Game development is another aspect of software engineering that has been around for so many years, probably since the first generation of computers was invented.
I love game development because it is a very stable industry. There are limitless possibilities that will be around for a long time; unlike web development, which just started making waves, game development is as old as technology.
While growing up as a toddler, I was addicted to games at that time, and I still am. Back in the days, we never had smartphone games like we used to have now; sophisticated games involving high-level graphics were majorly on play stations and X-Box.
I could remember saving my food money for the school to visit the game centre in my area. I often got into trouble. Nonetheless, games are addictive.
What is Game development ?.
Video game development is developing or creating a video game for play. Video games can be on any device, some of which include PC, game consoles or even smartphones or tablets.
Game Development Requirements.
To get started with game development, here are very few prerequisites that you might need.
1. Get Equipped.
To enter any tech or ICT related field, you need a computer. But to be honest, when you want to go into the gaming world, you will need more than just a computer.
In gaming, you deal with many graphics and motion pictures.
Another tool that plays a vital role in creating games is a laptop; trust me on this, one of the many reasons you don’t have many game developers is that game creation has a lot of requirements, one of which is the level of our computer.
As a game developer, you constantly interact with game engines mentioned above, such as; Unity, Unreal Engine and many others.
These game engines are very heavy-duty software that requires a lot of graphically powered computers to work, and this is why you make sure to get the best Laptop spec for that season.
How then do I know the best PC for gaming ?. The answer lies in the Random Access Memory (R.A.M) and the graphic card of such a computer.
I recommend any manufacturer; it can be Apple or Windows. It has above 8Gb R.A.M and a very high graphic card. Of course, any PC with over 8Gb R.A.M will have a very high graphic card. To recommend the perfect PC for you, I recommend Dell’s Alien-ware.
Alien ware is built and designed for gaming purposes; I am not running a commercial for Dell; I am just trying to give you a perfect picture of what you might be needing.
The subsequent release of Apple’s Mac book pro is perfect also. The makers of Apple are very good at making very high-quality computers. You can start shopping for the laptop of your choice today by following the banner below.
Another element that you are likely to interact with as a game developer is the sounds of your game when creating them; game sounds are vital to the realness of your game, and good sound effects can help your game appeal to game users.
One way to validate that your game has the best sound effect is to have a very sound speaker when developing those games.
Another thing that you are likely to need as a game developer is a keyboard. When programming games, one thing you need is concentration and comfort. You hardly get this when making use of a laptop directly. This is why I recommend that you purchase an external Keyboard to help you maximise your space and help you concentrate.
Finally, to complement the need for your entire game development experience, you need a mouse; this would give you a complete desktop feel and the comfortability required to provide you with the whole game development experience.
Preferable, a wireless mouse is a better option; in this case, it helps you move around your development environment without restrictions.
2. Knowledge in Programming.
Like any software development field, game development requires basic coding knowledge.
There is much programming knowledge to get started with. You will be using game engines that come with their default scripting language.
3. Game Engine.
The third and final prerequisite for game development is game engines. Game engines are a framework on which games are developed. They help you lift all the heavy load of action by giving you a development environment.
Like Photoshop is to graphics, Adobe premiere pro is to video editing so are game engines to games. Games can be developed into various platforms such as PlayStation, Android, Android, Ios and X box using any game engine.
There are over a hundred game engines on the internet, and I will be doing justice to which one to learn in the next section.
Game engines are built to make the work of any game developer easy and seamless. So here is a quick list of game engines you should watch out for as a game developer.
1. Unreal Engine.
Unreal Engine is one of the most popular game engines around. The original version was released in 1998, and 17 years later, it continues to be used for some of the biggest games every year.
Notable titles made with Unreal Engine include the Gears of War series, Mass Effect series, and the Batman: Arkham series. The graphics you will be able to create, along with the documentation and 2D and 3D capabilities, make Unreal a slam dunk.
Games built using The Unreal engine can support many platforms Xbox One, play station, PC, iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux, and VR.
TRY IT NOW – Unrealengine.com
Another prevalent game engine is Unity, and if you are very familiar with games, you might have seen their emblem in most of the games you play right from Gangster and so many of them.
It includes the engine with all features and can (for the most part) be used to make games on every platform.
Nearly half of the mobile games made today have used Unity as their engine. A cross-platform engine gives the user access to the Unity store, where assets can be used for your game.
Unity is supported on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Tizen, and Fire OS.
TRY IT NOW – Unity.com
3. Game Maker.
GameMaker has become widely used because it doesn’t require programming knowledge.
Instead, users can drag and drop to create games much easier and faster than coding with native languages.
Some of the best titles made with GameMaker include Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Super Crate Box, and the upcoming Hyper Light Drifter.
GameMaker is popular because you can make a game without having to learn a programming language first, and those that do have coding experience can use it to make their game better.
Using a single development workflow, GameMaker Studio 2 lets you ship your game immediately to Windows desktop, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, tvOS, fireTV, Android TV, Microsoft UWP, HTML5, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
4. Cry Engine.
Like unity and Unreal, Cry engine is another tremendous 3d game engine.
The Cry Engine platform is free to use. You get the complete engine source code and all the engine features without paying any license fees, royalties, or other hidden fees.
The Cry Engine is visually stunning. The graphics are beautiful, and the characters are life-like, just like Unreal. In addition, you can use CryEngine to develop for several different platforms such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Oculus Rift.
TRY IT NOW- CryEngine.com
5. Amazon Lumberyard.
Amazon Lumberyard is the engine built by Amazon., I must confess that I love their service a lot, though I have not used it I have had minimal experience with it.
