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Want to know how to make a game? Here's the entire process in about six minutes...

You've probably thought about designing your own game. You may have already dreamed up exactly what your bigger-than-Tetris game would look like and how it would work. You may have told your friends that it would be "like ICO and Gears of War combined," and then told their stupid, skeptical faces, "Whatever, you'd probably just have to play it to get it." 

We have. And then we tinkered around for just long enough to find out that the whole thing is really, really hard. But, of course, not everyone gives up so easily - we wouldn't have any games if it weren't for that super-motivated 1% always making us look bad. (Jerks.)

They're the kind of people who participate in competitions like Ludum Dare, which challenges creatives to design and produce complete games in only 48 hours. The events are held every four months, and require entrants to design, code, and illustrate simple games based on pre-set themes. Several of the daring programmers have recorded their entire processes and compressed them into time-lapsed tours of madness. Look, everything you need to know about game design! Yeah, it looks really, really hard:

The game in this video, created by Markus Persson, is naturally simplistic, but it's actually pretty fun if you give it a chance. And you can, because it's playable right here. And if you want to see more, there are plenty of other timelapse videos on YouTube. It's pretty mesmerizing...

...But we're still not planning to browse community college programming classes any time soon. Damn that looks hard and stuff. But if you are feeling the motivation, and lack experience, we put together a guide a while back which offers a bunch of great resources for aspiring designers. Get started now and who knows? Maybe you'll be the next [insert your favorite game designer here].

Aug 30, 2010

20 comments

  • batmanboy11 - August 30, 2010 10:24 p.m.

    I would much rather be a game journalist than be a game maker.
  • IsaacFenix - August 30, 2010 10:59 p.m.

    It doesn't look like the site works. I've tried several times, and all I get is a black page.
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 30, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    I've been essentially driving programming books from the library and back, always too terrified to actually open it because of how much shit I would have to learn. One of these days, though, I'll actually get myself together and delve in.
  • FNG - August 30, 2010 11:23 p.m.

    The game sucks.
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - August 30, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    This probably isn't the best example of a home-made game. Cave Story though? Yeah.
  • Giinjii - August 30, 2010 11:28 p.m.

    I saw this on another site but I just read the other article you left as a link that you made about a year ago, and I think it'll come to be pretty handy for me, thanks Mr. Wilde. Also, stop being naughty so you can be on the next TalkRadar!
  • MetalReborn - August 30, 2010 11:28 p.m.

    ch3burashka, if u devote like an hour a day to following the tutorials in the books, u could easily learn to do basic programming in a couple weeks. I took a class on actionscript in flash this year.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 30, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    I've used game maker before, and THIS SHIT IS HARD. Even without programming... god, I just don't have the kind of devotion to use all my free time programming games. So yeah, I agree with batmanboy11.
  • Metroidhunter32 - August 31, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    I can easily see how games would be hard, I wouldn't even try.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - August 31, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    @FNG Thank you for your insight. @Onepersonwithnoopinion This is an example of a game created entirely in 48 hours. Cave Story was not created in 48 hours.
  • tuomotaivainen - August 31, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    Does it make me too nerdy if I know that he's coding the game in Java just by looking at the code in the video?
  • notallgoodnameswheretaken - August 31, 2010 1:39 a.m.

    I'm actually trying to learn programming so I can make games. I started with Small Basic, and soon I'll be trying to learn visual studio 2008.
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - August 31, 2010 1:46 a.m.

    I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that. I guess I was too focused on getting General RAMM to beat Sepharoth on a "Who's a better villain contest?" going on at Gamespot right now(RAMM is winning). Oh, and I noticed that Mojang Specifications was used with this? I doubt you've heard of this game then: http://www.minecraft.net/
  • keefster - August 31, 2010 2:12 a.m.

    I have high, high, high aspirations to be a video game maker. I thought it would be the great way to make a living, its almost like playing video games for a living right?!?!?! Well, I went to a 2 week crash course of 3 dimensional video game design, and made a basic fps with only 2 levels and a shallow plot - and was humbled very quickly... Still... video game design is awesome, its like playing god, where u make the rules. Everything that u want in life, immortality, power, super strength, flight etc is made possible by that shit. So I still kinda wanna do it. Thatorworkatgamesradarlol
  • xenn - August 31, 2010 2:37 a.m.

    Dang... coding in HTML, CSS, Actionscript, and barely a little Javascript is as much developing as I can handle. I'll just stick to ENJOYING games. :]
  • mahabat - August 31, 2010 3:13 a.m.

    i have made two games so far one with zero training at all so yeah, haha one deadrising style in a city and one worlds hardest game style. i love making games unfortunately its nearly impossible to get a job in game design these days
  • Dabenguin - August 31, 2010 3:28 a.m.

    beat it, kinda hard great game tho
  • elpurplemonkey - August 31, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    Geez, just watching the video felt like work. It's amazing what these guys can do.
  • miasma - August 31, 2010 10:33 p.m.

    I wish I knew how to make a game. I would like to try and make one, but I don't know where to start really. Ideas would be appreciated.
  • shyfonzie - September 1, 2010 2:50 a.m.

    Wait, did it take him longer to eat pizaa then sleep?

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