How to Make a Video Game:
Tips and Tricks

Tips and tricks banner includes planning and time management gadgets

 

So, in the previous post, we talked about how to choose your game idea and what are the most important things to keep in mind. Now, I will share with you some tips and tricks that have helped me in my work and hopefully will help you too. 

 

"Tips and Tricks"

1. Think of an idea that will take less than a month to develop. (I know I said this before but it had to be said again 😀 )

2. Set milestones and break them into tasks. (Again it had to be said. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you haven’t read the previous post. Go read it first 😛 )

milestones representation as some fliers hung on posts where a car is waiting at the end to ship product
Set milestones to measure your progress from the start until you ship your game.

3. Develop a prototyping mind. Start with the essentials and work your way to the polish. Don’t spend time on the visual effects when nothing is working yet. Instead, focus on the main mechanics so you can feel your progress.


4. Don’t spend too much time tackling an issue. If you have been tackling something for some time without progress, go to the internet and google it, you will find answers and people to help you too. By the way, this is one of the great ways to learn, it’s not cheating 😀

5. Always have a change of scenery before you workSo, if you have been reading your email and now want to continue working on your game go make yourself a drink first or even have a tour of the house. It will help clear your head and ready you for the work you are going to do.

 

6. Try to time your breaks to be after a success not in the middle of a mess. This will make you eager to return to work and feel happy about your progress. Also, you will enjoy your breaks more 😀

A table with a drink on it and an open window in-front of it signifies break time and change of scenery

7. If you are tackling a difficult task for a long time and your brain is starting to overheat, it’s better to take a break to clear your mind and cool down. I know this seems contrary to the last point but you can think of it as the exception to the rule.

8. As your game start shaping a bit, ask your friends and family to play it. This is extremely helpful. You will be hiring a crew to test your game and give feedback for free :D. Most importantly this will keep your morals high and encourage you to keep working on your creation.

9. For your first couple of games, you don’t need to have a greatly polished game so don’t spend too much time on it.

10. Lastly, and really really important point, prevent scope creep at all cost. This is a very known mistake to most people who start making games. (It happened to me a lot I might add.) Don’t add anything that you hadn’t planned from the beginning unless it will reduce the project time. What if it’s a really amazing point? Write down all those amazing ideas in a list and after you finish this game if you still want to add them, add them to the second installment of your game. 

A paper depicting a list of ideas for the sequel of a game
Write down all "out of scope ideas" in a list to be used in the next installment of the game.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, write it down below. I would love to hear from you. 
By the way, I made all the images in this post using AutoDraw which is an amazing app for design. It was my first time experimenting with it to make full images. So, if you have a minute, I would appreciate it if you would tell me what you think of the output. 

Thank you 🙂

2 thoughts on “How to Make a Video Game:
Tips and Tricks

  1. Great Sarah 😃 really enjoyed reading your tips.. may be it’s not my career and I know nothing about making games.. but your way is so much interesting..Real advices out of real experience.. Congratulations for you and for everyone who will make use of this lovely website 😍💕

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