How to Make a Game in HTML: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

By Cristian G. Guasch •  Updated: 09/18/23 •  9 min read

Ever wondered how those captivating online games you can’t get enough of are created? Well, I’m here to shed some light on that. The secret magic behind many of these addictive virtual experiences is HTML – an accessible and versatile language used in web development. With a touch of creativity and the right guidance, you too can harness the power of HTML to create your very own game!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Coding? Isn’t that incredibly complex?” It’s true that coding might seem daunting at first glance. But trust me when I say it’s not as intimidating as it seems! In fact, creating a game with HTML is an excellent project for beginners looking to dip their toes into the world of programming.

So let’s get started, shall we? By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the tools and knowledge needed to breathe life into your imaginative game ideas using nothing but HTML!

Understanding the Basics of HTML

Diving right into it, HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is what forms the backbone of every webpage we interact with. It’s the standard language for creating those webpages and web applications. A markup language? I hear you ask. Indeed! It means you’re using tags to define elements within your document.

Let’s take a moment to look at an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>My First Webpage</title>
<h1>Welcome to my Website!</h1>
<p>I'm excited to learn HTML.</p>

This might seem like a bunch of gibberish now, but don’t worry – I’ll break it down for you.

First things first: <!DOCTYPE html> This little line here is essentially telling your browser “Hey, expect some HTML5 in this document.” Now that’s out of the way, we can move onto the real meat and potatoes.

The <html> tag does exactly what it says on the tin – it encapsulates all your other tags which make up your webpage. Inside this tag, there are two important sections: <head> and <body>.

In our sample above, <head> contains only one child element: <title>. The text placed between these opening and closing title tags will appear as the name of your tab in most browsers. In this case? “My First Webpage”.

Moving along – let’s delve into that juicy <body>. Here is where all our content goes; everything we want visible on our page must be contained within these body tags.

You’ll see there’s an <h1> tag (the largest heading size) with ‘Welcome to my website!’, followed by a simple paragraph wrapped in a tidy little pair of p tags saying ‘I’m excited to learn HTML.’ And that’s it! You’ve got yourself a website.

HTML tags are vast, and they all come with different functionality. For example, you can use the <img> tag to add images to your page:

<img src="path-to-your-image.jpg" alt="A description of the image">

The src attribute is where you’ll put the path or URL to your image file. The alt attribute is an alternative text description of the image – this is important for accessibility reasons (for visually impaired users using screen readers), as well as if your image fails to load.

HTML isn’t just about making things appear on a webpage – it’s also about structuring those elements in a way that makes sense semantically. But hey, we’re just scratching the surface here, there’s so much more to uncover!

Exploring Game Design Concepts

I’ll be the first to admit, diving into game design can feel a bit like trying to navigate through a maze. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through it! The first thing we need to do is understand what makes a game tick. At its core, every game revolves around three main elements:

Let’s break this down further by creating a simple HTML-based dice-rolling game. We’ll use JavaScript for logic and CSS for aesthetics.

Take a look at this example of an HTML button element that will serve as our ‘roll dice’ button:

<button id="rollButton">Roll Dice</button>

And here’s where we link it up with some JavaScript:

document.getElementById("rollButton").addEventListener("click", function() {
    var rollResult = Math.floor(Math.random() * 6) + 1;
    alert('You rolled a ' + rollResult);

Our button (mechanic) triggers an event (dynamic), resulting in an alert box displaying our dice result (aesthetic). It’s really that simple! You could even add multiple dice or different types of dice into your mix – D6s, D10s, or even those crazy D20s!

One key aspect of HTML games is interactivity. In other words, how does your player interact with your game? Let’s demonstrate using another HTML tag – the input field:

<label>Enter Your Guess:</label>
<input type="text" id="playerGuess">
<button id="guessButton">Submit Guess</button>

This time we’re asking for a player input. We can then use JavaScript to compare the guess against a pre-set answer:

document.getElementById("guessButton").addEventListener("click", function() {
    var playerGuess = document.getElementById('playerGuess').value;
    if(playerGuess == '42') {
        alert('You got it right!');
    } else {
        alert('Sorry, try again!');

In this example, our input field and button are mechanics, deciding whether the player’s guess is correct or not is a dynamic, and the alert box serves as an aesthetic element.

