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From Concept to Reality
How to Make Your Idea Into a Game
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
I Don’t Know How to Program!
• 2. Plenty of resources to learn programming
– Packt (www.packtpub.com): Free programming
ebook everyday
– Sites like www.codeacademy.com,
www.freecodecamp.com,
www.programmingbasics.com, code.org,
gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com
– Computer classes at your school
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
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 Meetup.com
– If you still need extra team members, post a request for help on a site
like TIGSource forums or GameDev.net
– Agree on price, timeframe, intellectual property rights, etc.
• Decide on a method for communication and delivery of work
– Email
– Skype
– Dropbox
– Source control
I Still Can’t Find an Artist/Musician!
• Look for royalty-free game assets
– Game Dev Market
• Sound effects, music, art (2D/3D), etc.
• https://www.gamedevmarket.net?ally=j9WvplAR
• Post job requests on Fiverr.com
– Sellers offer services starting at $5
– Can also post custom requests and wait for offers
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
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
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
How Can People Buy and Play My
Game?
• Mobile app stores: Google Play, Amazon Store,
Apple Store
• PC game marketplaces: Humble Store, itch.io,
GameJolt, Steam
• HTML5 marketplaces/sites
• Personal website
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 Teachable.com:
• http://cloudy-heaven-
school.teachable.com/p/idea-to-reality-how-
to-make-your-first-video-game/
• Short version: http://bit.ly/2qNP9y9
Ebook on Game Development
• Secrets to Rapid Game Development: How I
Created a Game Business and My First Game
in 3 Months
– http://wp.me/P6x8lb-57
Questions/Comments?
• Contact info:
– Email: contact@cloudyheavengames.com
– Twitter: @CloudyHeavenGms
• Slideshare:
http://www.slideshare.net/CloudyHeavenGa
mes/
• Thanks, I hope this was helpful!

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

  • 1. From Concept to Reality How to Make Your Idea Into a Game
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. I Don’t Know How to Program! • 2. Plenty of resources to learn programming – Packt (www.packtpub.com): Free programming ebook everyday – Sites like www.codeacademy.com, www.freecodecamp.com, www.programmingbasics.com, code.org, gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com – Computer classes at your school
  • 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. 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 Meetup.com – If you still need extra team members, post a request for help on a site like TIGSource forums or GameDev.net – Agree on price, timeframe, intellectual property rights, etc. • Decide on a method for communication and delivery of work – Email – Skype – Dropbox – Source control
  • 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. • https://www.gamedevmarket.net?ally=j9WvplAR • Post job requests on Fiverr.com – Sellers offer services starting at $5 – Can also post custom requests and wait for offers
  • 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. 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. 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. How Can People Buy and Play My Game? • Mobile app stores: Google Play, Amazon Store, Apple Store • PC game marketplaces: Humble Store, itch.io, GameJolt, Steam • HTML5 marketplaces/sites • Personal website
  • 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 Teachable.com: • http://cloudy-heaven- school.teachable.com/p/idea-to-reality-how- to-make-your-first-video-game/ • Short version: http://bit.ly/2qNP9y9
  • 18. Ebook on Game Development • Secrets to Rapid Game Development: How I Created a Game Business and My First Game in 3 Months – http://wp.me/P6x8lb-57
  • 19. Questions/Comments? • Contact info: – Email: contact@cloudyheavengames.com – Twitter: @CloudyHeavenGms • Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/CloudyHeavenGa mes/ • Thanks, I hope this was helpful!