How to Make Turn-Based Strategy Games

Written by eric benac
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How to Make Turn-Based Strategy Games
(Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Turn-based strategy games include Warcraft III, Command and Conquer, Civilization IV and many more. Each player moves during his turn and must wait for the next player to finish before making his next move. Making your own turn-based strategy game takes plenty of careful planning and an understanding of programming. Downloading a free game-making program, like Game Maker 8, can get you started on making your own turn-based strategy game.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Download and learn a free game-making program. There are many free game-making programs online, such as Game Maker 8. These programs utilise their own method of programming. Find a program that you understand easily and master its use.

  2. 2

    Pick a type of turn-based strategy game to program. Turn-based strategy games vary from war-based games, such as Warcraft III, to world colonisation games, like Civilization IV. Board games can also be considered turn-based.

  3. 3

    Write down a list of gaming rules and strategies. These rules will dictate how your game is played. For example, in chess the gaming rules dictate piece movement as well as how the game is won. Writing these down before programming helps keep your rules straightforward and well-defined.

  4. 4

    Use paper and pencils to draw all the graphical elements of your game. Drawing all of your graphical elements before designing them in the game helps streamline the process later.

  5. 5

    Program all of the game elements. This includes programming your gaming rules as well as all physics and character movements. Physics include gravity and inertia. Your physics should equally affect every character in your game, from your units to your enemies.

  6. 6

    Play-test your game. Play-testing involves looking for mistakes in programming, known as bugs. These mistakes can cause the game to freeze up, crash or otherwise become unplayable. When you find a bug, look through your program to find and fix the programming errors.

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