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Just wanna ask some advice for beginnners


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#1 Jezzman   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 06:49 AM

Hi everyone!

This is the third time I have to write down this message. I'm gonna try and keep it shorter this time.

I love gaming and recently I've decided to at least TRY to make a game from start to finish.
I've already looked up some info and these are my conclusions. I would like to ask your opinion about this.

KEEP IN MIND, I'm starting from scratch. I don't know any coding/programming lingo. I'm not an IT-expert that has dabbled with computers all his life. I just love games.

1) Game development has 4 phases: Planning (thinking ahead about the game and all it's details), Prototyping (making low rez prototypes to test core gameplay and mechanics), Developing (Making the game and looking up the needed materials like soundclips, libraries, assets...) and Releasing (Listening to feedback and using it accordingly).

2) I should learn a programming language. I chose for C#. I heared good things about it and C++ seems a definitive nope.

I found a free book to learn this from ( http://www.robmiles.com/c-yellow-book/ ). I printed out the first 3 chapters and I'll guess I'll just start cramping this info into my brain.
Microsoft seems to have a pretty large database as well ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/hh341490 )

Is this a good idea and are these tools enough to learn? If you got other suggestions, I'll be happy to hear them.

3) Working yourself up the ladder: I wanted to make 3D games, but as a beginner it seems that would be a bit out of my league. I found a list of gametypes, ranking from simple to complex in 2D.
I don't feel like typing it all in here again so I'll just provide the link which also explains why working you're way up this way is the good way to go. ( http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2013/08/01/Just-starting-out-what-games-should-I-make.aspx )

Can anyone agree with this? Or if you have tips on how you would do it/did it, let me know!

4) Choosing an engine: If making 3D games, Unity or (afterwards) UDK is the way to go.
If making 2D games, which will be my case, also Unity could be used, but there's also GameMaker and LÖVE (a rather new one)
As it stands, I would probably try my luck with LÖVE because it's new, it seems to have a decent community and there's no watermark.

Anyone got experience with this engine or any other suggestions?

5) Libraries: I also looked up some info about what libraries to use, but I feel that would be going in too deep for now. Therefore I won't add them to this post.


There, I think that's enough for one sitting. This is the course I charted for the moment.
If anyone disagrees or sees ways to improve this plan, I'd be happy to hear them.
General newcomertips are also welcome. Wish me luck! :)

Kind Regards,                Jezzman

 

(Edit: If there are any major steps or components that I'm not thinking about/don't know about yet, don't hesitate to add them in your reply!)


Edited by Jezzman, 16 January 2014 - 10:43 AM.


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#2 richardurich   Members   -  Reputation: 1187

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:03 AM

I'm not sure the 4 stages of development are that clear cut. I brainstorm by prototyping, and I doubt I'm alone in that regard. Sometimes I prototype something just to wrap my head around it while developing, and then I can finally get the code right. And obviously, I often plan in the middle of developing. I say just dive in and learn by making the mistakes you'd eventually make anyways. You're new, embrace the newness.

 

If you aren't attached to the idea of C#, I'd personally recommend going through tutorials and such to pick a game engine first. Once you settle on a game engine you like, you'll have a better idea which languages work best for the engine. For example, if you went with Blender in the hopes of minimizing the programming required you'd want to learn Python. UDK has you learn a special scripting language. There are way too many engines to list all of your choices. Here's a list, but it doesn't even include Blender that I just mentioned or Love that you mentioned. So it's obviously not all-inclusive. Just try some out and see what clicks with your style best.

 

Others may very well disagree that game engine is a more important decision than programming language. If you think you're really going to love a specific language and hate all others, and you won't really care one way or the other about engines, then ignore my advice and pick your language first.

 

As for what type of game to tackle, you'll want something simple until you learn enough to know the answer to "is this a game I can actually finish making?" Once you can answer that question for the game you really want to make, go make your dream game. When doing simple games, try to focus on things that will teach you relevant concepts. For example, you won't get much out of collision detection and physics and such if you're making a turn-based strategy game like Civilization.



#3 Eck   Members   -  Reputation: 2888

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:38 AM

Here is a great article for starting out. I can't recommend it enough:

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/game-programming/your-first-step-to-game-development-starts-here-r2976

 

1. I don't think indie game development has so formal a process, especially starting out in your "career". Sure, it will have all those parts to some degree or another (except for releasing. No one is going to care about your first few learning attempts). But when starting out, it more closely resembles, think of a feature, try to code it, beat your head against a wall, finally hack together a solution that technically "works", fix other parts of your code to accommodate this new feature since your code isn't designed very well, and then two weeks later stumble across a new programming technique that trivializes your initial problem.

