It used to be that there was a lot of coding and tech involved in making a computer game. And, while that still is the case in some regards, the process has become incredibly streamlined and simple. Games and the way we make them have truly evolved. Before the widespread use of phones and tablets, nobody would play a simple word game if it didn’t have amazing graphics or lots of customization options. It wouldn’t be worth the trouble. But now, with the allure of playing anytime, anywhere, against people from all over the world, people just want the game to be bug-free and responsive. And usually cheap. That doesn’t sound all that hard to do, does it?
With the easy access to gaming platforms, there is a huge market for good games in every genre. And because there is such a demand for them, more people want in on it. It used to be a lot of people spending long hours hunched over a keyboard, straining their eyes at millions of lines of code to make a game work. But not anymore. Nowadays, there are shortcuts galore for anybody interested in making a game.
There are programs like GameMaker, where you can drag and drop your entire game without knowing a single bit of actual programming. No need for years of college courses to teach you programming languages that will be obsolete by the time you graduate,then trying to find a company to help you develop your idea. If you have a cool concept, now you can put it together and make it happen all on your own. Then you can export it to just about any platform, including Android, iOS, Amazon Fire, Windows, Xbox, and Playstation, depending on what you use to create your game. If you use GameMaker, you can even make push notifications for your players, and it offers support for ads and in-app purchases so you can actually make money off your game once it is released. There are a few different versions of the programwith various levels of features, but one of them is free. FREE.
Then you have games like Minecraft where the users can create their own worlds, or run the game fromtheir own servers, basically creating their own game environment. You can add all kinds of extra coding to make mods. Whether you consider that cheating or not, mods can have a huge impact on how that game looks and performs. It makes the game incredibly personal and unique. There are plenty of tips and how-to videos to add mods to your game online and on youtube.
Major studios have gotten in on this craze, too. There are games like Lego Dimensions, Super Mario Maker, and Disney Infinity, where the whole premise of the game is having the ability to modify your world. In the case of the Lego game, you are building things in real life with bricks that will be translated into the game. Super Mario Maker is exactly what it sounds like: you can design and play your own Super Mario Brothers games. In the Disney Infinity series, you can use “creativi-toys” to modify how characters act as well as create your own challenges and adventures. You also get online access through games like these to share worlds with other players, so people all over the world can be playing the things YOU created.
Don’t let coding intimidate you. There are tools everywhere you look. If you’re inspired, get your game out there!