The market performance of PS5 and Xbox Series X is a testament to the growing video game industry and the countless job opportunities within it. Why not become a marketable candidate for the video game sector? If you have experience in video game development, you can build a solid portfolio. Read our list of the best video game projects to gain experience and build your portfolio.
Various game development companies seek individuals with gaming industry experience, from indie game studios to big companies like Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and more. Our article caters to all levels of learners and will cover video game projects for beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners.
5 Skills That Video Game Projects Can Help You Practice
It’s one thing to be knowledgeable about gaming consoles and trends, but it’s another to dedicate time to creating and designing games themselves. Below are the top five skills you’ll need to practice to complete video game projects effectively and land a job in the game development scene.
- 2D and 3D Animation. If you want to become a video game animator, you need to master 2D and 3D animation skills. You should be fluent in software like Adobe Animate CC, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator.
- Game Design. To enter the game design fields, you need to understand visual design, character design, gameplay, game strategy, game currency, and sound design skills.
- Game Writing Skills. If you want to become a game scriptwriter, you should master storyboarding, storyline, character dialogue, and gameplay skills.
- Game Engine Skills. The game development and game design industries are heavily reliant on popular game engines. So, you need to master Unity Engine, Unreal Engine, and GameMaker to showcase your video game project skills.
Best Video Game Project Ideas for Beginners
The best video game project ideas for beginners apply to foundational storytelling, game development, character development, and game design skills. With these skills, you also need to acquire a working knowledge of popular game engine platforms.
According to Statistica.com, the 2021 value of the video game market in the U.S. alone is 65.49 billion dollars. These projects will help you kickstart your professional journey into this multi-billion dollar industry. Read below to find video game beginner projects covering client-server games, tabletop games, game platforms, and game designs.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game strategy, micro:bit, and game design skills.
This beginner’s game project is for video game novices looking to understand the gaming industry and techniques. First, you’ll create a paperback version of a board game before utilizing micro:bit to program the game according to your specifications.
You can take inspiration from beloved games such as Catan and Scrabble for your tabletop game idea. For those who want to become a freelance game developer or game designer, adding campaign marketing skills to your portfolio is very helpful. So, be sure to explore board game campaigns during this project.
2D RPG with Unity
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game design, character development, and Unity 2D skills.
If you want to become a game developer, you must add lucrative game development projects to your portfolio. This beginner’s project will help you kickstart your portfolio-building process. You will need to have Unity, C#, game design, and game strategy skills incorporated into your debut game.
This project uses Unity 2D to create a game using the ready-made microgame templates available in the platform’s 2D platformer. You will create a 2D RPG using the platform’s 2D tools. You will provide dialogue and description of game characters, make a game mode for game players, and design game levels using the Unity Editor Interface.
3D Haunted Jaunt Game with Unity
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game design, Unity 3D, and game development skills.
Unity’s own popular John Lemon’s Haunted Jaunt is the perfect 3D game to base your next project on. This is another beginner’s project that uses the Unity Engine for development purposes. You need to have foundational C# coding, 3D game design and development, and a solid foundation in Unity’s 3D game kit.
In this particular project, you will use John Lemon’s Haunted Jaunt 3D game as a source to create your own game with GameObject. You can familiarize yourself with Unity Editor, custom codes, and game experiences and materials to make your own flavorful game through this project.
Video Game Character
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Visual design, storytelling, graphic design, Adobe Illustrator, and 3D digital sketching skills.
A video game character’s visual and graphic design elements are pivotal in every game. Whether a bouncy cartoon game or an educational computer game, you must create an optimal character design to obtain a user’s undivided attention. This project allows you to practice this skill you’ll need to break into the game design sector.
You will need to gain foundational graphic design, animation, computer programming, and sound design to do this project. You will use Adobe Illustrator to create 3D digital characters. Be sure to pay attention to the character backstory, surrounding silhouette, backdrop image, character poses, and character complexity while designing your video game character.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Python, Pygame, and game development skills.
This project will help you practice your programming skills and enhance your game development skills. To build this game, you need to have a basic understanding of images, user input, game logic, game objects, texts, sound design, and collisions.
Asteroids Game is one of the beloved earliest computer games, and you will recreate this game using Python and Pygame. You will create a single spaceship that can rotate, accelerate, and shoot.
Best Intermediate Video Game Project Ideas
The best intermediate video game project ideas are for entry-level game developers or game designer students looking to expand their video game tech skills. To do these projects, you need to understand game engines, gaming languages, and game designs in-depth. You can acquire these skills through self study and by enrolling in a gaming bootcamp.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: AWS cloud, Amazon Games, and Cloud-based 3D game development skills.
If you want to pursue a video gaming career at Amazon Games, adding this project to your portfolio is worth it. Amazon Games offers excellent application scaling architecture and development networks to aid your game production journey.
You will then run the game application using the company’s game servers and game analytics features. To grow your game player base, you can use Amazon’s AI and machine learning services.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: C++, Unreal Engine 4, and Gameplay module skills.
A gameplay module is a foundational element of the game development process that corresponds to the dynamic libraries of the Unreal Engine. In this project, you will use C++ on Unreal Engine 4 to create a gameplay module.
To begin, you’ll set up the C++ project and module testing directories. Then, you’ll create your Build.cs file before finalizing your module in C++. From there, you can add in any source code to customize the final product.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Gameplay framework and Unreal Engine skills.
If you want to become a game designer with expertise in user interface design and game development, this project might be for you. In this exercise, you will create a functional gameplay framework using the Unreal Engine.
You need to learn user interface design, game design, game controllers, and character inputs. To start, you will work with the foundational gameplay frameworks such as game rules, user interfaces, and game controllers. Once you’ve designed all the core elements, you’ll move on to the game mode and state, where you will add the player inputs and functions.
