Game development is a software development niche that’s actually very popular nowadays. What was once a fringe development branch is now a full-blown industry with millions of developers and testers. While most of it falls down to coding, design is also a crucial element of game development. After all, you want your video games or casino game to look great. But, contrary to popular belief, that’s easier said than done.
What’s so great about game design is that it’s an excellent sandbox to express yourself. As far as your studio allows it, of course. It’s not an easy job to do, but with a good team behind you, you can create the game you’ve always had in the back of your mind.
This article is for all designers that have been granted full creative freedom for the next video game. Game design can be pretty fun! Allowing yourself to experiment will create amazing results. We’ll share the top game design tips for new developers that will help you craft the game of your dreams that everyone will love.
Players Come First
When designing a game, you must put players first. In essence, they will be the ones to play it, so you must design the game with users in mind. A great user experience is very important for a successful game. You don’t need menus that don’t flow naturally or simply have too many elements that make them confusing. A good game needs a simple interface that still manages to be effective when it comes to the game’s elements. This can be seen in multiple video games, mobile games, and even online slot games such as the Dublin Up slot. Bear in mind that one of the most important aspects of a game is the UX. If you design your game with players in mind, it will undoubtedly be amazing.
In essence, game design is as creative an outlet as music or movies. You’re free to experiment and you definitely should. Working out a few different ideas and tying up their best elements can orchestrate a magnificent game. Of course, most studios will tie your hands when it comes to experimentation, but if you’re an independent game developer, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.
Maybe you’ll find something that will click in terms of story or other elements while you’re experimenting. You may come across a special ‘hook’ that will get players to enjoy your game which will translate to more sales. All great artists have experimented with several styles before finding a niche to settle, and that may very well be the case with your game too.
Intuitive Controls Are a Must
Let’s be clear on this – no one likes a game with complex controls. They should and must be intuitive for the platforms you build it on. For example, martial arts game Sifu released in 2022 was great, but the controls were not that intuitive and were pretty complex, especially on PC. No player wants to remap their controller or keyboard just to play a game.
Keep things simple and start with intuitive controls. Maybe your game doesn’t need 20 button controls – maybe some can be reused in a different way for advanced controls. They impact how efficiently the game is played and how hard the learning curve is. So, keep things simple while building a world that can be easily explored.
Start Small, Think Big
We know that every game developer wants a hit such as GTA V or Call of Duty. However, the reality is a bit different. You will have to start small and think big to land the projects of your dreams. And that’s perfectly OK. Big projects don’t allow for much experimentation, so you can get creative with smaller projects first. Don’t forget the small projects. Work on something that’s not the heavy in terms of design requirements and learn how to use all the tools at your disposal. Software development and game design take time, and getting the big projects is only possible when you do the smaller ones.
Start with the doable and you’ll learn a lot of stuff that will definitely help you when you make it to the big leagues.
Play the Game Yourself
If you want to make a good game, you have to try it yourself. If you’re a game designer, you’re most likely a big game fan too. Put yourself in a position of a player and see how the game works. Is the design intuitive? Do the controls work properly? Are there any elements that can be improved, specifically from a design point? Playing the game yourself, even when in beta version, will tell you a lot about these things.
It won’t just show you what’s missing, but how to make your game more appealing. Add some new elements and revise already existing ones, then play it again. Play it with your friends or fellow designers and see how they react. Chance are you’ll pick up some tips that will make your game great, not good.
Follow Trends and Other Developers
Just like art, games follow many trends. Sometimes, sports games set the trends. Other times it’s RPGs. Is it a First Person Shooter (FPS) season? Is there a particular design element that stands out? Following trends and how other developers create games will help you create an appealing product.
Also, make sure to follow other developers on the web. Many of them have live streams of coding sessions or share tips on how you can become a better game designer. Advice from experienced pros is exactly what you need to grow and become a better game designer.
Never Stop Learning
If you stop learning, you’ll be obsolete as a game designer in a short time. You won’t become an expert if you don’t learn new stuff all the time. It’s never late to learn how to use new tools and products for better game design. Learning languages can become obsolete in just a short time, so always keep an eye on new ones.
Always learn new things to improve yourself and you can rest assured you’ll become a great game designer.