It was forked from CryEngine and rebuilt with many features added alongside.
Amazon lumberyard is free to use; the only drawback is that you need to pay for cloud service.
TRY IT NOW – aws.amazon.com/lumberyard
4. Become an acute storyteller.
Most game studios have writers to create original stories or new adaptations of existing comics, novels, films, etc. However, it will still help game developers to know about linear and non-linear storytelling and narrative techniques.
Understanding how stories develop and reach a satisfying end can give you a much-needed perspective in writing the increasingly complicated code necessary for such storylines.
Like in the movies, every game is an avenue to tell a story; the difference is that each player has been assigned the responsibility to control the main act designed in the game. In this end, it all comes to how the story is being told.
Take, for example, adventurous games like God of War, Prince of Persia and many others that have been designed to follow a script that tells a story; in the long run, you get to a point where you have to concentrate on that story to advance to the next stage.
Crafting a great story is not easy, but it’s been done. So it will be done again. And if you work at it, you can do it too.
In closing, some of the best advice I can give is to pay attention to the stories in every game you play, even those outside your match’s genre.
Pay attention to what works in stories. Notice, if you can, when, why, and how you find yourself deeply engaged in a report. Heed the storytelling blunders that pull you out of the experience. Write these down and learn from them.
Keep them in mind as you create your own story for your game. Let others hear what you are thinking, and let them give you critical, constructive feedback.
5. Learn To Promote Your Games.
Now you have developed your games, launched them on various platforms, and even uploaded them to the game server, marketing them is the next thing to understand. It would help if you had a lot of dedicated game players to help you generate income for your games. Here are very few steps to get players to start playing your games.
1. Website or Blog.
The first place to get started when you want to promote your games is your website. A website can serve as a source of descriptions and details for your games.
You can also embed other factors and marketing channels that can help sustain your community, such as the ability for your players to join a membership and get links to download your games.
And if your website is search engine optimised, you can hope for organic traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Here is an article I wrote not too long ago to help you get started with creating a website and also search engine optimisation.
Before diving deep into the basics and hardcore part of owning a website or running a blog, allow me to assume that you at least have a basic knowledge of how a complete website or a blog should run, so it’s time to stop talking start doing.
I decided to drop a dedicated article on how you can own a great domain name and a cheap web host with BlueHost, and I recommend that you study and do what is advised in the article below.
Afterwards, you may return to fully digest the part you need to get started and stay on top of your game.
Here is a link to the recommended article.
2. Social Media.
Popular smartphone games like Candy crush became popular via social media. Social media platforms such as Facebook can serve as a pool for game players. It would help if you got started by creating A Facebook Page and then subscribing to paid advertising.
You can read a lot and lot of potential players, most especially if your game supports Android and IOS platforms, respectively. Here is an article to get you started with social media.
3. Email Marketing.
If you have developed the habit of building a list, then this method should scale very well for you.
If you are starting to develop your game, you can create awareness on the various platforms to attract potential game players.
But, first, you need to attach a subscription form alongside your website and embed it on a landing page.
Potential leads can then visit and opt-in for an alert when the entire game package is released. This is a very excellent method of promotion.
This method works well because people in your email list are well-targeted, and you should expect a massive turnout when you send a mass email that your product is finally released.
Here is an article that can help you get started with email marketing.
Just before consuming the above-recommended content on email marketing, I usually like to ease my reader’s stress to allow them to benefit as quickly as possible, and one way that I typically make this happen is by introducing the best way of doing things to them.
My custom and tradition are always to conduct a full forensic investigation on any online program and give my users feedback. This is why I am recommending GeResponse as your official email marketing software.
I have used GetResponse, and I must tell you that it is indeed a fantastic company that constantly innovates and builds great products.
I recommend reading this article below to learn more about how you can benefit from this fantastic product and scale your email marketing campaigns to success.
4. Native advertising.
This method has to do with a very crude way of advertising centred around banner and billboard promotion.
This method works well but requires a huge spending budget. Nevertheless, you can achieve tremendous results by sharing your flags in-game shops and cinemas.
You can even scale up by opt-in for billboard space in your country. Native advertising is very effective, but I highly don’t recommend it as an effective form of advertising and promotion because games are a digital product, and you need to leverage more on digital advertising to get optimum results; it can be used as a supplement advertising channel.
6. Monetize Your Games The right way.
Now that you have had to go through the very tedious process to get your first game up and running, the next thing in mind is to get some money. Therefore, after strategising your game, monetising your game should be one of your first plans.
1. Google Admob.
Google Admob is a mobile advertising platform owned by Google, and It simply allows you to advertise via your mobile application.
If your games support mobile platforms such as Android and IOS, you might consider using Google Admob. All you need to get started with Google Admob is a Google account.
Code would be directly placed in your game SDK, and voila!!!. You start earning based on clicks and impressions. Not many people like monetising with Google Admob, but something is better than nothing.
Here is an article where I described the use cases of Google Admob
2. In-App Purchases and Freemium.
The Freemium model allows customers to enjoy the game initially, and when the addiction reaches high levels, they are ready to pay for premium features. This can be informed of coins, Life and some unique gems.
3. Sell it off.
If you are lucky to have your game go viral and don’t have plans to maintain and keep it, you can offer to sell it off to another company. This can make you so much more money than you imagine.
To crown it up, Games will be around for a very long time, as long as the technology still exists; if you seek a better and stable field in tech, then Game development is very proper for you.