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Article - 'Game Making Tips' by ATARI

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 9, 2003

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Some useful tips from ATARI!

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Opening
Hi Folks, its ATARI again. This time I’m going to talk about some tips to help
you to get along with your game making. Basically this is some tips that will help your
game making go a little easier and better.

1) Know what your doing.

You can’t make a good game unless you know what your doing. Before you do
any game making, read up on some tutorials for your game making engine, and also just
play around and see what you can do. If you don’t you’ll just be trying furiously to be
able to do something. NOT a good way to make a game and NOT a good way to start
your game making experience. If you don’t learn the engine, you’ll probably just quit
making your game quarter-halfway through.

2) Organization!

Always organize your stuff. Don’t just put your stuff in a random jarble of places
that you can’t find them anywhere. Select Folders/Sections to store your information.
For example, designate certain folders to a character sprite, or designate numbers, (Like
1-50) for certain items and such. This way you will be able to find your things more
efficiently.
A good tip for this also is, if there is default stuff there, for example items, delete
them all, because you probably won’t use them. Then organize your stuff. Also,
designate certain places for things incase your run out of room for your items or
whatever.
Name your things according to what they do. If you want, you can have
something like this: “BlueHappyWeasle_[chest1].” You can name it with random stuff
in the title, but make sure somewhere in the title it tells you what it does.

3) The memory may fail you

Write down your variables and other important things that you would need, like if
a certain person has died so you remember not to use them again, or your variables so
you remember what they are called and such. You won’t be able to remember everything
off the top of your head. If you don’t write things down, you will forget them and this
will cause some errors and bugs within your games. (Like a dead character walking
around a town after they’ve died).
Another very important thing to write down is your credits list. If you read a
tutorial that you want to put in your game and they tell you to give them credit for it in
their credits, WRITE IT DOWN!! You won’t be able to remember these things off the
top of your head and it would also mean not giving credit to those who deserve it. Doing
this will prevent conflicts and people getting mad at you if they see you didn’t give them
credit and such.
You don’t need to actually WRITE these things, you can just like type them in a
notepad or notebook file to save time. It will also make things more legible and easier to
access.

4) Double Checking.

Have your school teachers asked if you’ve double checked your test work or
homework when you hand them in? Although double checking over work may be very
boring to some people, it will prevent silly mistakes that would cause you to get the
problem wrong or such. The same thing comes to testing out your game.
When you want to check your game, have another person do it also. They may
find some bugs that you may not have. When you have fixed these bugs, check it all over
again. You may notice some bugs and errors that you didn’t notice the first time when
you checked over it. This will prevent silly mistakes and errors that are within your
game.

5) Ask!

Don’t be afraid to ask people questions about certain things. It will help you in
your game making experience. If you don’t know how to do it, ASK! People will answer
your question and it will help you fix somethings and make somethings in your game.
Only a wimp is afraid to ask a question.

6) Other things

Keep in mind that it takes a while to make a game, so don’t be depressed if you
are working for 9 months and are only 45% done. Keep working at it. Programmers and
such that make computer/video games take a long time to make too.
If you know some people that can help you make your game, let them. It will
speed up the game making process and make your game making experience a more
enjoyable one.


Remember, a game making experience is a good experience and it is supposed to be a
fun experience.
Good luck with your game making.

Remember
“Even the greatest gamers were n00bs.”
ATARI