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Greetings, Tyberthia here


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#1 TyberthiaGaming   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 03:44 AM

Greetings,

I am a complete novice, might even call me an enthusiast with no skills to offer whatsoever. However, I always had a fascination with game and level design. Once every while I had this urge to start learning the trade, but in the end the lack of personal artistic skills and even technical skills always dampened my enthusiasm and in the end nothing was accomplished, learned or even begun.

Now it is time to bite the bullet and just hurl myself into this without any care for what I cannot do; for these things can be learned. This is how I actually ended up on this website. I was exploring the vast void that is the internet and found this little haven. After reading a few of the articles and several posts on these forums, I knew that this might be a good place to settle down as a starting point in my endeavour. Not to ask people to do the things I wish to do for me, because that would be meaningless, but to ask for pointers, directions and even tips.

Thus it is my hope that a few more experienced persons to give some pointers where to actually begin. It is easy to just grab a book and start following it. But, if you pick something that is just too difficult for your level, it will only work contraproductive, cripple your spirit and in the end put you on an exit path. This is a pitfall I wish to avoid and I hope to avoid by asking some advice to where to begin.

I thank you for your kind help and advice in advance,

Tyberthia
"I am still learning" - Novice Tyberthia. Currently working on study project: Ebor Inquisitora.

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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17274

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:12 AM

What is your goal?

Do you want to get a job in the game industry, do you want to make a living creating independent games, or do you just want to create games for the love of doing so?


The advice we offer will be different depending on what you'd actually like to achieve. Posted Image

#3 TyberthiaGaming   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:23 AM

How silly of me, I never thought about it in these terms as goal. I think, the most feasible goal for me, a goal I would content myself with is being able to create a functioning indie game which is enjoyable to play for others beside myself. Everyone can make games, they like, but it is hard to make a game you and others enjoy.

Thus I think if I were to put it in your terms it is a mix, because I do wish to share the games I create, but earning money is at the moment not a goal on itself, but might be a goal in the long run. Though the goal at the moment I might describe as creating a game out of love to learn the entire concept of creating a game. But, perhaps that is just a silly idea...

Mmm, formulating a goal is a lot harder than I imagined now, but I hope I could express my idea of my goal to you.

Tyberthia.

Edited by TyberthiaGaming, 18 July 2012 - 04:25 AM.

"I am still learning" - Novice Tyberthia. Currently working on study project: Ebor Inquisitora.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8688

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 06:46 AM

Tyberthia, here is the For Beginners FAQ. You should begin by reading it.

Edited by Tom Sloper, 18 July 2012 - 06:47 AM.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17274

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

So if I understand you correctly, you really just want to make games for the love of doing so, and you would like to be able to make some extra money on the side with them, but you aren't looking to make this your primary income (unless you get lucky with a smash-hit!) and you don't want a job in the industry. You're also not particularly aiming to use this as a way of learning any particular technology -- you just want to create your games. Does that all sound reasonable?


In your case, I would recommend you take advantage of existing technology by making use of existing game-making packages that meet your needs. They allow you to create good quality games without having to learn all the low level details, they'll save you a lot of time and effort when compared to programming from scratch, and you are still able to earn money with the games you produce.


I would probably recommend one of the following:

Construct 2:
This is a great little package that allows you to create 2d HTML5-based games that run in a web-browser. It has an active and helpful community and is constantly being updated with new features. Although the focus is on HTML5 games Construct 2 already offers experimental support for exporting to both Android and iOS which is getting better all the time, and will also soon allow you to export Windows executables if you wish to do so.

No traditional programming is required to use Construct 2: your game is created by adding and positioning objects in a visual editor, adding and configuring pre-set "behaviours", and by adding "events" to another visual editor to control any additional logic needed. It is also possible to extend the engine using JavaScript plug-ins, a large number of which have already been created for a variety of purposes. While it's probably possible to somehow create 3d (or fake-3d) games with this package I wouldn't recommend it for that usage, but it's fantastic for anything 2d -- well worth at least investigating the free version.

If you're interested in 3d you might check out Unity (provides a visual world-building editor and is programmed using UnityScript (very similar to JavaScript), C#, or Boo), or UDK. Of the two, I would suggest Unity might be more beginner friendly.



Hope that helps! Posted Image

#6 CaptainKraft   Members   -  Reputation: 265

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:15 PM

Though the goal at the moment I might describe as creating a game out of love to learn the entire concept of creating a game.


It sounds like you might want to learn about programming, art, design, and anything else that you can throw into the game development bin. If that's the case, there are a ton of tools out there that allow you to do some of the programming while also helping you skip all the nitty gritty stuff.

The beauty is that there is a tool out there for you, no matter what the goal. You can grab a handful of great engines and make a game within hours or you can import a framework and create the engine from scratch.

Solely based on popularity, I would recommend checking out GameMaker, Blender, and Unity. These will help you skip most of the programming and get right to the game making.

