20 Recommended Indie Dev Tips for Awesome Game Design

Tip #7 – Choose the Right Tools

There’s a great quote by Emmert Wolf that states, “A man is only as good as his tools.” The same can be applied when making games. To create professional looking games, you need the right tools. But here’s the catch, everybody is different. What works well for one person may not for another. So, the secret is to choose the right tools for your current skill level and need. This goes for all tools, whether it’s a game engine, graphic design, or animation software.

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For example, many of the graphic design software options can vary in features and price. Try to consider the learning curve that’s required. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user? And what can you afford, right now? If you’re still learning your way around design, you have to choose the best tool for you to use to get the job done. Do your research, comparison shop, and weigh your options.

Tip #8 – Always Remember … Size Does Matter

Size matters, especially in game design. So, avoid the common mistake of making your game’s characters or objects too big. Characters that are too large will slow down your game and hinder your players’ overall gaming experience. Whenever you’re in doubt, go small.

A cool game design hack for sizing is to compare your character size to popular games that nailed it. All you have to do is take your game’s images and a few from the game you want to compare it. Load both of them into a graphic design software like Photoshop and see how much they differ. If it’s too big or small, you can easily change the size within the software and save. An excellent game to use for size comparison is Super Mario Bros. The classic platformer is a perfect example of how to scale your characters. It’s good to use popular games that are in the same category as your game too.

Tip #9 – Select the Right Color Theme

Always choose the best possible color palette for your game. It’s important to get the color scheme and combinations right in the beginning. Every polished game has a great color palette. If picking which colors go best together isn’t your forte, don’t worry. There are plenty of great free color palette generators and color scheme tools that you can use. Two excellent ones that are worth checking out are ColourLovers and Hail Pixel’s Colordot which also has a handy mobile app.

Here’s a mini-chart with a few solid color combinations that work well together:

game design color examples

Also, a good rule of thumb to follow is to lean towards more muted colors in your mobile game design. Try to avoid using overly saturated colors. They can often be hard on the eyes, especially when used in excess. In our 4 Mobile Video Game Design Tips video, Zack goes further in depth on the process of choosing the right color themes for your game. It’s a must-watch!

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