How to design a game
Before you can start coding and creating a game, you will need to come up with the idea of your game and how you will design it. Let's take a look at the most important things we need to think about.
Why do we play games? We play them to try and reach the goals that are in the game and have a successful outcome. The fun part is trying to reach the goal and the rewarding part is when we reach it and are successful.
The first thing you need to do when designing a game, is decide what is the goal of the game.
Here are some examples of goals in a game:
- Guess the picture
- Drop the prize in the basket
- Bounce a shot and hit the egg
If a game is too easy then we quickly lose interest in it and stop playing the game. But when there's obstacles in the game which make it more difficult, we try again and again to see if we can overcome the obstacle and get to the goal of the game.
After deciding on the goal of your game, you will next need to decide how to make it challenging to the players playing your game.
It's important not to make it too easy but also not to make it too hard. You need to try and make it just difficult enough that the players keep trying until they overcome the obstacles you put in your game.
In the space shooter game in the picture, the goal of the game is to shoot the asteroids but the obstacle or difficulty is that you have to avoid being hit by them.
The players playing your game need to know how and when they successfully meet the goals or objectives in your game.
Some games are obvious in how to play them but other games need to give some instructions to the players.
When you are designing a game you need to put yourself in the shoes of the player and think about how would understand the game the very first time you play it.
It's nice to be recognised for doing something right! So after thinking about how to make your game challenging and how the players will know how to play it, you next need to decide what rewards they should receive for overcoming the challenges and achieving goals.
Will they get points in the game or how about unlocking new levels? It could even be as simple as playing a rewarding sound effect. As the game designer, what type of rewards and when players get them is up to you.
In the Angles game in the picture, the players get rewarded 3 ways each time they successfully hit the egg:
- The egg appears to crack
- A winning sound effect is played
- The message "Hit!!!!" appears on the screen
The most important reward that your game needs is a sense of fun. When the players are having fun playing your game that will encourage them to keep playing and interacting with your game.
How do you know if your game is fun? Well the best way is to get some of your friends or family to play it and ask them their opinion. You might get some good feedback and ideas that will let you improve your game!
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