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Ultimate Guide on Making a Video Game from Scratch. Some Simple & Easy Steps

Did you know that the idea for the Pac-Man game emerged while eating pizza? The creator got the iconic shape of Pac-Man on his mind after he took a slice of pizza. It is one of the most popular games ever made.

How to make a video game

Yeah, it sounds surreal that a character can be developed with inspiration from a slice of pizza. Video games engulf our very crux with Gameplay that perplexes us, stories that thrills and gets rooted in the mind and character that’ll be forever etched into us.

Video game industry is blooming 4 times more than the US economy so it’s probably better to learn the basics of how to make a video game, who knows you might get inspiration from weird things too.


What is Video Game Development?

The video game development field is blooming and has been growing steadily from the past 10 years.

How to make a video game

It’s a hybrid field that draws from the field of computer science, mathematics, and production. It involves the creation of video games from conception and storyline to graphic design, programming, and public release.

There are two sides to developing a game i.e designing and developing. Game designing involves the conceptual side of things because they come up with the actual vision for the game.

The game developing side consists of bringing these ideas to life with a touch of programming, coding, rendering, engineering and testing the game.


How To Make a Video Game?

Making games is a complicated subject but let’s try and break it down. Every game runs on what is called a game engine. You have to render graphics, asset pipeline also with animation, sound, and networking.

So, first of all, when it comes to learning to make video games you’re not going to create Halo or Call of Duty tomorrow, it’s not that simple. 

So as a first step in choosing a good video game, you have to find a programming language that you believe is for you. I’ll list out all the steps of creating one-

1. Pick  Your Genre

Every famous game ever created follows a specific genre so focus on one genre that in some universal way relates to you. 

You have arcade games, shooters, adventures, platformers, puzzles, endless runners, racing, RPGs, visual novels, horror, comedy, survival, defense, Manga, fighters and many more.

2. Draft a preliminary plan and get down to nitty-gritty details-

Planning and drafting a document related to developing a game will be the backbone of your creation. It contains detailed descriptions of the game’s mechanics, plot, setting, aesthetic, character and more.

3. Decide an Engine and start programming

The engine is the underlying base of a game because it has the development tools.  Decide on the engine you want to use as there is a significant amount of programming.

4. Build a Prototype

The prototype is a smaller version of your vision and ideas. It allows you to improvise the design and lets you find out any deformities in the game.

5. Testing the game

Once you have worked out the game from start to finish, start to play your game and test it before releasing it to the market. Also now is the right time to repair the bugs your game might have.

Also, watch this video on how to make a video game.

6. Do Some Research and Conceptualize Your Game

First things first, envision the kind of game you want to make and ensure that it’s up to the mark. As an amateur game designer, Keep these 6 things in mind before creating a game-

  • Know the type of game you want like platforms, genres, shooter, etc
  • Keep track of your budget like how much you want to invest. There are free and premium options available for taking.
  • Know the length whether it’s short or an elaborate one.
  • Research about the plot and be certain with the game’s goal.
  • According to your skill level, start with something simple.
  • Choose proper software or if you have a few extra hundred dollars license a true game engine.


Follow Along With beginner Video Tutorials For Your Software

Games are everywhere and getting the player excited and up to speed with your game very quickly with a touch of entertainment is essential to sustain their interest.

Today, a game’s destiny is based solely upon its first impression alone with millions of games at hand no one likes to stick with just one. Hence, making a tutorial is a wise choice.

Create a tutorial that is interactive and walks the player through the actions they need to know in order to play. It’s called tutorial room unlike tutorial by exposition where it causes more confusion because people won’t remember what they read.

So, a video must be created to guide others through a software program to help them better understand it. A video guide is the most efficient way to demonstrate the procedure.


Practice by Making a Simple Game

How to make a video game

It is a monumental task to create your own video game because you need to consider the art, animation, input, rendering, and innumerable other things. 

Anyone who is interested in game development must start small and must pick a simple mobile game that already exists.

To start with simple games like Flappy Bird as there is a lot to learn and diving face first with a huge project can be quite overwhelming and frustrating. 

With the help of many online tutorials and a little understanding of programming, you can build these kiddy games in a day. By the time you are thorough with the process, you’ll have discovered the components and the way around the editor.

These simple games I’m talking about are actually 2D versions and you might despise them.  But 2D games are not all that different from 3D games just the rendering is different.

Game development is a good skill to know so just practice, practice and practice.


Work On a Design Document

If you plan to build a game like Halo, the concept gets way too complicated to store virtually in your brain right. Hence to make things simpler and hands-on work on a design document.

How to make a video game

These design documents have been an industry standard for a long time. When it’s done correctly it can be very helpful. The document must be thorough enough and specific enough to let the team build a consistent and reasonable game.

It takes out most of the guesswork and lets you focus on important things. It’s like a cookie jar to contain your ideas. Once it’s built set the deadlines and make changes if necessary.


Decide Whether You Need Software

Most developers that use game making software praise their advanced lighting and realistic shadows as well as particle simulation.

The system has great tools for post-processing as well. Hence, decide whether your game requires software or not.

1. Start Programming

It’s very important to take things one step at a time. That’s why to be a better game developer you need to learn to be a gaming programmer. Find a language that sticks with you and start coding.

