Game Design: How to Make A Game

Since I get the question a lot, here are the really simple steps for making a basic game.

1. Know the Game Pieces

a. List all the “game pieces” the player touches and interacts with during play.

b. Describe the game board where the pieces “sit”.

2. List the Player’s Goals

a. List the goals players want to achieve in the game (best score, most beautiful avatar, etc.).

b. Write down how players keep score.

3. Create the Rules of Play

a. Write down what each player does on their turn, including how they interact with other players.

b. Write the how each of the game pieces interact with the game board and other game pieces.

4. Play through the game and iterate until it’s fun.

a. Play through the game, either using pen and paper or creating paper cutouts to identify what’s fun and what’s not.

b. Get feedback from friends

c. Iterate until you know the game is fun and ready to be put into code, physical game pieces or whatever form you can share with the most people.

Start with these rules as a framework, and don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun.

These are the same basic steps I started with when making each game I’ve made, from FarmVille to Treasure Isle, C&C: Generals, Red Alert 2 and even NanoTek Warrior.

And don’t forget to have fun because, like the hokey pokey “that’s what it’s all about!”

2 Responses to Game Design: How to Make A Game

  1. shaman4d October 28, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Cool. Thank you for your usefull advices.

  2. Vad osipov November 10, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Nice post, thank u. what’s about top ten game design mistakes in social games?

Leave a Reply