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Game making checklist

Devious Cow at RetroRemakes has discovered and added to a checklist by Gilzu at Indiegamer of things that every game should have to be perfect.

I find it absolutely essential reading, I have already added a few items from the list to the EarokĀ Engine. I'll definitely refer to this checklist for every game I release from now on.

Techincal Issues:
1. Allow alt-tab and Switching to other programs (and the all-known DX issue)
2. Allow alt-f4 and manual program shutdown at every stage
3. Sound and Music Volume control
4. Software capability tests (DX, OGL, Accelerator caps)
5. Support both windowed and fullscreen modes
6. Mouse / Keyboard / Joystick / Keypad support
7. Allow player to choose input device and choose which keys to use
8. Prevent multiple game launch
9. Low FPS handling
10. Saving game settings and preferences
11. Call stack dump upon a crash
12. System config for tech support
13. Version number for tech support (and if you're really up to it, web update check)
14. Accessibility options - Cater for one switch play and other accessibility issues like colour blindness, deafness etc.

Game Issues:
1. Having Music and Sound effect for every possible event (including GUI event)
2. Highscore table (or even better, an Online highscore system)
3. Tutorial level(s)
4. In game documentation, or an off-line one (for the sake of us, the laptop users)
5. Pause option
6. Difficulty levels
7. Save Games
8. Level selection (or at least select episodes / levels that had been unlocked)
9. co-op play or duel mode
10. Level/Scenario Editor
11. Offline play - don't force player to have internet connectivity

Polish & Demo:
1. Smooth screen transitions (fades ect.)
2. Loading Screens
3. Game elements and Controls slide before first game/level
4. Nag Screens (if applicable)
5. Show in-game which features are available in full version (if applicable)
6. Kiddie mode - you'll be amazed how many parants will pay for a game for a "keep the dwarf busy with infinite credits" mode.
7. Bonus level(s)
8. Screenshots - let your gamers show-off their achievements thus giving you more publicity (works well with any sim/RPG/RTS)
9. Minigames
10. Multi lingual support
11. In game hints
12. ...or cheats/walkthrough for those points everyone gets stuck.
13. Strategy guide
14. Game progress indicator (such as maps with the road that had been played)
15. Skins & Personalization (allow user to choose/make his own symbol, choose NPC's names)
16. Credits to contributors

1. Have one, not zipped.
3. Game icon
4. Optional link on the desktop
5. Optional Program group with meaningful name
6. Uninstaller. One that doesn't leave any remains.
7. Option to run the game after installation complete.



Joshua Smyth (not verified)

I don't actually agree with all of them, but nice list.

(BTW you don't have permalinks enabled)

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

Admittedly they are not all possible in every type of game, but I think they are a useful ideal to strive towards. is the permanent link (all content types in drupal are given a node ID)

arran4 (not verified)

Ugg. I HATE windows installers and uninstallers.. I find zip files would be far more preferable as when they unzip their content is in one location. :P Programs should not install anything but the game itself into the programs menu, perhaps under a classification, ie, games->fps, and the uninstaller applet should be compulsory, as well made to work better. (Plus installers should be closer to 1 click..)

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

I prefer getting games in zip files myself, but I think it should be an option for anyone who'd prefer to be able to easily install and uninstall the game instead.

I think having a subfolder under games is a good idea, it's a pain in the ass having every single game you install create another folder in the start menu.