How to make a video game

Programming languages are not easy to master so find one that gives instant gratification. If you like Java then use java, if you’re a C++ person then go with it. 

If you’re not familiar with any of those then I’m happy to recommend Flash, Game Maker, or unity.

2. Add Sound Effects and Music To The Game

Sound effects are a big part of the game, if you didn’t plan it then you’re missing a beat in your game. There’s no point if we can see and touch it but not hear it.

Besides the sound effects has to be so creative that it doesn’t distract the player from actually concentrating on the game. Adding sound through Sprite Kit is an easy way.

3. Test Your Game And Start Marketing

Game testing is a subset of game development. The main objective is to find and document software defects.

How to make a video game

You have to be ready because it’s a highly technical field requiring immense software and computing expertise. You must have analytical competence, critical evaluation skills, and endurance.

A marketing plan for even a small game is crucial. Create a marketing strategy and talk with your potential audience and get feedback in real-time before the creation is unveiled to the world.

A/B testing is the best one to get feedback and based on the results from the tests you can grow your game by user rating and popularity. Or else create a landing page and include a few mockups of how the finished products look like.

Another way to make your game buzz with the audience is to Facebook Open Graph actions. Bring your story to life by Video game, never let it die.


Languages Used To Make a Video Game

Literally, there are thousands of programming languages although only a few subsets are even worth using.

1. JavaScript

There are a lot of games that have been made using Javascript but mostly it is better to use a framework or engine that utilizes a language similar to JavaScript.

HexGI, CrossCode, Bejeweled, Angrybirds, Swoop, Polycraft are some of the popular games made with Javascript.

2. Java

how to make a video game

Java runs on almost everything, be it printers, and microwaves to complex video game systems. It’s closely related to C++.

Java is the perfect language to create a video game. Minecraft was written in Java. But it is not used for AAA games, like the million-dollar games like Call Of Duty.

3. Swift

How to make a video game

Swift is said to be better than Objective- C languages and other cross platforms to make great video games and game logic.

Using swift for games means, using Apple-based hardware Spritekit and SceneKit API for your game development.

4. C Languages

how to make a video game

C++ is a high-level language to learn that’ll teach you the basics of object-oriented programming. It has extensive libraries that come in handy for designing and powering complex graphics.

5. C#

how to make a video game

It’s a runtime environment by Microsoft which makes it particularly suitable for games on Xbox and Windows platform.


What Other Skills Do I Need?

A prospective game developer needs training and skills. Must have a strong set of skills, including programming, video graphics, and hardware essentials. Computer animation and computer graphics skills are good to acquire.


How To Use Different Types Of Software?

How to make a video game

There are a plethora of options available that’ll require moderate experience in coding. With the internet as a host to help game makers design games of their caliber, you can create a perfect game with so many software sprawled around.

Let’s have a look-

1. Quest

It is an awesome and basic game design program, Quest is a totally free program that runs on the browser and hones your storytelling skills by using this platform. 

2. Twine

Twine is another great tool for constructing text-based games. But it publishes to HTML which means you can post it wherever you like. It’s a great place to start if you’re planning to make a move on RPGs.

3. Stencyl

It’s a generous platform to make a game that isn’t text-based. Here you can upload your own graphics to create different actors and tweak them till they are perfect.

4. Construct 2

It’s a wonderful 2D game creation tool and lets you publish in HTML5. Construct 2 is beginner-friendly and magic happens even if you don’t have any coding experience.

5. RPG Maker

RPG maker is very easy to pick up and available for a free trial download. It helps in making quite a cool game with music and stock character images already provided.


To Sum Up

Ultimately video game development is a career filled with energy and passion. It depends on your love of game development. 

Developing a game is not an easy task rather a daunting one. You need to be cool, kind and smart. Make research to see what kind of games people play and create something different and unique.

You could be a student, a professional game designer, an indie developer, the game engine is used by all levels of game developers. The only limits I can think of is your personal time and creativity.



1. What code do video games use?

Video game makers use a myriad of codes to create their games. It includes C++ python, Visual Basic, Java, Swift, and Perl among others.

2. How long does a game take to develop?

An average casual game most probably takes 2- 6  months to make, while AAA games take 18-36 months to be developed. Some biggest titled games may also take 5 years.

3. How much does it cost to make a video game?

The process of game development is complicated and the cost may vary depending on the factors.

For eg- flappy birds game may cost $0-500 and GTA 5 costs $265 minimum.

What does AAA gaming mean?

AAA is an informal way of saying games that are published by major industry or mid-sized ones. It’s usually huge and has the potential to become a blockbuster. 

1. Is PUBG an AAA game?

No, PUBG is not considered a Triple-A game. It’s not created by a globally well-known studio like Rockstar, Ubisoft, EZ, Nintendo, etc.

Did you find this article helpful? If yes, Do let us know in the comments section below

Joshua Gabriel
Joshua Gabrielhttps://www.whitedust.net
I left PC-MAG in 2015 and joined WhiteDust Team as a manager and an author. I fascinated by the idea of doing all time blogging and having a dream to become a great entrepreneur in my upcoming days.

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