How to Program a Video Game

Tripping-Pac-Man---PatternIf you’ve ever wanted to learn how games are made or how to make one yourself then this article is for you.








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[notice type=”support” title=”STEP BY STEP” tag=”h4″] STEP [/notice]


Learn a programming language. C/C++ is the most popular as well as the industry standard but if you are new to programming, you may want to start off with Python. is a pretty useful Python tutorial for beginners. Alternately, find a user-friendly game-creating engine such as RPG Maker or Torque. This can save time for those who are at a loss at programming. However, programming could be the better option in the long run.


Think of an idea for a game. Once you have the general storyline for your game, go into the specifics of how it will play out exactly. The more detail you have, the easier it will be to create. * Write a plot for the story. EX: Does Sally find the key to the second door randomly, or does she have to do a quest for Dr. Millers to get the ladder which will allow her to climb the tree and find the key? Will Characters move by keyboard or mouse? Are there any cheats?


Gather your resources. Collect or create all the textures, sprites, sounds, and models you will need for your game. There are a lot of good free ones out there so be sure to look around. is a very useful sprite tutorial. To create sprites, you must first learn pixel art. There are many tutorial around the internet.


Create an engine. Writing a game engine can be a difficult task, especially if you’re new to programming. Try using one that is open source for your first game. Not only are they free but they give you a very good idea of how one should work.


Script your game. Scripting is one of the final steps in creating a game. The script tells the engine what to do and when to do it. If you build your own engine then you will have to create your own scripting language that it will understand. If you used an open source engine, chances are that it already has a scripting language so check the documentation.


Test your game. Now you get to see what all your hard work has turned in to. Play your game, doing every possible thing, until you and your computer are blue in the face. Find every possible “bug” (problem) and fix it before you release it.


Release your game. This part is up to you. If you plan on selling your game (and you didn’t use one of the open source game engines) you will have to deal with getting the proper copyrights, trademarks, etc. Or you can always release it as open source for others to learn off of.


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  1. Game creation/development can be a very difficult thing. If you find yourself getting stressed over something that’s not working correctly then be sure to take a breather. Don’t turn something you love into your worst enemy because you’re trying to rush.
  2. Always remember that you should create games, not engines. Focus your effort on the game more than the engine, and don’t add unnecessary features just because you “think you’ll need it later” or it “would be cool to have this”.
  3. Start off small, then build from there. Don’t add things like special effects before you have the basic structure of the game up and running.
  4. If the game is online, make sure to encrypt! Hackers can easily take it if you don’t.
  5. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If there is a library to do something you want to do, use it instead of writing your own unless you have a good reason not to.
  6. Always write the things you need **now** instead of things you “might need” or “will need”.



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[notice type=”warning” title=”WARNINGS” tag=”h4″]If you plan on selling your game and are not using your own engine or work be sure to get permission from the creators so you can use it to avoid the problems.[/notice]


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