Making a game essentially involves turning one’s imagination into a product that others can enjoy. Unfortunately, many people who have great imaginative ideas are put off doing this by the prospect of complex coding. Buildbox has been developed to help game makers of all backgrounds bypass coding. Of course, there are many different types of games and the potential game maker must first determine whether Buildbox is the right tool to assist them in the creation of their prototype.
Buildbox: Right for You?
Buildbox was tailored for the development of mobile app games with simple, 2D illustrations. It is not appropriate for creating MMORPG games or apps that require a lot of memory. Examples are available under All-Stars and Showcase. All game makers should take a look at these before signing up for the free 30-day trial and downloading Buildbox.
The Game Maker’s Need
Buildbox is the bridge between creativity and a marketable mobile app game prototype. Buildbox’s drag-and-drop interface is as intuitive as a user interface gets on a game creation platform. Even experienced programmers will find it remarkably convenient.
Pre-Buildbox: Creating the Game
Creativity in terms of the game itself involves a skill-set and a mindset outside software development. The idea needs to be explored and then analyzed for both its playability and its enjoyability. For originality, the game should be compared to others of similar design and gameplay. Playing existing games by others also helps clarify whether an idea will yield a successful game.
The design stage involves a checklist of requirements that involves knowledge of aesthetics and psychology. For new game makers, here are some of the common attributes of the successful mobile games.
A good mobile game is:
- Intuitive. Mobile app games, like any other feature in any mobile device, need to have an intuitively-designed user interface. Features or functions that are not self-explanatory on initial contact might encourage the user to delete your app and give another game maker the opportunity to enthrall them.
- Challenging. Gameplay, genre, and story must synergize to serve the overall purpose of the game. Gameplay has to be engaging and evolve with the player’s progress. The goal is to keep the player interested despite the limits intrinsic to a mobile game. A good algorithm for challenging the user can contribute to the game’s addictiveness—which is a highly desirable quality.
- Socially engaging. Mobile app games should be shareable with other players. Games are an easy topic to open conversations, and users intuitively seek games that are fun to talk about and share.
- Aesthetically pleasing. Successful games are usually beautiful. Successful and memorable designs tend to be simple, yet cleverly colored and defined to provide an edge over competitors’ games. There is a reason why candies and fruits are so popular: they are simple, colorful, fun, and easily recognizable. There are so many ways to use them in different designs! Nobody wants to stare at messy, convoluted graphics. Keeping things simple and recognizable helps to keep the user interface intuitive.
- Original. While it’s possible to borrow themes and art from brands and independent artists and authors, the gameplay and other factors about the design should instantly display the kind of originality that can serve to identify your work in future. The decision is sometimes subjective; borrowing does happen. Copyrights need to be considered, and if a game is clearly derivative, the company responsible for the original should be contacted for discussion.
Once the mental sketch is done, the game maker can use Buildbox to let their product materialize and make changes where necessary. The tutorials in Make Your Own Game series can help with all technicalities of bringing the game maker’s concept online.
Testing the Prototype
Like any marketable product, a finished game should be thoroughly tested. The game maker should invite family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to closed beta testing to help decide their game’s marketability. The game maker should also continuously test changes that have been made due to constructive feedback.
Post-Buildbox: More Help
When the game maker feels confident about the game’s playability and enjoyability, they can use Buildbox’s checklist to begin finalizing the game for publication.
One can also approach experts on LinkedIn or Quora for more help with the creative process. Both of these require user registration. There are many developers on these sites who are generous with both advice and answering questions. LinkedIn is a respected online network for professionals and a worthwhile platform to meet experts with credentials. As game makers come from diverse backgrounds, always ensure that the person being asked for advice or assistance is suitably knowledgeable in the particular game genre.