Making a First Game: Part 7 Review
Well, right now you have your game document should be more or less completed. Until the game is published, you might need to make minor changes to the document, but as of right now, if someone reads and looks at your indie game doc, that person should be able to know exactly what is going on in the game.
Making a First Game: Part 8 Get Your Game Demo Out
Now we need to get the game demo out. Depending on what you want to do when making your first game as a final product, will depend on what kid of game demo you should make. Many game demos are timed, but these are usually game demos that are released to the consumer, to get them to buy your game. Right now, we just want people to see our work, and want them to play more of our game. Since we have been using the platform / sidescroller as an example, we will continue to use it for this example.
Game Demo Start
What kind of level layout do you have, and how many? Are there several levels for the each world? How many worlds are there? How have you shown the main character’s progression? How many levels would someone need to play to really get a feel for how you are making the game progress? What do I need to show my audience, in order to keep them interested in playing my game? These are questions you need to ask yourself, when trying to design your game demo. In my case, with Save Me from Myself, I have several levels, separated into several worlds. The player progresses a little through each world, and one or two attributes to the main character are learned in each world. There are also several secrets to discover, and some bonus levels.
What I will be doing is creating, and finishing the first world. It has the first two character elements, mechanics, and plot lines that the game will have, and gives the player a chance to get a feel for what the rest of the game will be. Since I have designed each world to have secrets, these secrets will also be released with the demo. Certain secrets will be limited, but they will activate to show that they exist. This also allows you to leave a cliffhanger at the end of the world, so people will know that there is much more to come. All of these things, providing that your levels are created to allow people to learn and have fun, should get some consumers interested in your game demo, and your final game to come.
Game Demo Final
Once the game demo is finished, you will need to have friends and family play it for you. They can help you find bugs, and any gameplay issues that you may not have thought of. This will also give you an idea of how people may respond to your game.
You want to make sure that your friends and family play your game demo, before it is released to the public. You don’t want any reviews written aout how it crashes after the opening credits, or how it corrupted the saved memory of your game after level 3.
Once you feel your game demo has most of the bugs gone, and you feel good about it, release it to the public. A good place to start is Newgrounds, where indie gamers play, all day long. There are several other indie gaming sites, some of which I will list at the end of this article.
Once your game demo is out there, wait at least a month for feedback. What did the players like or not like about the game? Should these things be changed? If players don’t like your game, don’t be offended by it. This is part of how you learn your marketplace. Yes you are making a game and you are amazing for doing it, but if no one plays it, what’s the point? In general, just try not to piss off your public. Absolutely do not tell them that “they are inferior because they can’t make a game” or assume that they don’t know what they are talking about. They will more than likely piss you off, but you need to bite your tongue, try to see from their perspective and either change it, or leave it. Remember, you are making the game for yourself, but you also want to share with others, and possibly make a little money for all the hard work you’re doing.
Also, normally the words a player uses to describe what they are doing, is not what they are actually complaining about. Read between the lines, or if it is a YouTube video, watch what they are doing with the sound off. Is it a mechanical issue, are the colors upsetting in a certain area, etc. Most of the time, things that people complain about have nothing to do with the story you are telling, but more to do with how they are experiencing your story.
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