 

2. You should learn a programming language? Yeah probably. Though to start out, you might just use something like Game Maker, or RPG Maker. These will let you see results pretty quickly and concentrate on the non programming tasks. It will also open your eyes to how much work it is. If you're serious about GameDev though I do recommend learning a language. C# is a fine choice. 

 

3. See the article I linked, it has a breakdown of what you should code first and why. Learning to program should be step 1 though. Learning enough programming skills to make a game can take quite a while. If you've never programmed before you should find out if you like it or not pretty quickly. You might be good at programming if you're good at logic puzzles. Does learning math come easily to you? Are you the guy in class that other students come to for help? Being smart sure helps. :)

 

4. C# and Unity,  C# and XNA, or C# and MonoGame are fine choices. I've never messed with LOVE. Newer isn't necessarily better.

 

5. Going to deep. I agree. Learn to program first. You might find out that you hate it. Just because you love playing games, doesn't mean you love programming games. 

 

Other general advice: If you're still in High School or College, I recommend signing up for some programming classes.

 

It's going to take discipline and dedication to do this. You can quickly get overwhelmed and give up if you don't set reasonable goals. Start small. Learn to program. The gamedev community will be happy to help when you stumble, but don't expect us to hold your hand. It's going to be up to YOU to put the time and effort to learn.

 

You only have so much free time. Dedicate some to this goal or it will never happen. YOU have to decide between playing WoW for a few hours, or reading about for loops. And YOU have to choose to read about for loops or you'll never learn to program. :)

 

Watch Collateral - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collateral_(film)

 

- Eck



#4 jHaskell   Members   -  Reputation: 1031

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:21 AM


I printed out the first 3 chapters and I'll guess I'll just start cramping this info into my brain.

 

I just have one comment here.  If you want to learn to program there's one thing that you absolutely have to do, and that's write code.  Lots of code.  You can cram all the reading into your brain you want, but if you aren't writing any code, you aren't really learning to program.  For every hour you spend reading about how to program, you should be spending anywhere from 2-5 hours (or more) actually programming.



#5 Jezzman   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

Great replies so far, thanks a lot! I'll just start out with setting small goals and learning a bit about basic C# language. Other than that I might give this GameMaker a try.

 

 

Thanks for adding that article, I'll be sure to give it a read!


Edited by Jezzman, 16 January 2014 - 10:40 AM.


#6 BHXSpecter   Members   -  Reputation: 1577

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

Yeah, the development process isn't that clear cut. Every person interprets it different. In fact I know some who combine the development and prototype stages into just the development stage because they prototype ideas as they develop the game. In terms of stages just do what comes natural to you and code it, but it will take some time if you don't know how to code, but believe me there is no greater sense of accomplishment than seeing your idea come to life.


"Through vengence I was born.Through war I was trained.Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose."


#7 randomchar   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 03:37 PM

1) its the basic idea plus a testing stage. More you plan out ahead the easier time you will have at programming your game.

 

2) Pick a language, seriously just pick one. Learning the language is gonna be the easiest part of game making. If the particular language ends up not being right for what you need you can always change to another.  Everything you learn in one language will be applicable to another. If you end up programing for any length of time you end up learning a few other one anyways.

 

3) Yup great idea start off with some simple games first till you get the hang of some of the basics. Each game should be a challenge to build and teach you something new.

 

5) libraries? You'll be using them. They are there to simplify things but there's tons of choices out there. They are there so you dont have to reinvent the wheel. Learn to use them

 

4) Game engines could say they are a collection of libraries with there own editors ... There's quite a few game engines out there at this point I would just keep an eye out for a few see how there developing.One of the issue you will run into if you jump straight into trying to use a game engine is it'll be easy to get overwhelmed.

 

pick a language, start learning it, just use a text editor and compiler to start off with till you under stand some basics, pick up an ide, figure out what source/version control is ...



#8 Jezzman   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:16 PM

I've picked up RPG Maker VX Ace today! I'm going to mess around with that a little, see if it's any good for me.



#9 Godmil   Members   -  Reputation: 744

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:57 PM

Cool, RPG Maker is a nice (fun) way to play around with game design, without having to worry about the programming side.






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