What It Takes to Create Own Video Game?

What it actually takes to create your own video game? Does it take hard work or maybe talent? Well, that depends also on how high you set yor goal. It isn’t so hard to create a text adventure game. For me, the hardest parts are concerning programming and graphics. I have created some minor prototypes and an actual working text-based adventure game.

How did I make my game? I programmed it with Java. If you program some other type of game, like a simple platformer with some basic graphics, you are basically creating a never ending while-loop, inside your code, that will refresh the screen like maybe sixty times in a second. The code updates the screen all the time. It also records every rerlevant key presses and updates the objects that seem for the player to be moving on the actual screen.

This is the basis of a simple game. You can also create event or command based games. This is what I did with my small text adventure game. The game reads your command, like “look around”, and then gives you some new output in a form of text. And the whole text adventure game happens on a command prompt inside your own program or game or what ever you are running your code with.

So, what do you need to do when you actually create a new game. There’s lots of things to work on. You need a simple plot and some kind of a scenery. You need to know how the player of your game can interact with the software, or computer, when the player plays the game.

There are also more areas of knowledge that are needed. You have to come up with whole world of music and sound, graphics, controls and storyline. Making your own game is technically demanding. You have to know your computer and how it works. You know, a good painter doesn’t necessarily know how to make good-looking video game graphics. You might need a voice actor or maybe even three or four of them.

Making a video game is demanding. But it is very rewarding if you can actually make a game that people like to play. Some people might be more interested in finding out how did you come up with your game. That can concern programming, creating the music, writing the plot or dialogue of the game or some other area.

If you still want to make a game on your own, remember to not to set the aim too high. And this is propably a good advice especially when you are just starting out. Remember to try to collaborate with other people that have some of these skills I have mentioned in this blog post. If you feel like it, you can share your source code with other developers. There are also lots of information available online. There are materials and tips for you to use before you try to make everything by yourself.

There’s a saying in Finnish that goes “kukaan ei ole seppä syntyessään”. I am not going to try to translate that. But this means that you have to take your time to learn the craft. I hope you got some new ideas from this blog post. We were moving on some game desing principles here in this blog post. Maybe I will write something about actually playing some video games the next time. We will see that.

Sierras early adventure games – Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

As I am born in the 80s this game was one of those first games I played as a small child. It was released by Sierra in 1987. It uses a game engine called Adventure Game Interpreter or for short AGI that was originally created for producing the first Kings Quest game back in 1984. Again this was something we gamers had never seen. Suddenly you had graphics instead of staring at a screen that had just some text on it.

Before Sierras innovative way to create graphics to adventure games fans of adventure game genre had to content themselves to bare text parser with no graphics at all. These games had graphics but the actions the player makes have to be written. You can move the character and sometimes when you perform some command you need to be in some place inside the games inner world. And you can move from screen to another screen. I wasn’t even born when first text adventures came to markets but I can see how this kind of an improvement would be like.

Leisure Suit Larry was based on a text based adventure game originally released in 1981. Al Lowe copied most of this games ideas. It was almost the same game with only graphics added. This is my view. You can propably find a copy of this game and play it yourself and you will understand better (I can’t publish this games name).

My experiences with this first Larry game are strongly represented in my memories of my childhood. I learned to write some words with computer keyboard playing this game. Back then I didn’t understand games details. I for example didn’t understand what is a prophylactic. And graphics of this item in this game were blurry enough to let my imagination handle it as some sort of a gem. The game has some controversial content but it is understandable that you maybe would let a child play this game. Of course there are many other games that might be more suitable for a young kid. But this is how I got started with Sierra.

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