Part 1 of 9: Creating a Complete Windows 8 Game (minus the game) - Overview

Emphasis on the word: COMPLETE.

(I’m going to generalize a bit here…just for argument’s sake)

Developers like solving problems, making stuff work, figuring things out, fixing bugs, adding features.  So, it’s no surprise to me that when I talk to devs about Windows 8, and explain the enormous opportunity behind developing on this platform, I can see the wheels turning in their brain, “Oooh, I’ll make a game that does A, B, C using X technology and maybe create the backend with Y, and use Z API…”  Or, if they’re new to programming, but want to get something published relatively quickly, creating games with GameMaker, GameSalad or Construct 2, “I’ll make a platformer, kinda like Mario, but with a little bit of Angry Birds mixed in…”

I love the enthusiasm, excitement and gumption to get started with Windows 8!  However, there’s a trend of diving right into code with minimal thought which I think can hurt your game in the long run.

This leads to some common questions I get, “Why isn’t my game doing well?” “Why am I getting bad reviews?” “Why isn’t the money rolling in?”

When I dig a little deeper, the most common reason for failure is that their game is lacking something.  It’s either:

a.) Just a bad game. (dodgy graphics, poor gameplay, not fun, too hard, one level, boring, etc) .  Or,
b.) A decent game, but not the best complete experience.

This blog series is not primarily about the first case, though I’ll touch on some points that apply.  There are many great books, websites, tutorials and articles out there that can help you create a good game.  I’m not going to walk you through the technical points of “How to make a Game” here, but if that’s what you’re looking for – head over to Generation App and learn how to build Games for Windows 8.  For Game Design, Ernest Adams has a great book that I read after attending one of his workshops last year, Fundamentals of Game Design.  Lastly, find a community of experts that can help you.  Stackoverflow is a great resource.

What this series will cover, is what you can do to take full advantage of the Windows 8 platform and make your game ready for market.   This series is by no means EVERYTHING you can do to “complete” your game, but it has some main fundamentals which I’ve seen proven successful.

We’ll dive into 8 ways to make your game more complete for Windows 8:

  1. Planning
  2. Design Aesthetics
  3. Details Details Details
  4. Windows 8 Features
  5. State Persistence
  6. Socializing
  7. Global Perspective
  8. Marketing

So, stay tuned!  I’ll do at least a couple of posts a week!