7 Tips on How to Begin to Make a Video Game

So you want to make a video game? Well of course you do if you clicked this article! Well, here are a couple quick tips to get you started.

1. Have a Bit of Background Knowledge
Though some programs don’t need it, it is always best to learn how to code. For video games, probably the best coding language to learn is C Sharp, but you can be fine with JavaScript. Codecademy is a great place to start. Also, play your favorite video games! Most people get inspired by playing other people’s games. You’re way more likely to have an idea for a video game if you play one.

2. Think of the Mechanics of the Game
Before you think about story, characters, level design, power-ups, and more, try to think about the main mechanic you want to convey and base the other things around that. The Portal series is a great example of this, as everything is based around the portal gun, the game’s main mechanic. Even for games you might believe are based around story, like The Legend of Zelda series, begin with only a mechanic in mind.

3. Choose a Video Game Designer Program
Rather than creating something on your own, it’s best if you get started in a program that has already been created. I personally use Unity a lot, but it depends on what kind of game you want to make. Most 3D Games are possible to create in Unity, while code-free 2D games are great to create in Scratch. Twine is great for creating text adventures. It really depends on what you want to make, but there’s a program out there for every occasion!

4. Quadruple-Check Everything
If your code messes up, it’s probably just a stupid mistake. Double checking your code, though time consuming, is really useful. Sometimes you’ll misspell a word or miss a semicolon, so it’s always great to check again. Some programs tell you where there are errors in your code, but sometimes they won’t detect them. Always trust yourself first, rather than the program.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged and Don’t Try to Hard
Unless you’re a programming god, you’re not going to be creating the next Call of Duty for your first video game. Try to create something basic at first, like Brick Breaker or Pong. Build up an experience in creating video games before you try something drastic. Also, face the fact that you’re going to mess up. A lot. You might forget some code or not know how to do something. Which leads me to my next tip…

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re stuck on something, ask for help! You could ask someone with experience, and it’s always great to have a fresh pair of eyes reading your code. If there are no people in the vicinity, consult the Internet. It’s really helpful if you’re stuck on something. Chances are someone out there was stuck on the same thing you were. And last but not least…

7. Have Fun!
You don’t have a deadline (probably), you don’t have to pay money, take your time! Rather than assign tasks to yourself, have fun programming! The more you enjoy creating a video game, chances are more people will enjoy playing it.

So future programmers, I give you the best of luck. Thank you for reading.

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Tucker Wolfson

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