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How to Make a Video Game, Even With No Programming Experience


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Got a great idea for a video game? You’re not alone! But what can you do to make the idea into a complete game?

Can you even make a game if you're starting off without any programming experience?

In this presentation, you will get an overview of what it actually takes to make your own games, and what steps you can take immediately after the presentation to get started.

Some of the topics we will discuss include:

What skills are required to make a game
Tips for writing out your game idea
Choosing a realistic scope for your idea
Suggestions for beginner-friendly game development software
Ideas for monetizing games
What you can do RIGHT NOW to move forward with your game idea

Want to learn more? Check out our ebook and online course:
Secrets to Rapid Game Development ebook:
Game Development Online Course:

Published in: Technology
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How to Make a Video Game, Even With No Programming Experience

  1. 1. From Concept to Reality How to Make Your Idea Into a Game
  2. 2. About Me • Owner of Cloudy Heaven Games LLC • Education and professional experience in Computer Science and Game Development • Lifelong passion for video games • After many failed attempts, founded my company and released my first game all within 3 months, while working full-time
  3. 3. I Have a Game Idea…Now What? • Write it down and add details! • Concept document: 1-2 page, high-level overview of game – “Elevator Pitch” – Game title – Game genre – Target audience – Platform – Game objective – Unique selling points
  4. 4. I Have a Game Idea…Now What? • Game treatment: 8-10 pages, more for potential investors – Competitive analysis – Development team – Game story, world and characters – Pictures/art – Technology – Budget – Schedule
  5. 5. I Have a Game Idea…Now What? • Game design document (GDD): No set length, serves as the game “bible” – Gameplay/Mechanics: What can the player “do?” Game rules? Win/loss conditions? – Story: Backstory, setting, characters, endings – Progression, saving – Game options – Interface – Development tools/software – Artificial intelligence – Art/sound requirements
  6. 6. Is My Idea Any Good? • Ask people around you about the basic idea – Is it easy to understand? – Are people interested in your “pitch?” – How well do similar games do? • Build a prototype – Does not have to be electronic, can be paper/pencil, built from physical pieces, etc. – Use a tool like GameMaker Studio or GameSalad
  7. 7. Is My Idea Any Good? • Get feedback throughout development – Show game at local game dev. events and to friends/family – Surveys – Watch how people play the game without explaining it to them • Don’t be afraid to tweak your idea or move on to another one if it’s not working out
  8. 8. I Don’t Know How to Program! • 1. Learn with free, beginner-friendly tools like GameMaker Studio, Game Salad and Construct 2 – Gradually teaches game development principles – Graphical interface with no need to program for basic games – Plenty of tutorials and strong user-communities
  9. 9. I Don’t Know How to Program! • 2. Plenty of resources to learn programming – Packt ( Free programming ebook everyday – Sites like,,,, – Computer classes at your school
  10. 10. I Don’t Know How to Program! • 3. Find someone else who can, and form a team or hire a programmer – Some other roles other than programmer: • Game designer • Artist • Musician/sound artist • Game tester • Marketer
  11. 11. How Do I Form a Team? • Can’t do everything yourself, so look for help with some tasks and skills – Clubs/groups and other students at your school – Local groups such as International Game Developers Association (IGDA) or on – If you still need extra team members, post a request for help on a site like TIGSource forums or – Agree on price, timeframe, intellectual property rights, etc. • Decide on a method for communication and delivery of work – Email – Skype – Dropbox – Source control
  12. 12. I Still Can’t Find an Artist/Musician! • Look for royalty-free game assets – Game Dev Market • Sound effects, music, art (2D/3D), etc. • • Post job requests on – Sellers offer services starting at $5 – Can also post custom requests and wait for offers
  13. 13. How Much Money/Time Does It Take to Make a Game? • Depends on: – Genre – Scope – Experience – Team • Flappy Bird: Developer said 2-3 days – Some developers made clones in 4 hrs • With free tools and sites like Fiverr/GameDevMarket, can make smaller games for pretty low cost
  14. 14. How Much Money Can I Make? • Most independent developers don’t make a lot at first – Games are competitive market, especially against big developers – Most developers go through many games before making a success • Depends on platform – Anyone can submit mobile games – Harder to get game on console • Two big factors: Marketing and game quality • Some games, like Flappy Bird and Minecraft, bring in millions of dollars
  15. 15. What Is a Typical Day for a Developer? • Depends on the role and the development stage • Stages of game development – Beginning: Design ideas/documents, concept art/music, prototypes, team building – Middle: Writing code, fixing bugs and revising, testing, creating art/music, demo feedback, marketing – Release: Final cleanup, marketing, working on updates • Throughout process, each role should be learning – Industry blogs, conferences/events, tutorials • Admin tasks
  16. 16. How Can People Buy and Play My Game? • Mobile app stores: Google Play, Amazon Store, Apple Store • PC game marketplaces: Humble Store,, GameJolt, Steam • HTML5 marketplaces/sites • Personal website
  17. 17. Idea to Reality: The Course • If you’d like to take an online class that goes into more detail on these topics, sign up for our class on • http://cloudy-heaven- to-make-your-first-video-game/ • Short version:
  18. 18. Ebook on Game Development • Secrets to Rapid Game Development: How I Created a Game Business and My First Game in 3 Months –
  19. 19. Questions/Comments? • Contact info: – Email: – Twitter: @CloudyHeavenGms • Slideshare: mes/ • Thanks, I hope this was helpful!