How to Make a Video Game in Seven Days -for Free

There is plenty of free software and resources out there that will enable you to quickly make your own video game. All you need is a plan and some persistence. Here is the plan.

Today’s software for game making is fairly complete and you don’t need to be a programmer to learn how to use it. It is much like an automobile; you don’t need to know how to build one you just need to know how to drive. With a little bit of effort and some practice you can use the freely available software to make games that will unleash your creative potential.

Day 1: Gather up the necessary resources and get familiar with it

You will need a computer and if you are reading this article you probably already have that! You should also download the necessary game development software. There are two that I recommend. Either get the Genesis 3D game engine or the Reality Factory Game development software. Of the two I suggest the Reality Factory software but if you have a really old computer and are concerned about your ability to run software then get the Genesis 3d software. Both these programs are readily available and easy to find on the web. Just do a search engine check for keywords Genesis 3d or Reality Factory.

Install this software and run it. Tinker with it and get familiar with it. Experiment with all of the different screens and settings then go through the help files and tutorials. Get an initial understanding of what it will be like to make a video game with the software.

Day 2: Begin learning the software

Get a notebook and label it “My Video Game Making Reference Book” Locate a tutorial on the web for the software you have used. Don’t rush through this process. There are plenty of available tutorials for both of these programs. Take your time and go through the tutorials and take notes in your book. Keep a page for tips, keystrokes, and routines for getting things done.

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Day 3: Take a break from the computer

Now that you have an idea of what the software is all about you can design your game on paper. First write down the concept and goals of your game. For example: Your game will be a game about how the player has been trapped in a dungeon and has to fight his or her way out to freedom. Or someone has been captured in a dungeon and the player has to break in and rescue him. For your first game keep the concept relatively simple. Something like you want your player to explore a dungeon, kill all the creatures, and find a treasure chest is perfectly good. Make it a small game with maybe ten to fifteen rooms and some outdoor areas. Sketch out every room and place in all the doors and major items like stairs, furniture, treasure chests and monsters.

Day 4: Build the empty shell of your game world

Crank up the computer and using the game software build just the buildings, rooms and structures of your game world. Do not yet populate it with furniture, doors, monsters or any other type of extra. Just build the structures of the world. Apply only basic textures to the surfaces in the world. Do not at this point worry about the colors, lights or textures of anything. You want to just build the grey shell of the world so you can text it and see if it works properly and if it is how you want it to be. After the world is built insert a character into it and walk around to see if it is as you planned it.

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Day 5: Add the details to your game and make it look real

This is the day where you work on the look of your game. Go over all the structures and add textures, lighting, models, characters and all of the other accessories that will make it look right.

Right about now you might be thinking: “How do I do all that?” But the great thing about the software you are using is that models, characters, tables, chairs, doors, and lights are all pre-built and come in a library with the software. You can just click on them and place them right into the game.

Day 6: Have somebody play your game and give you feedback

Are your platers clear on the objectives of the game? Do they understand what it is all about? Do they have to ask questions? If anything is unclear to the player of if anything is difficult start up your software and modify the game.

Day 7: Complete the game

Add any extras like a splash screen that displays the name of your game or add sound effects. If you are ambitious you can create your own models or textures to give your game a unique look.

Making a video game is really not a hard process. If you have a plan and the discipline to put some time into learning the software you can have a small but complete game one week from today.


by Will Kalif