Programming a game can be quite challenging but there is also the challenge of making your game fun and playable. Many times when I've finished the programming side of my game and move onto making levels I have a hard time thinking of interesting ways of playing the game.
Here are some tips I have worked out through some of my own experiences, I hope some of you can share some of your own.
Making your game more difficult isn't the only way to progress.
Sometimes the urge to just throw a few faster or stronger enemies becomes strong, its easy to make your new levels with a new background and a lot more enemies, but is this actually getting anymore fun?
A good thing to do is to make more power ups or moves available and different ways of using them. A great example of this is the Legend of Zelda games, each dungeon unlocks a new way to play the game, the challenge is in mastering this new item. I'm not saying make the next zelda but you get my point
Bugs no matter how small are still bugs!
When I made my last game for a competition called snowball mountain I was immensely proud of it, to me it moved brilliantly and the levels were a joy to play () then the play testing came "why is his jump so quick", "you can float in mid air" and "I cant see the snowballs", me, gutted! lol. I can't stress enough to get some other people to play test your game because once you release it the feedback will mostly be redundant. Once you get this feedback take it onboard.
Gameplay over graphics!
The videogame critics mantra! This should be obvious I think, if you have to choose between a part of your game that looks a bit shoddy or a part that plays a bit shoddy then the latter should definitely come first. Most people will overlook a small graphical error (remember those unbelievably crap pop up cutscenes in mass effect) but being stuck on a game through no fault of their own will anger people faster than Jar Jar Binks.
I hope this has been some help and it would be great to hear from some of you other budding developers about this topic.
This post has been edited by stayscrisp: 15 July 2009 - 03:04 AM