Getting Started: Practice Game

in Advice

So you just picked up RPG Maker in the Steam Autumn Sale. Or maybe you picked up Visual Novel Maker. Either way, you are about to embark on the journey of making your own game.

You know you want Visual Novel Maker

You know you want Visual Novel Maker

This is a fun, magical journey. And one where you will learn a LOT.

And the truth is, by the time you finish your first game, you’ll have learned so much, the stuff you made at the beginning will be garbage compared to the stuff you made at the end. When you are new there is just SO MUCH to learn, that you’ll definitely wish you had done the beginning differently or done that mechanic this way, or whatever.

Because of this, there is one major suggestion I would make: Make a practice game first.

Ok, so it isn't perfect, but its a start, and it let me learn shift-clicking.

Ok, so it isn’t perfect, but its a start, and it let me learn shift-clicking.

With the practice game, make a small game, maybe an hour or two long. Use a simple story you won’t care if you mess up. Don’t try to make your magnum opus on the first game, it is not going to end well.

For that matter, you don’t even have to make an original game. The first thing I ever did when I opened up RPG Maker was remake the first chapter of Dragon Quest IV (and if you are using Visual Novel Maker, I’m sure you have a favorite VN you can copy to learn the ropes).

And if you can't think of one, you can always pick up Nurse Love Addiction, on Steam, from Degica Games. :B

And if you can’t think of one, you can always pick up Nurse Love Addiction, on Steam, from Degica Games. :B

This let me get used to the engine, figure out the basics and then have a better grasp of what I could do for my first REAL project, without having to think about any design elements. Which, admittedly I still didn’t finish that first real project. Or my second. Or my third.

I swear I’ve finished one game. Really.

But seriously. Learn what you can do first BEFORE you try to make that game you really want to do. A practice project is the perfect way to do that.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wakana Satou

    That’s exactly what I do whenever I get any new game software or tool. I first mess with it by trying out every function that I am able to. Or in this case, make some random game “prototype” to feel around. Then as soon as I feel comfortable, I just get on with it. I love this article. It’s great for hands-on and visual learners like me.

    • Anja

      Yes, me, too. And I return to that prototype when I want to try out new mechanics, so I can get the kinks out before using it for a ‘real’ game.