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How to Develop a Successful Video Game

Updated on June 19, 2013

Everyone at some point in their life has played a video game - maybe it’s the game on their mobile phones, computers or some gaming consoles. Today, video games are one of the most popular ways of entertainment in the world, and that trend is growing. There are all kinds of games, divided into many genres, so everyone can find and play a game they like the most. Even though everyone knows what a video game is, not everyone thinks about how it is actually made. This process consists of four main stages [1] which should be followed if you aim to develop a successful video game

The first step is brainstorming. In this step, the developer has to think of an idea [2] for the game. This step may be the most important one because the idea of the game is what sells it. So, if you want your game to be popular and earn you money, you should think of some new, interesting idea that people (gamers) may like. You should avoid ideas that already exist since you will just waste your time on creating the game, and it will hardly be popular. After you have the idea, you need to choose the target market. This shouldn't be ignored because it can make a difference in the game’s popularity. For example, if the game is targeted at kids, you should create the story and the interface suitable for kids (colorful, without violence, easy to understand and play, etc.).

The second step is gathering resources. Every game consists of visual parts – pictures, animations, videos, sounds, etc. and the code parts. In this step, you should gather all the media you will need for your game. You can find some available parts, online, which can save you a lot of time, or you can create it yourself, which is a bit harder, and takes more time. This is a very important part since the success of the game depends greatly on its ‘esthetics’. The Interface of a game (the visual part) is what attracts gamers, while its story keeps them interested.

The third part is programming. As I have already mentioned, every game consists of many different ‘media’ parts, which have to be somehow connected and given a function. This part may be a bit boring since it deals only with programming, but the good thing is that some programmed parts can be reused on similar objects. For example, in every game there are some ‘self-controlled’ objects, like enemies. You have to program what that object does in specific conditions. It may be a long and boring process, but when you’re done, you can use that script and place it on other enemies and by doing that save a lot of time. Also, movement and all other parts need to be programmed be consistent in your spelling. Everything that happens in the game has to be programmed. This is the part of the game which you don’t see directly in the game, but is the most important one.

Unity: Game developing software
Unity: Game developing software

The fourth, and the final part, is publishing. It can be said that this is ‘the easy’ part. After all the big parts of the game have been done, the last thing to do is to compile and publish the game. So far, you should know all the details of the game, so this should be easy. You should choose whether you are going to sell the game, or release it for free. Also, you need to choose which platform this game is intended for, but you may have done this in the first step, when you were thinking about the idea. When the publishing is done, all you have to do now is maintain the game, which means fix bugs and keep it running smooth.

To sum up, developing a game is not hard if you follow these four simple steps. You need to think of an interesting and new idea that people will like. Then you have to gather all media parts of game that you will need. After that, you need to connect everything and create a story through programming. Finally, publish the game. If you did everything as noted and followed every step, your game may become a hit and you may earn a lot of money on it.


[1] T. Connelly, " Six Steps to Developing a Game," IronCoding, [online document], February 4, 2011. : [Accessed December 25, 2012]

[2]A. Lamothe, "Designing Video Games," For Dummies, Vol. 2, [online document]. : [Accessed December 25, 2012]


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