on ONE of them @.@

Maybe third time's the charm...


At 4/21/21 10:03 PM, regtict wrote: just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?

This is a good video for the overview of what to expect when you're making your first game.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 12:42:55


I also wonder how this process goes. I've even watch some video tutorials, but I haven't succeeded in this.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 13:55:38


At 4/21/21 10:03 PM, regtict wrote: just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?


I made a couple of videos on how to make a simple game using HTML5 and Javascript a while back, the first one on the link below.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWWUE-w7GkY


It goes through the different elements you need for a simple game, if that is what you're asking about. If it is more on the lines of how to make an interesting gameplay, that would not be covered.


Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 14:16:57


I feel learning to build a game is learning how to break a problem down into manageable chunks. Take the problem of "How do I Build a Game" it's a very vague problem with way too many solutions and doesn't point anyone in the right direction as to what needs to be learned to achieve this so you make it more specific. In my case turn it into "How do I Make an FPS" well you break it down some more and list the components of an FPS, an FPS Controller(you gotta move around don't cha), Shooting, and AI for enemies. continue to break this down what is an FPS controller, well it's moving around in 3d space based on player input and look at that we now have a really specific problem that we can work towards solving (in my case watching YouTube vis on FPS Controllers in Unity) now we need to learn how to take Input in whatever engine you choose, setup collisions, and apply force to our player. Now lets do Shooting, well what does it mean to "shoot" in a game? well it's whenever a "bullet" collision is detected, apply damage. then you continue to break this down further and you continue doing this until you have a finished game


What you'll notice after a while of doing this is that it'll naturally generate a list of shit that you'll need to learn and study, you can't solve for a problem that you aren't even aware exists. Take it one step at a time and try to clearly define what it is that you want to make, get into the habit of creating specific problems that you can solve opposed to vague problems like building a game. After a while of doing this you'll have a basic grasp of programming and a bunch of parts that when assembled together will resemble a game. You'll learn what you need to know as you go


I'd recommend keeping a list of all the problems you generate as you work on your game (I use Stacks for this)

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 14:34:35


I used Stencyl for my games and pretty much only used the "switch scene" command. You can see them in my profile. They aren't the most interactive games but they are easier to make than what a lot of people are suggesting

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 14:54:43


At 4/21/21 10:03 PM, regtict wrote: just thinking about it every single part of it seems confusing. I want to make games but everytime I try getting into the process I end up confused as hell. hoiw do people learn this skill?


well it is gonna be hard if you making a game alone i mean in it is possible but really hardly to finish you have to start with the basics.


1.) learning how to do a script, if you are a starter well you have to train yourself on how to do it like some tutorial, if you do know what you are doing that's good because that skill is really important to the game that you are planning.


2.) writing down on how the game what you could ever imagine, right developers does this a lot when making a game to focus on what the game should be and with more effort, or just like be a fucking badass like do without any writings


i think that's all i can think, hope that helps


alright peace out man bye!

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 15:49:01


One piece of advice I can give from experience, don't get adhd and bounce around starting games and not finishing them. If you use something like game maker or unity or whatever and know how to get started quickly it can lead to a bunch of unfinished projects. I did this but I'm at least getting close to finishing two of the games I started. It takes self-control.


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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 16:22:15


make you own game in a website first then download it here


First thing is to start small (example you can make a basic game with five little levels).


For making games you don't need any graphics so you can do what I did when I started and use colored blocks as players,walls,enemies etc.


Later when you start to make more advanced games you got itch.io and opengameart.org for textures and even some sounds but not all are public domain so for free sounds use freesound.org


You can also use Audacity to edit your sounds. Audacity is free program that helps you out with making cool sounds.


If you are making a retro game like a NES style game, then you got a free program that generates retro sfx and its bfxr.net


For music you can find some but if you want to make some then you've got many programs to choose, I'd recommend famitracker, its pretty cool and free.


For levels you can start off by sketching them on paper then later when you feel like its good enough, add that level in the game.


Promotion is also really important. You can promote your games through reddit, its a pretty efficient tactic.


The thumbnail is also pretty important.


Also make the beginning of the game really interesting. There is that five minute rule where you can make or break someones desire to play your game. Make it really interesting to draw the player in the world that you created.


And yea there is many more stuff I could talk about, but these are some pretty good tips for making a cool game.


Man I feel bad for ya, having to wade through advice that's telling you to plan some whole jrpg-style shit with characters and story and all that right from the get-go. Most professionals don't do design docs for games that high-scope alone, let alone try to actually make it solo.


Don't start with your dream game. Start with something stupid and simple, see if you can make a one-function game fun. My first game was a ball-in-a-cup simulator using the Android accelerometer, and even then, it was too ambitious. Start microscopic in scope, otherwise yeah, you're gonna be overwhelmed.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 20:45:47


At 4/26/21 04:32 PM, Flame152 wrote: First thing is to start small (example you can make a basic game with five little levels).

I'd say stick to one level (some details can change on further ones).


For making games you don't need any graphics so you can do what I did when I started and use colored blocks as players,walls,enemies etc.

Yes, use simple shapes in different colors. You can replace them later.


Sound advice (unintended pun?!)

You can also check the Creator Resources for lots of links to resources.


Promotion is also really important. You can promote your games through reddit, its a pretty efficient tactic.

Indeed, and not just after it's made. Show your progress along the way so people will get curious and gather a following beforehand. Having more players is always good (at least for critiques).


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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 21:17:15


I asked myself that question once -- learning to program. Then I said oh shit I need art. So I tried to learn to make pixel art. Then I said oh shit I need sounds. So I got a DAW and learned to make music. And I said oh shit I need VFX. -- Anyway, I've never made a game-- so instead of offering you practical advice I'm just going to go ahead and reaffirm that It's a good idea to start small, smallest project you can think of.

If you start getting stumped on flash games, I would recommend BYOND.COM as they have their own engine, their own code with numerous libraries and their own graphic interface. Get a little variety until you find something that really sticks.


The influence of language-- the lingua franca, is the programming of the active mind. Some languages are considered universal. They know no borders.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-26 23:12:52


I tried to make an html5 game with construct 3 and could not ._.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-27 01:21:58


Bit by bit. I started with Flash and my progression was something along the lines of this:


Cursor maze (1 week) - Get familiar with frames and object types like buttons and simple commands like on(rollOver){ }

Platformer (2 weeks) - Start with some basic code, maybe even someone else's engine, and learn level design.

Action platformer (2 weeks, build on previous game) - Start making that engine your own with additions such as health bars and attacks. Get familiar with hitboxes.

JRPG (3 weeks) - Learn more about data types and make some backend-y stuff with lots of resource management. Spend some time learning animation and game balancing.

Action RPG (2 months) - Combine the backend-y variable stuff with an action game to have something more fleshed out and fully realized.


The time estimates I gave you will probably only net you short proof-of-concept games, and it definitely took me way longer to accomplish these since I was really just playing around, but if you're consistent and driven these seem like decent time frames if you're aiming for short projects just to help you get off the ground.


If you're using Unity, start with roll-a-ball instead of a cursor maze.


If I offer to help you in a post, PM me to get it. I often forget to revisit threads.

Want 180+ free PSP games? Try these links! - Flash - Homebrew (OFW)

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-27 03:10:00


You see...when a mommy game and a daddy game love each other very much...


Rustler of Jimmies

My Art Dump

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Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-27 04:59:01


it's all about gambling and creativity.


Creativity for what type of game you want and what you do in it.

And Gambling because it's always a 50/50 chance of your game being spotted.

Response to How the hell do you make a game? 2021-04-27 13:38:16


well, learn or just watch tutorials i guess....