Overall the years I have been involved in HTM5 games, I have noticed a few common trends that people with successful HTML5 games always stick to, and seen many games flunk due to what seems to be the fatal flaws of HTML5 game development. So today, I am putting together a list of the 5 things you should avoid when developing an HTML5 game.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
When you are designing a game, it is important to plan out your game in detail and set up a schedule for your development. What I always do before making a simple HTML5 game is draw out a storyboard of the game. It can be as simple as general screen layout and gameplay, or as complex as an in-depth walk-through or plan.
It is also important to manage your time well. It does not matter if you plan on making a game in a day or a year. Be sure you have the time to make the game and the money to support both the development, and if the game flunks, a little while after development. Also, no matter what, when you estimate how long it will take to program the game, add 50% to your initial estimate. Things will always pop up, and you must have time to deal with them. (see: Murphy’s Law)
Scale and Scope
I have seen many developers dream up a great idea, or an amazing new game concept and not be able to actually finish the project, or worse, never even start it just because they have no idea where to start. When designing a game, remember to never bite off more than you can chew.
Keep in mind the K.I.S.S. Principles (Keep It Super Simple). You can always make a great game, but be sure to finish at least a minimum viable product before you start on adding extra features. If you finish that ahead of schedule, great! Add extra features and more game-play to your heart’s content. But you must be willing to finish the project, and not constantly adding new things, or tweaking old things to make the perfect game. If you never publish it, you never see the fruits of your hard work.
Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
Don’t go and re-invent the wheel, if there are tools out there that do what you need doing. Now, I’m not saying that you should never build your own tools, or optimize existing tools. Just remember, you only have so much time to make your game and if you spend all of it making the best game engine ever, you will have no time left over for the actual game!
This goes the same for code snippets, remember to always draw resources from other places. If you need some code for collision detection, don’t spend a few hours trying to come up with it, just do a quick google search!
Bug Testing and Feedback
Always thoroughly test your game, join a Facebook group for game developers and periodically ask them to try out your game. More feedback is always better, there is no such thing as too much feedback.
Be sure to improve your game as you receive feedback. There is no point in beta testing your game if you don’t actively take the criticism to heart. Lots of people are afraid to show peers an unfinished game because of criticism, the faster you get over this fear, the faster you can start producing high-quality games.
Be Sure That Your Graphics, Music, and Style Match
Let’s imagine that you are playing a brand new AAA game, it has the best graphics of the year and as soon as the start screen loads, you hear it playing all the sound effects in 8bit styles. Often times people won’t care about the graphics quality so long as you can own the style and make it uniform throughout the game.
We have seen games with ‘poor’ graphics succeed wildly because they owned the style, and even fit the game-play to the graphics style. Minecraft is a perfect example of this, it uses basic pixel art graphics and simple game-play and it was able to become one of the biggest indie games ever.
Always be willing to take advice, and learn from your mistakes, or even better, others mistakes! Every great game developer went through countless failures and unsuccessful projects before they got to where they are today. Be sure to spread this article around social media so as to help out your fellow developers and be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive the latest articles and videos on game development from around the web!