How to Design a Game (In a Nutshell)

When it comes to designing games, it is a lot more complicated than a lot of people think. The interesting thing about that, though, is that game development is difficult for very different reasons than most people consider. Creating the character that runs around in the 3D world might be hard, and making it rain in the level that you have your character running through might present its fair share of challenges. However, what is really difficult about the entire process, and this is something that can make or break a game, is the story behind the game. The story and the playability, of course, are the two most important things that you should be thinking about before anything else.

The Story

The first thing that you should do is write a story. Think for a moment that you are an author of whatever type of game you are trying to create, and to write your best-selling book you need to come up with great characters, a good setting, believable problems and solutions (i.e. the plot), and a theme and style that draws the reader in.

Writers struggle with these questions almost constantly because getting readers involved with the story is the only way to get them to stick with the story. The same goes for games as well. We have all played games that were visually impressive but still ended up being incredibly boring because the story just wasn’t right. To avoid failure before you begin, therefore, it is imperative that you know what kind of game you are trying to create and what kind of story you are trying to tell.

The Levels

The next step is to break your story up into chapters which are solvable. These will be your levels later on, so it is a good idea to make them evenly spaced and progressively harder. Not impossible, mind you, but a little harder with each new tier.

Once you have the story worked out as well as the progression that the players will take through your game, you are more than 70% done with the process. There are many game engines and other services available for free and some for a fee that takes care of all the actual coding for you, so all you are left with is a puzzle that needs to be put together.