How to Make a Good Game: 5 Mistakes and Tips to Avoid

Learn how to make a good game and share it with the world.

Create a playable game for everyone in an intuitive and comprehensive way with these five tips and common mistakes to avoid to enhance your game. How to keep the players playing longer your game, why a good intro for your game is important, and how to make gameplay moments more immersive by getting players emotionally engaged.

Skip the Tutorial?

When it comes to starting a new game it's well-known that some players dislike cumbersome tutorials. Either because they think they already know the game controls, or because they want to play quickly.

Who never heard someone else exclaim: - "Wait, I'm changing the controls."

To address this, creating a starting area aka a step-by-step introduction level will help to seamlessly integrate game controls into the game world and narrative.
Avoid overwhelming players with a long list of keys and game controllers; instead, introduce gameplay elements gradually. Use the game environment to teach control interactions, like opening doors, throwing objects, and gradually progress to more complex actions.

This way, players learn while actively playing the game.

Indicate Game Controls

Keep controls intuitive - let the user know the game’s control scheme. That can be obvious at first glance, but early game makers focus on building gameplay and forget that gamers aren’t all equal in front of a game, some players are a lot experienced while others are new, players have all their own levels of skills.

Think about players launching a game for the first time; if they don't know the controls, they will close the game within seconds, resulting in a very low game retention rate (You can see the retention rate of a GDevelop game by using the Analytics tab on the Game Dashboard).

A simple solution is to display the keys that can be used in the game screens. Good examples are console games that indicate possible actions.

Mario Strikers Battle League character selection.


Super Mario Bros Wonder confirmation dialog.


Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle characters selection.


Choosing a Diegetic or Extra-Diegetic Interface

Interfaces can be incorporated into games and storytelling or not. When the HUD (Head-Up Display) is part of the main character's perspective, the interface is called "diegetic". A diegetic interface is an integration of the interface into the game environment. The players see the interface, and this is also true from the point of view of the main character in the game.

All interfaces in Star Citizen are diegetic; from the point of view of the main character the menus are on real tablets, in the visor of a helmet, or even holographic. This enhances immersion in the game's universe. These interfaces are usable with the mouse cursor that’s why there is no input indicator on screens.

StarCitizen UI Mobiglass Concept


Star Citizen Ship Purchase Terminal


On the other hand, an "extra-diegetic" interface is the way to display game informations directly to the player without integrating them into the game environment.
The data like an ammunition counter or a health and shield bar in Fortnite are present in the HUD to inform the players but these elements doesn’t exist in the game's diegesis (They are not part of the game environment and do not serve the storytelling inside the game); they are only present as indicators for the player.

As you can see input indicators are present, because there are plenty of actions possible with a controller.

Fortnite Battle Royal


50% Visual, 50% Audio

The audio is an essential element that enhances player immersion. Realistic or whimsical sound effects, music adapted to the atmosphere, and well-designed dialogues can significantly contribute to the atmosphere and emotion of a game. Well-crafted voice acting, dialogue, and sound design contribute to character development and plot progression, fostering a deeper connection between players and the game's story.

Moreover, audio plays a crucial role in player interaction and feedback loops. Clear and distinct sounds signify successful actions, errors, or changes in the game state, providing players with essential information and enhancing their understanding of in-game events thus reinforcing sensory responses.

For instance addings sounds to buttons, menus, and the player's environment give the confirmation to the players that their actions have been processed. That explains why buttons, menus and other UI elements have interaction status feedback on hover and/or clicks within a short amount of time often the sound effect takes just a few milliseconds.

This makes a difference compared to games without sound. Sound is sometimes underestimated, but it has the power to significantly improve the overall experience. Listen to your favorite games; you'll notice details everywhere—think about it!

Capture Early Feedback & Iterate Quickly

Creating a game is an accomplishment to be proud of. Share your work with friends, family, or online communities to gather valuable feedbacks.

While you may not have access to professional testers like in big game studios, because they have in general their own testers part of a Quality Assurance department, you should do early and continuous testing and quick iterations during the game development.
Pay attention to player's feedback, as it provides valuable insights for balancing the game's "progression curve" and overall enjoyment. If the game is too easy, it will bore players, and if it’s too difficult from the beginning, players will abandon the game quickly. Make sure to listen to beginner, medium and advanced players to make an average.

Every feedback are valuable get them by enabling them from the Game Dashboard .

In conclusion, by implementing these tips and avoiding common mistakes, you can significantly enhance the quality of your game and the development process. Remember, creating a great game is an iterative journey, and every piece of feedback contributes to its improvement. Keep building and refining your masterpiece!