Designing your game should be the first step in making your game. Now, oftentimes you will end up designing your game as you go. You'll be constantly reinventing, reevaluating, and remaking your game. If you start using the studio with a game design, make it, and never change a single plan, there is probably something fundamentally wrong with your game. In this chapter, we will go over designing your game, and more specifically, utilizing ROBLOX's cloud-hosted game platform to quickly receive feedback to revise your game. We'll go over what to do, and not to do, in terms of graphics and looks, as well as functionality.
Finding an ideaEdit
Finding a game idea can be hard. With many of the ideas you may get, there will be many things wrong with the design. The concept may be unachievable, or just have technical difficulties or restrictions that prevent its accomplishment. In this case, you'll want to refine the design. Remembering finding a game idea isn't the hard part, the hard part is making it, and having the willpower to do so. Here are some suggestions that should help you find a game idea:
- What's your favorite game? What irks you about it? What can you improve? Do it!
- Pick a genre. Think of what sort of game you would want to play in it. Do it!
- Ask on ROBLOX's Game Design forum, or use another such resource—there's always someone there who has a good idea.
- Piggyback on someone else's project (there are many groups on ROBLOX that exist for this purpose).
- Research it, on the web, for example! Get inspired by what you can find elsewhere, what you've experienced, and what you enjoy.
- Ask yourself "Do you really want to make this game?" and "Would I play this game?"
Once you have an idea in mind, you want to analyze it for several things. You want to make sure it's feasible. Think of each component of the game and ask yourself how you can do it and whether you have seen it before: if you haven't seen it before, in particular on ROBLOX, and you can't think of how to do it, ask a more experienced game developer and designer who may have a clear idea on how to do it. People who are more experienced than you will usually have a more clear view of the situation than you, and can share that view with you, which can help you greatly. With all of this in mind, you'll want to start the most important part.
Recording your ideaEdit
Yes, you need to record your idea. You need to write it down. Especially if it's a group project, or a project others will be helping you on. You must do this because recording your idea provides several things for you:
- Recording your idea will help prevent loss of motivation. Most people tend to lose motivation in their projects due to not knowing what to do next. By having a specific guide there, in front of you, scheduled out and planned, when you ask yourself "What do I need to do to make this game working?" you will easily have a solution right there in front of you. Oftentimes uploading this document to the cloud can prove most beneficial when working with groups, as you can constantly mark off, and debate over topics in the project. Planning and coordination in a group project are one of the keys to success, more so in the virtual world of ROBLOX where motivation is purely from want—chances are that no one is paying you to make your own game.
- Recording your idea will give you something to show off. When recruiting people to a group project, or even when fans gather and ask you about your game, you want something to show off. You need to inspire, make them stop, and differentiate between your project and the dozens of other opportunities that exist on ROBLOX. The best developers are picking the best games, and in order to make your game the best, it must be professional and well planned.
- Recording your idea will allow you to plan. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, planning is required. When you plan out your game, you discover potential problems, and can receive feedback before it's made. As a single person you will not be able to catch all the mistakes in your own mind.
It is important to remember that, as in the real world, making a successful game that is played not only requires a good idea, a finished and polished core, but also marketing. This is also the case for ROBLOX games, but marketing is much less difficult, because the game is hosted by ROBLOX and is mentioned in various places on the website. Regardless, if you want to get a big community of players to play your game, you will need to spend some time marketing it.
Managing your time is essential when developing a game. It is sometimes a good idea when developing a game for ROBLOX to first complete the plan and then to skip the first fourth of the plan to directly get something working, even if it is something that is not as good as what the plan requires. Having a working demonstration makes it possible to get feedback and to have an area where it is possible to try things: with a working demonstration, it is possible to try things in the game directly before the basic infrastructure of the project is completed.
Games on ROBLOX consist of three elements: the game engine, which is part of ROBLOX and handles the physical world, the rendering (displaying of your game), the networking (the communication between the server and clients) and other things, the game content, which is composed of maps, buildings, images, assets and other items that are created by the developer, and the game code, which is what makes the game interactive and what forms the player experience. The game content was already covered in part in the previous chapter. The game engine will be the subject of the next chapter, and the game code will be the subject of the other chapters, along with the game content.