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July 6th, 2008
Game Making for Dummies


 
Ready to transform ideas into a game of your dreams? In this article I will explain the basics of this fast, versatile new hobby, giving you detailed information on the software you can use to create 3D or 2D games fast. You can also get expert tips on this subject by leaving a comment to this article.

 
 

Creating a digital game from scratch

Creating a game is very easy if you use special software. You can create any kind of game: strategy, action, arcade, shooter, etc. Just watch some screen shots of games made in less than one day:

preview 1

preview 2

preview 3

preview 3

Choosing the right idea

When making a game, keep in mind that you are making the game not only for yourself but for a larger group of interest. So always ask yourself: what would be best?

Let’s say you have an idea about making a tic-tac game, or darts or pool, or even a game like Diablo, Quake 3, WoW, etc.

Draw all your thoughts on a piece of paper: the game interface, main characters, maps, etc.
It is very easy to convert your thoughts into a game. All you need is a written guideline for yourself so that you won’t miss any important details for your game.

No one wants to play a lame game with just one level and no fun. For example, if you choose to create a shooter, make sure your game has at least 10 types of enemies and provides at least 4-5 hours of continuous game-play.

A step-by-step guide

For this tutorial, I will be using “The Games Factory” software.

1. Start Games Factory. You will end up in the Games Factory start page:

game screenshot

2. Choose a title for the game level, specify game resolution or even password protect the game level.

As you see on this screenshot, Games Factory like many other software of this kind focuses on the game level hierarchy. This is great. Make an easier level at start and as game progresses make things more interesting.

game screenshot

3. Once you are ready, start the level editor. I am showing an already made game level for a submarine action game. The game player controls a submarine and has to dodge obstacles and arrive to the finish. A simple, but fun idea.

The level was done very fast. Objects are dragged and dropped. Just go to the Level Objects combo box and you’ll get to choose from a wide variety of objects, decors, characters, etc.

You control a character, an object or whatever. You get to choose to control it from the keyboard keys, mouse, set directions movement and lots of other configurations.

game screenshot

4. Set speed, acceleration and even try your character movement directly from the level editor.

All games are about animation. You control a character and you want to see it move in different ways when you move to the right/left, jump, or shoot. You can achieve this through animation states. Games Factory already comes bundled with many complete characters with nice animations. You can even make your own animation states or edit existing ones:

game screenshot

All of the above configuration and work is done in minutes. It is very easy, don’t take my word for it, just download the software and play with it.

The finished game:
game screenshot

Easy-to-use software for game development

You will be amazed of how easy is to make a computer game nowadays. It won’t have the graphics of Unreal Tournament but it will be a great game. For the more experienced there are 3D engines that you can use to create complex games.

Here’s a list of the best software for non-experienced game-making fans:

  • 3D.GameMaker.Lite
  • Adventure Games Studio
  • Conitec.Gamestudio.Pro.A7
  • Multimedia Fusion
  • The Games Factory

Final step: share your game

Once you’re done, upload the finished game to a file hosting service like rapidshare.com or an FTP-server of your website. The latter option is preferred, since people won’t have to enter any captchas to download your game.

Post the download link on several forums and ask people for advices and opinions. Send it to your friends and ask them to share it. Post it on message boards and free game/software catalogs.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to ask any questions.

Stay tuned for more step-by-step game-creation guides



Comments

  1. Dested says:

    What about Game Maker

    http://www.GameMaker.nl

  2. Check-out LoseThos, it’s an operating system for amateur games. It has a compiler and tons of demo’s to get you going. Burn a CD-ROM, boot to it and you can look around or install.

  3. A game needs to be entertaining. Before you start making a game relax and visit you.uz entertainment site.

  4. There is actually a lot of software you can use for easy gamemaking. Check out

    http://www.gamesmaken.startpagina.nl

    it lists over 30 software packages for game building.(some parts are in Dutch, but most of it is in English)

  5. Easily the best game comprehensive development environment I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot of them)

    http://www.unity3d.com

    They recently began supporting fully license Wii development (including Wii Ware)

  6. DarkGDK:
    http://gdk.thegamecreators.com/
    DarkBasic:
    http://darkbasic.thegamecreators.com/

    The game making guide:

    http://multimedia.md/blog/software/gamemaking-for-dummies.html

  7. 2 good alternates..

    Game Maker
    (it’s powerful and yet fairly easy has a few advanced tools like its own scripting language, particle engine, etc)
    http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker

    RPG Maker
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_Maker

    nice work with http://pc-games.multimedia.md

  8. This is a great 3d fps and rpg engine:

    http://sauerbraten.org/

    You will make amazing 3d games. Check for screenshots

  9. free says:

    Construct

    http://www.scirra.com

    A free(open source) powerful and easy to use development software for DirectX 9-based games.

  10. yodacallmesome says:

    I’ve used two packages for mentoring high school students interested in game design. Both are available for free and are very complete.

    Alice: http://www.alice.org (by Carnage-Mellon)

    Scratch: http://scratch.mit.edu (by MIT)

  11. Rick Overman says:

    I submit:

    DX Studio
    http://dxstudio.com
    Best unity3d solution for the pc, exports to web to!!

    Visual3D.net
    http://visual3d.net
    Based on the XNA framework, witch makes it posible to publish to main gaming consoles (xbox,playstation, etc.)

  12. Digg Game says:

    As Cyan76 recommends :

    There’s also Sims Carnival
    http://www.simscarnival.com/portal/
    And Game Salad is a new one that’s coming out at some point
    http://www.gendaigames.com/
    Also Eclipse, a 2d mmorpg maker
    http://www.freemmorpgmaker.com/

  13. Pat70 says:

    For casual game design, I’ve found the following site to be great and easy to use:

    http://playmockingbird.com/

  14. Macarse says:

    For those using python:

    Try cocos2d
    http://cocos2d.org/

  15. Malakas says:

    Thanks for these (wonderful) infos.

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