Cloudy Heaven Games’ Top 10 Tips for
Making your First Game
1. For your first game, choose a tool you’re familiarwith. Don’t addextravariablestoyour
projectbytryingto learna brandnew platform. If youhaven’tdone anydevelopmentbefore,
try a tool like Game Maker Studio,Construct2, or Game Salad.
2. Set a reasonable scope for your game. Don’tset outto do huge game projectson yourfirsttry,
especiallyif youhave limitedtime andresources. A lone developerworkingafull-time joband
jugglingfamilyresponsibilitieswillprobablynotbe able tocreate the next World of Warcraft
withinthe space of a year. It’sok to be ambitious,butrealize thatthe longerandmore difficult
the game developmentprocess,the higherriskyourunof burningout andnot finishing.
3. Do play-testingas soon as possible. You can demoyourgame to friends,orattendgame dev
eventsthatletyoudisplayyourgame to attendees(lookforconferencesandeventsinyour
area). It’s goodto watch people playthe game,soyoucan see how easilytheylearnthe game,
and howtheyreact to it. You can alsopostdemosandsolicitfeedback online. IndieDB.comisa
great place topost demosandnewsaboutyour game.
4. Write a game designdocument (GDD)! A game designdocumentwillhelpyoutofleshoutyour
ideaandforcesyou to thinkthroughyourdesigndecisions. If you’re workingona team, the
documentwill helpmake sure everyone knowsthe endgoal. The documentdoesn’thave tobe
hundredsof pages. Youcan make itas long or shortas you needitto be!
5. Prioritize and track your tasks. If you have a GDD, you can use it to mapyour game featuresto
actual tasks. Decide howimportanteachfeature is,sothat youknow whattasks are most
critical. Then,if youfindyou’re runningoutresourcesora facinga tightdeadline,youcancut
the leastcritical tasksand features. Keeptrackof yourtasks ina spreadsheetorothertracking
tool. You can findmore informationandasample trackingsheetat http://bit.ly/1Nj8BJQ.
6. Keeptrack of lessonslearnedas you developyourgame. Each time youfix a bugor solve a
problem,make note of whatyoudid. Thenif the issue popsupagain,you’ll know how tofix it,
but hopefullyyouwon’tevenmake the same mistake again!
7. Promote your game before the release. Share developmentprogressandnews,online andin
progress. Before the release,youcanuse the publicitytogarnerfeedbackandimprove your
game basedon suggestions. Once the game isavailable,you’ll have abuilt-inaudience readyto
8. Be flexible. Plansandideaswillchange,andmost software developmentprojectsdon’tgoas
originallyplanned. Some featuresmightnotworkas well asplanned,oryoumightrunshort on
time andneedto scrap a fewitems.
9. Release a free versionof the game,if it’sfor mobile. Androidusersinparticularare lesslikely
to pay forgamesupfront,unlessthe game isfroma well-knownpublisher. iPhone users
supposedlyare more willingtopay,however. ConsiderusingAmazon’sUnderground service,
whichallowsuserstoplaygamesforfree,andpays developersforeachminute played.
10. Avoid burnout. Game devis a toughprocess;don’tletit wearyoudown! Take breaks
wheneveryouneedto,andstepaway fromproblemsfora little while. Askforhelpwhenyou
needit. Most software toolsandlanguages have atleastsome documentationandcommunity
support. Anddon’tbe tooself-critical! It’sstressfulanddemotivating. Burnoutisa topreason
Contact and More Information
We hope these tipshave been helpful! If youwantmore information,we have amore in-depth
presentationavailable at http://bit.ly/ReleaseAGame.
You can alsovisitour website atcloudyheavengames.com, andfollowusonTwitter
If you have any questionsorfeedback,pleaseemailusat firstname.lastname@example.org
Play Our Games!!
To findoutmore aboutour games,getupdates,andplaydemos,visitourIndie DBpage at