Socio-World Geolocation Game
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Augmented reality, game development, and Unity 3D engine skills.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are two expansive industries closely associated with the world of video games. If you are interested in becoming a game developer or a game designer in the augmented reality sector, this project is for you. In this project, you will develop an AR geolocation game for multiple platforms.
You will use the Unity 3D engine to develop this game. You will create a game where players will drop bombs and potholes to trap their opponents. You could add AR maps, real-time chats and video chats, multiplayer, travel mode, and leaderboard features to this AR game.
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Best Advanced Video Game Project Ideas
Below are the best expert video game projects for professionals looking to climb into senior game development and design positions. To do these projects, you need a solid grasp of software development, mobile application development, game design, and user interface design.
Automated QA System
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game testing, quality assurance, Unity 3D engine, and mobile development.
If you want to pursue a career in the software testing sector, this game testing project idea is for you. The project requires you to understand UX/UI testing, graphics inspections, game flow analysis, sound testing, and quality testing. You will use Unity 3D engine’s automated mobile game testing features to do this project.
You will record your user interface interactions, run the automated quality assurance testing code, test the QA code on your mobile device, and run the QA code using the Unity test framework. Notably, this project requires you to have a completed mobile base game to perform automated quality testing.
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game prototyping, QA testing, and game design skills.
Video game prototyping is essential for creating a bug-free and immersive game design. In this project, you will make a rapid video game prototyping program while keeping user experience into account. You need to master game development, quality assurance testing, and game design processes to do this project.
Depending on your preference, you can use Mockplus, Unity Engine, or your choice of wireframing and prototyping tool to do this project. This project is best suited for game designers, product designers, and UX/UI designers.
Video Game Trailor
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game cinematics design, Goodbye Kansas Studios, and animation skills.
If you are interested in pursuing a creative and cinematic career in the video game industry, this advanced game cinematic design project is for you. This project will allow you to showcase your character design, game trailer, 3D modeling, and animation skills.
To create a game trailer, you’ll utilize creature design, motion capture, VFX, crowd simulation, storyboarding, CG cinematics, motion graphics, and animations. This project is also suitable for 3D animation, motion graphics, and game development portfolios and shows that you have your thumb on the pulse on corporate-style game development projects.
Build Architecture Code
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Game architecture coding and Unity Engine skills.
The Unity Engine offers many solutions, including 2D design, 3D development, automated QA testing, and robust game architecture software. This project will build a game architecture code for your application’s scalability using Unity’s software.
You will begin by adding simple UI and game logic code, then add the code for GameObjects, and Prefabs. The following steps include splitting the monobehaviour elements to regular C# class code and implementing ball logic into the user interface. You will then code the game’s software architecture by working on the object data, logic, scenes, and automation testing processes.
Video Game Script
- Video Game Skills Practiced: Scriptwriting and game design skills.
Video game projects aren’t simply limited to game development and game design tasks. If you are interested in becoming a video game writer, then this project idea is for you. There are tons of screenwriting software you can use to do this project.
Depending on your video game’s genre, you will need to add specific flow charts, side quests, character biographies, character dialogues, cut scenes, and final storyboard script relevant to the game type. Be sure to include the location, music, and player goal elements into the script.
Video Game Starter Project Templates
Video game starter project templates act as a guide for your development, design, or animation projects. If you’re interested in creating a project but want to cut down your production days, here are some online resources to get started.
- Race n Chase game design template. If you are new to the world of game design and need a template guiding you through a game’s crucial design elements, then this template is for you. It covers the aspects of game design scopes, conventions, concept, story, objective, and players.
- LinkedIn’s free game design GDD template doc. This game design doc template covers crucial design elements, including art style, user interface style, character design, story, game economy, and game objectives.
- Unity game development templates. This project template will allow you to do projects on the popular game development platform Unity. You can choose to buy the Unity game templates that you find most interesting.
- Unreal Engine video game project templates. Similar to the Unity Engine, Unreal Engine is also a popular game development platform. You can use these project templates to do several game projects on the platform.
Next Steps: Start Organizing Your Video Game Portfolio
If you want to enhance your candidacy in the video game job market, you should organize your video game portfolio. Working on projects is a great way to build your skills and your professional portfolio at the same time. Below are three tips you can use to expand your portfolio.
Add Unity and Unreal Engine Projects
If you want to pursue a career in game development, add examples of Unity and Unreal Engine game development projects to your portfolio. Be sure to add diverse projects that cover game design, game architecture, character design, and storyboarding areas of game development. Both platforms offer many project templates you can use as a guide.
Obtain Animation and Script Writing Experience
If you are interested in pursuing a career in screenwriting, animation, or game design, then 2D and 3D animation and video game screenwriting projects will enhance your portfolio. Be sure to create designs and storylines that provide an exciting gaming experience to get the player engaged for hours of content.
Certifications are a great way to showcase and prove your game development and game design skills. Some of the potential certifications available to game developers include Unity Engine game development and game design certifications.
Video Game Projects FAQ
Video game project ideas cover several gaming areas, including game development, game design, 2D and 3D animation, character design, game architecture, and screenwriting. Creating a game that uses any of these skills will make for a great educational project.
Unity Engine, Unreal Engine, GameMaker, and RPG Maker are some of the most popular game engines on which you can make video game projects. While Unity is known for its 3D games, GameMaker and RPG Maker are some of the best 2D game engines.
It will take you a few hours to a few months, or even years to develop video game projects depending on your game development background and the game complexity. If you are new to the game development sector, then building the crucial tech skills could take several weeks.
Some of the top video game companies include Sony Interactive Entertainment, Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Gameloft.
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