When it comes to creating a 3D game, many novice developers immediately imagine a beautiful RPG with an open world, amazing graphics and complete freedom of action. But if you take on a large-scale project with pure enthusiasm, most likely you will be disappointed.
The fact is that only after the creation of one or two dozen prototypes comes the realization of how much work is required for the elements of the game at each stage of the development of a 3D game. Then you start tossing everything unnecesary out of your dream game in order to complete it. And at the end you will face another test - optimization and refinement. Immediately there is a temptation to tighten up the functionality, implement the "goodies" that were born in the head during the work, and delay the development process indefinitely.
To prevent this from happening, it is worth starting small and gradually introducing new opportunities. Create a technical task for yourself with strict and specific goals without vague descriptions and inaccuracies. If you are new to this business, we offer you a clear and step-by-step scheme for working on creating a mobile game, that will definitely be completed, and with pleasure.
Stage 1. Concept
The biggest rake that newcomers come across at the beginning of a mobile game development is a biased assessment of their capabilities. Ask yourself if you have the strength, knowledge and ability to create a really high-quality product that can be uploaded to Google Play or the Apple Store without remorse? If the answer is no, fold everything that you managed to unfold and go learn the basics of game development (tips for beginners - at the end of the article).
If you are determined, start creating a concept for the game: describe the aspects that will allow it to become successful (according to various estimates, a successful game is understood as a project with a number of installations of more than 500,000 and a rating of 3.5 on a 5-point scale):
- think about what you can do to make the game acquire “sticky” gameplay;
- work out the plot (for mobile games - the simpler the better);
- describe an intuitive control that will require a minimum of actions from the player;
- keep in mind that the graphics requirements should be minimal, because not everyone has mobile gadgets based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series (at least) with 8 cores and 4 gb RAM.
Basically, you need to squeeze the maximum out of the minimum so that the game starts and runs stably even on weak smartphones. For the most part, this is the responsibility of “polishing” the visual component, that is, graphics.
Finally, decide on a genre. For starters, you can try to create a simple 3D Runner (arcade).
Stage 2. Sketch
Sketching is a vision of the final product and an integral part of mobile game development. As soon as you finish working on it, you actually approve the final terms of reference, according to which you will take all subsequent steps to create a 3D game.
The degree of elaboration of the sketch remains solely on your conscience. Remember: you create it for yourself, so there is no point in cheating. What to do? Take a pen or pencil, a blank sheet of paper and visualize everything that is spinning in your head, trying to combine everything into a single whole. From time to time leave comments - explanations of what is going where, how it works, etc.
In 3D runners, for example, the gameplay is the most ingenuous: the player overcomes a route with obstacles in a vehicle or spaceship, and collects something. You just have to think about what the player will get for picking up "buns" and how they will control the vehicle (along the X and Z axes).
Stage 3. Prototype
Once you have a detailed plan of action, albeit handwritten, you can start creating a prototype of a future mobile game. In fact, you are already starting to work on the Unity game engine (optimal for beginners), but first adjust the environment settings for yourself (the location of the Scene and Game editors, the Hierarchy, Inspector, Project and Console panels).
Then the fun begins - programming a 3D game. Tip: use primitive elements like a sphere or a cube as actors, this greatly simplifies and speeds up the development process, allowing you to abstract from everything related to mechanics.
In the prototype the camera is set up, and when the scene is ready, the character is given movement. Using the Rigidbody component, you can endow an object with all the delights of the surrounding world: mass, gravity, acceleration, gravity, etc. Movement will give a change in the velocity parameter, which is carried out using a code. In order for the camera to move with the object, and not stand still, you need to write the cameraFollow script and attach it to the Main Camera object. And then - everything is like a programming book.
It's better to do everything perfectly right away, because there is an even more interesting and exciting part of the development process ahead of you – design.
Stage 4. Visual design
Gameplay is good, but enjoyable gameplay is even better. Therefore, as soon as we figured out the game mechanics, it's time to move on to the visual part of the project. Think about what will add flavor to your project and add bright colors. For example, realistic lighting, shadows, glowing objects, ambient occlusion or other effects.
You can model assets in a 3D editor (in Blender, for example), and then import them into Unity. This makes the workflow less painful and time-consuming.
Stage 5. "Polishing"
When the development of a mobile 3D game seems to be completed, it's time to start bringing the project to its logical conclusion. Perhaps in the process of work you came up with some brilliant ideas, but do not rush to redo everything in order to implement them. Often it is the desire to “correct a little here, a little there” that leads to a dead end. This is not surprising: the creation of mobile games is a laborious process, you are tired, and your eyes become blurry over time. In the end, your creation may not seem interesting enough.
Tip: don't get excited about reworking the game from scratch, remember the original terms of reference and stick to them. If you really want to change something, then it is better to do it after the release in the form of patches, updates, etc.
The longer you drag out the process of "polishing" the game, the more chances that you will drop everything, and the project will never be released into the gaming world. If you strictly follow the TK, then a simple mobile 3D game can be made even in 90 hours.