How to Make Your Own Video Games for Free

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In the early ages of gaming, somebody creating a game that bounces off a square dot off rectangles. It might seem boring the young ones today, but rest assured it was an instant classic that ushered in the era of gaming as we know it today:

 

It doesn’t look much and I thought man oh man if I had access to a computer I could create something better. Simple yet addictive games like this is what made me passionate about video games.

Many times when I see the crap that EA comes out and what they did with the Sims… It makes me wonder what I could do if I had the power to make video games myself. I’m of the feeling that the best games are best made by hardcore gamers. This is why I’m very happy with the success of Kingdom Come Deliverance. They have sold a million copies and it’s easily the best seller across all my Batavian stores.

These guys didn’t have a billion dollar budget like EA. They didn’t have the flashy commercials like Skyrim. Instead, they had a successful (very successful indeed) Kickstarter campaign. It was supported by gaming fans and it was designed for the best medieval gaming experience. Despite all the bugginess, it still beats the crap out of what normally comes out of EA (yes even my FIFA hasn’t seen a real update since… 2001?).

How do I make a viral game like Kingdom Come?

Kingdom Come has shown that anyone with a vision and passion for video games can succeed. You just need to execute on your idea and deliver the goods to the gaming community worldwide.

It’s not hard to create your own game on the Internet. Flash is very expensive; the good Adobe programs are around $800. But there are other ways you can make your own great games for free.

Game Maker is a free program distributed by YoYo Games.

This option is so far only available for PC users. Game Maker is technically share-ware as you have to register for full access of the options. But this is a great tool, which deals with environments and sprites to create games. It is relatively easy to create your own games with it. With informative and useful tutorials, which supply sprites to use in learning the controls, it is easy to learn.

This tool’s most popular use is to create a platformer, which is one of the first tutorials, and the easiest genre to learn/make. But Game Maker does not limit the possibilities to that. There are tutorials for side scrolling shooters and even first person shooters. But with the open format there is no limit to what you can create when you have mastered it. The easiest games to make are made with 2D sprites, which limits the graphics of your game. But there are tutorials on how to make your 2D sprite interact with a 3D environment similar to old adventure games.

Here’s a video tutorial on using this program:

This makes it seem like the games aren’t very good, but some of my favorite games I’ve ever played have been made with this tool. If you work with it and master it like a serious tool instead of a fun little toy, you can make some awesome games. There are many websites which showcase the best games made by Game Maker. Also, gaming website such as Gamespot sometimes showcases games that had been made with GM.

My favorite games I mentioned are Sandbox of God and Ore No Ryomi 2 both downloadable at www.vertigogaming.net Vertigo Games has been making games with Game Maker since 2000 and as you can see from their older games, it takes a while to master the interface and controls. But this does not take away from the ease at which you can learn to make your first game.

I made a little platformer with a Teddy Bear who seemed nice but had to make some quick cash gambling to pay off the Mob. It was simple but it had a Teddy Bear sprite, some switches and doors, some monsters, and some money, which added to the score. I made this game very soon after doing only two tutorials from the website.

Another program I have used is RPG Maker 2000.

This is older software also only available for PC. I haven’t gone as in-depth with this tool. Check out their website for further details.

It’s easy to learn with an easy interface and the games it makes are similar to old RPGs with small 8-Bit sprites. This tool provides everything you need to make a game quickly and easily but doesn’t allow for large amounts of creativity and maneuverability. It does, however, make good RPGs with the sprites it supplies for you.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to use RPG maker:

Another technique I have used does not require a download.

Using free internet website hosting like Bravenet, you can create your own Text-Based Adventure with multiple pages and Links. At first glance it may seem like there can’t be many options. But it’s actually quite easy. It requires many different pages devoted to each room, however. For instance, with an option to pick up a stick you would link Room1.html to Room1wstick.html and give text at the top detailing that you have picked up the stick. Then the rest of the pages where you have the stick would be room2wstick.html and room3wstick.html and so on. You don’t need to know HTML for this technique! I would advise against using a pre-made template wizard but that doesn’t mean you need HTML knowledge.

Just start with a blank file and you can edit it with the Visual Editor and it automatically does the HTML for you. You can add an option by selecting add a link. I thought of this recently and I started making my own game. It isn’t extremely in depth but it does qualify as a game. It’s also easy to add images to the game to illustrate the rooms. I haven’t gone into this yet but I plan to. With a little work per day you can constantly evolve your game, adding more files onto the end of what you have created so far.

With these three techniques you can easily create you own fun little games to share with you family and friends. If you really master the Game Maker tool you can make some really great games to post on the Internet and show to everybody. And with the link formatted text adventure you can evolve your game into anything you want. If you are experienced with flash and animation you could even upload them to the site and actually show what is going on in the adventure with a movie. I especially like 1 and 3 because of the freedom they give you to create whatever you want.

These Graphics suck – how can I make something viral like Kingdom Come

It’s not all about graphics. When you work with these basic tools, you learn to develop the importance of simple but seamless gameplay. You learn the importance of story and what elements it takes to draw in your audience. Before you create a graphical beast like Kingdom Come, you need to master these basics before taking on the more complex projects.

However, recent history has proven you don’t even need great graphics to make a viral game. Ever heard of this game:

Now go and make that video game!