If you'd like to start programming from the start, take a look at PyGame (Python), Slick2d (Java), or SDL (C++). Those are the three that I've heard most about for libraries/frameworks. Also, if you don't know how to program yet and want it to be your main focus, ignore everything I've said and learn to program first.

Glad to see another newcomer. The world will never have enough games. Have fun!

Edited by JDGamedev, 20 July 2012 - 09:45 AM.


#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17274

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:05 AM

Allegro (C++). Those are the three that I've heard most about for libraries/frameworks.

I'd probably suggest SFML or SDL rather than Allegro.

#8 Shawn Greer   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:15 PM

Tyberthia,

One thing to add on is that no matter what rode you take, go in small steps. If you already have a great game idea, I'd reccomend not starting with it. You want to get to figure out the right path (from the great information above, or any other that you decide), and work on learning a bit first. Once you've got a good understanding, and maybe a couple really simple games done and polished (like Tetris and/or Breakout clones) then start in on that first original game.

By starting on something like Tetris, you can learn how to create a game without having to worry about coming up with any of the specifics yourself.

There's a great article on gameDev about this progressive approach, here. Your own path might be different, depending on if you start programming from scratch, or start with a higher level. Regardless, the basic principles still hold.

Best of luck!

Shawn

#9 TyberthiaGaming   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:59 PM

Oh my, so many responses...First, I wish to thank you for all the advice you have offered. It was a truly a pleasure to read them all.

Construct 2:
This is a great little package that allows you to create 2d HTML5-based games that run in a web-browser. It has an active and helpful community and is constantly being updated with new features. Although the focus is on HTML5 games Construct 2 already offers experimental support for exporting to both Android and iOS which is getting better all the time, and will also soon allow you to export Windows executables if you wish to do so.

No traditional programming is required to use Construct 2: your game is created by adding and positioning objects in a visual editor, adding and configuring pre-set "behaviours", and by adding "events" to another visual editor to control any additional logic needed. It is also possible to extend the engine using JavaScript plug-ins, a large number of which have already been created for a variety of purposes. While it's probably possible to somehow create 3d (or fake-3d) games with this package I wouldn't recommend it for that usage, but it's fantastic for anything 2d -- well worth at least investigating the free version.


Mmm, I will check this out. Though I must say, I do aspire more towards 3D games. Though, 2D games do have their charm and perhaps starting out with simple 2D games and actually finishing them, will make me feel..."accomplished".

It sounds like you might want to learn about programming, art, design, and anything else that you can throw into the game development bin. If that's the case, there are a ton of tools out there that allow you to do some of the programming while also helping you skip all the nitty gritty stuff.


This might be the best way describing my intentions at the moment, since you cannot decide on a role to do without actually trying your hand at it. Though the role of level designer actually does appeal to me the most after some careful reading of various posts, blogs and other sources about game development.


Though after reading all your wonderful advice, I feel a bit bad by saying I pretty much decided on a learning path, I think would be acceptable, unless everyone starts advising against this.

I think I will not be focusing my energy on 'creating' games for now - I have no skills to do so, beside my knowledge of Java - and focus on aqcuiring skills that are linked to the part of game development that I find appealing: level design.

The path I intent to follow is:
  • Step 1: Learn 3D modeling using 3DS Max. In the mean time write game design documents for simple games; to learn to put my ideas in such words people know what I mean. This step will last until I have a solid grasp of the basics of 3D modeling.
  • Step 2: Start learning how to use UDK. A biased choice here, because I enjoy a lot of game that use the Unreal Engine and so wish to master the very engine myself.
  • Step 3: Create a very simple game.
  • Repeat step 3 increase the difficulty scale every repetition. Time schedule: 2 years.
This is a very simple 3 step plan, though most likely a lot more steps might be added and most steps themselves are even subdivided in many little steps.

At the moment I am at step 1.1: Create a damn cardboard box!

I hope I am taking a correct approach to this. All suggestions are welcome.

PS: If you know any good books for total beginners on these subjects, do mention them. I am a rather fond book lover. I prefer to read things, rather than watching videos and such to learn things.

Edited by TyberthiaGaming, 21 July 2012 - 01:12 PM.

"I am still learning" - Novice Tyberthia. Currently working on study project: Ebor Inquisitora.

#10 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17274

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:11 PM

That sounds like an excellent plan, and you shouldn't feel the need to apologise for trying to follow your own passion. Good luck with it!

#11 TyberthiaGaming   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 03:53 PM

Thank you, I decided to write a journal here, sharing all the things I am doing as I embark on this journey. Who knows what advice I can gather by doing so? Learning on your own is all fine and dandy, but in the end guidance is still invaluable and thus I will probably frequent the forums here throwing a tidbit of my (deplorable) work every so often on the heap.

I once more wish to thank everyone for their advice, encouragement and, of course, their kind words.
"I am still learning" - Novice Tyberthia. Currently working on study project: Ebor Inquisitora.




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