Time Saving Tips for Game Designers

This time saving tips and techniques page is to help anyone that wants to save time in whatever task he does within game desining. These tasks being studying game design or creating games.

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a great way to save you time. RSS feeds is basically a list of sites that you follow. Basically, instead of you having to memorize or save in a document the websites that you want to visit every now and then, you can simply add them to your feeds. The feeds will just show when the websites that you’ve subscribed to updates. That way, you don’t need to keep going to the various websites just to check if they have anything new because if they do, it’ll appear in your feeds.


Deadlines are a good way to keep you from wasting time. It helps you not go off of the plan and stay on tracks to finish the game. A great exercise for you to try out is to find a task that you need to acomplish and give it a deadline. You can start by just setting a small task a deadline (may be 5, 10 or 15 minutes) and try to finish that determined task under that time and in case you don’t finish the task, you have to leave it as is. You might want to come back to it the next day to finish it but the exercise is to train yourself to finish whatever work you need to finish under a determined deadline, and to respect the deadline so you get least behind schedule as possible. This is a great exercise because you’ll focus on whatever is necessary to complete the task and keep away from whatever is just extra stuff, because you know that if the timer is up, then you’ll have to leave it exactly the way it is.

Here’s a list of challenges that you might want to try out:

  • Create a pong game in game maker using D&D (drag and drop) in 2 hours.
  • Translate a pong game in game maker from D&D to GML in 3 hours (you can look up in the internet if you have problems).
  • Create a pong game in game maker from scratch only using GML in 1 hour and 30 minutes. You cannot look up the internet for translations during the first 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, you can try to find the code in the internet case you get stuck.
  • Follow any blender tutorial in this website [blender cookie] that is under 20 minutes.
  • In unity, create a cube then edit the size to make it a plane. Create another cube to be a player, then create a script from scratch to make the player move on top of the plane. You may use whatever scripting language that unity supports (JavaScript, C# or Boo) that you prefer.

These challenges above can be applied (exactly or with little tweaks) using other similar programs or techniques that you may want to use. For example, instead of using blender and following any blender tutorial that is under 20 minutes, you can use Maya (or whatever sculpting or modeling software that you use) and follow any Maya tutorial that is under 20 minutes. The same is true for the other challenges. You can try to create a pong game in whatever game engine or coding language that you choose and determine a time that you want.

You may also want to tweak any of the challenges once you complete them, to make it harder so you challenge yourself to be faster at it or make it easier in case you couldn’t really finish the challenge that well.

As you progress with your small challenges, you might want to start getting slightly bigger tasks (don’t go overboard though!). You can pick a task that will include many small tasks, give a deadline to each small task and then finish it under whatever time you gave yourself to finish the task. Preferably make so that your tasks aren’t directly connected with eachother. That way, if you don’t finish a task under the deadline, you can just leave it as is and go on to the next task. For example, the pong game challenge above can be broken down it many small tasks. You may just list these tasks and their deadlines.

Here’s an example (not all aspects are included):

  • Create the menu – 30 minutes (15 minutes for making the buttons, 15 for programming them)
  • Make the game playable for 2 human players (no AI involved, just input from the players, puc bouncing) – 1 hour.
  • Win screen if either of the players reach a certain score (detect if the puc went through the bar, detect if one of the players reached a certain score and display the win screen for whichever player won) – 30 minutes (10 minutes create P1 win screen and P2 win screen, 15 minutes to detect when one of the player scores and add his(hers) score, 5 minutes to program so that when one of the players reach a determined score, it shows the correct win screen)

Know any good time saving tips and techniques for game designers? Please comment about it below!

Sign up for the FREE Game Design Resources newsletter.

Leave a Reply