The Myths of Developing a Popular Game


Written By MrSun at 7:58 am - Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Categories: Flash, Game Development

Myth IndeedThere are, and there have been, thousands, maybe even millions of very successful games that have been released to the world. Some of them fully deserve their popularity while others aren’t the best. But, the one thing they have in common with each other is that they are liked. There are many beliefs about making a popular game. I’m going to try to sift out the false ones.

Myth 1: Popular Games All Come From Experience Developers

Your programming skills have very little to do with how popular your game turns out. All you need is a fun idea. Though being an amazing programmer might help you in the development process of your game, it isn’t at all necessary to be so. No matter how many common code practices are broken when you make your game, a good game is always a good game. This is often forgotten by many when they develop a game.

Conversely if you’re an expert at a language like ActionScript whose been building robust web applications for years and for some reason suddenly decides to make a flash game, your skills alone won’t make it a good one. Only your ideas can do so. If you are the most uncreative person in the world, then you might have a problem here. Hopefully, this is not the case for you.

Myth 2: Popular Games are All Original

We’ve all heard that original ideas sell the best. Unfortunately, this is not always true for games. Don’t get me wrong, original games are usually the best games, but often the best games aren’t the most popular. This may seem like a strange idea to you, but it’s how our minds work. I can understand if you don’t believe me, so I’m not forcing you to.

But let’s return to the point. How many completely original games that you know of are out there? How many of them have become a success? Not many, right? Most games take most, if not all, of their gameplay ideas from previous games. Look at World of Warcraft, an immensely popular game nowadays. Before it came out, dozens of very similar MMORPG’s were already available to the public. But, they didn’t become as popular. Is this fair to those games? You decide.

Myth 3: Popular Games Take Huge Portions of Time to Develop

Although for some types of games, time usually needed more of, smaller games have no such leisure. Flash games should never take over a few months to make. If it takes any longer than that, depending on how much time you put in each day, the effort you put into the game won’t be worth the money you get from it. Flash games aren’t meant to become huge industrial-sized RPGs, full of dozens of character classes and different skills for each. Most of the time, gamers won’t even try to even finish a game with one type of character, so don’t even try. Instead, focus on the key components to your games that will make it fun. Don’t waste your time on anything else.

Myth 4: Popular Games Need Beautiful Art

Like many other aspects that I’ve talked about, great art can help your game’s appearance, but it isn’t required to make it popular. Just look at games like Filler and Amorphous. I see no beauty in these games’ art, but yet they have become hits. Place your focus elsewhere before turning to art. Case closed.

2 Comments

Fun Link Friday » Games News and Reviews » Binary Joy:

[...] The Myths of Developing a Popular Game – some interesting pointers for those who have considered a career in game development [...]


iron man:

not exactly helpful most people already know that kinda stuff


«
»