The primary thing any programmer needs to know is that he should never allow himself to be pressurized under any circumstances. Follow that up with doing something right rather than doing it quick. Accuracy is more important than speed. If you leave something half-done and move over to the next iteration, chances are that you will forget to go back and correct it and inadvertently leave behind what is called a debt. In the maze of things that you are going to be surrounded in, never leave things to be taken care of later.
You need to be a master of the functional programming paradigm which will greatly improve the quality of the code you have undertaken to write. Focus on creating games people want to play rather than being a great software engineer. Try not to be monotonous by focusing more on churning out multiple games; instead you can focus on the current game you are creating. Sometimes, thinking what appeals to you best would appeal to everyone else can be absolutely wrong. Try to think what others may like and build your game on those lines.
Some important things to remember in short duration games are the Pause Key, the sound mute, the key configuration, the joystick support and the save progress. However, whether the game is of short or long duration it needs to have a story to go on. A good game usually revolves around a hero who has been wronged terribly and is out to get his rightful revenge. Make him go through every conceivable hardship and danger and then allow him to come out victorious in the end.
The character central to the theme needs to be given a lot of importance. The way the character dresses, carries himself, what he prefers to eat and the way he drives are all important though not crucial. The crucial thing is what he does in a critical situation like a fire raging in a school with a lot of kids trapped inside. How he risks his life to save those of the kids’ is what makes the game all the more interesting and a runaway hit.
The way the game is designed is very important and it should throw a challenge to the player at every turn and twist. The bigger the challenge the better it is appreciated. Programmers need to strive hard to keep the story alive. One last word – the NIS programming needs to be perfect and the animations need to be consistent without any awkwardness.