Remember, these are just basic examples – there’s so much more you can do! Want your game to have multiple levels? Add in some additional HTML elements. Need to keep score? Just toss in some JavaScript variables. The possibilities are endless!

Creating Your First HTML Game: Step-by-Step Guide

So you’re ready to dive into the exciting world of game development? Good news! You’ve come to the right place. Let me guide you through the process of creating your first HTML game step by step.

To kick things off, we’ll need a basic understanding of three core technologies: HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript. These are the backbone of any web-based game. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with these yet; I’m here to help!

HTML is like our game’s blueprint. It sets up the structure and content, such as text or images. Here’s an example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<h1>My First Heading</h1>
<p>My first paragraph.</p>

This code creates a webpage with a heading and a paragraph. But how can we make it interactive? That’s where JavaScript comes in, adding functionality to our static HTML.

Next on our list is CSS, which styles our game – giving it colors, fonts, and layouts. Using CSS effectively can turn a dull-looking game into something visually stunning!

body {
    background-color: lightblue;

h1 {
    color: white;
    text-align: center;

This snippet changes the background color of the page to light blue and centers white-colored header text.

Now that we have outlined these three crucial components let’s get started on building a simple game – ‘Guess The Number’. We’ll use JavaScript for logic, HTML for structure, and CSS for styling.

The idea behind ‘Guess The Number’ is straightforward – the computer generates a random number between 1 and 100, and players must guess what it is.

Here’s some basic code you could use:

var number = Math.floor(Math.random() * 100) + 1;

var guess = prompt("Guess a number between 1 and 100");

if(guess == number) {
    alert("Congrats! You guessed it right.");
} else {
    alert("Sorry, better luck next time. The number was " + number);

This JavaScript code generates a random integer between 1 and 100, then prompts the player to guess the number. If their guess is correct, they’re congratulated; if not, they’re told the correct answer.

I hope this guide gives you a clear starting point for your journey into HTML game development. Remember that practice makes perfect – so start coding!

Troubleshooting Common Issues in HTML Game Development

Let’s face it, coding an HTML game can be a fun but challenging endeavor. Between unexpected bugs and puzzling syntax errors, you’re bound to run into a few hiccups along the journey. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through some common issues in HTML game development and how to troubleshoot them.

One of the most frequent problems that developers encounter is dealing with inconsistent browser behavior. It’s not unusual for your game to work perfectly on one browser and then completely fail on another. This issue often arises due to differences in how browsers interpret HTML and JavaScript code. To mitigate this problem, always test your game on multiple browsers during development.

Another common roadblock is handling user input effectively. For example, if players are using keyboard events as controls, you might experience issues like ‘keydown’ events firing repeatedly when a key is held down.

window.addEventListener('keydown', function (event) {
  switch (event.key) {
    case "ArrowLeft":
      // Move player left
    case "ArrowRight":
      // Move player right

To prevent this from happening, use the ‘keyup’ event instead:

window.addEventListener('keyup', function (event) {
  switch (event.key) {
    case "ArrowLeft":
      // Stop moving player left
    case "ArrowRight":
      // Stop moving player right

Performance optimization can also pose significant challenges in HTML game development. If your game experiences lag or delays – chances are high it’s related to inefficient JavaScript or heavy DOM manipulation causing re-flows and repaints. In such cases:

HTML game development isn’t without its fair share of obstacles. Still, with a bit of patience and perseverance, you can effectively troubleshoot these common issues. Now go forth and code – your gaming world awaits!

Cristian G. Guasch

Hey! I'm Cristian Gonzalez, I created HTML Easy to help you learn HTML easily and fast.

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