generally, i think you'll be more to do design, kind like game object/asset or 3d designer, you like draw rite?
but, somehow i agree at suggestion for you to try doing both(or all) the first time, either simultenous project or task by queue, flip-flap..
with your skills combine with passion, personally i will do (perhaps) both in separate project, one is designing, another is programming, and perhaps mix of both in a single project, try all.
sure you will need much energy to work & handle the stress in each progress & multitasking, no doubt.
but the point here is, to let you feel & experience each in their progress.
my area is in programming, i don't have much option right now.
in the future, i think the pro will consider for time efficiency & business chance at that time, will need to collaborate with others in specific skill area.
both designing & programming still have the same sugar in gain money.
whenever possible, do not limit your option, unless until you sure which point is (pretty much) NOT NECESSARY to do by yourself.
hi, i think it's a matter of choice.
starting from the very bottom, or direct to the high-tech, depend on our own characteristic and purpose.
some want to write game and implement/sell the result soon as possible.
or, perhaps some want to experience just the game production-cycle, not into detail.
and, maybe some want to learn programming tech, or hobby in the graph-design process.
what the best suit me, so must search, listen & try/learn it.. after experience it what next to do.. i think so..
Hi, also newbie in game dev.
Things that i do is learning from point 0, means i start from the very basic about the tools/tech, like C++ that i'm going thru this time.
In practical, i try to detach some of my ready-experience at the moment of my practice. Sometime it will be easier for me to absorb new things, or even to refresh some old-forgotten method/knowledge.
Someday, after finish my practice, then i'll start to develop by mixing everything i learned from the training & all experience i've ever had before.
And yes, i agree, that the key is our passion in work, enjoy & not easily give-up as mentioned,
and also sometime need some break or little vacation in purpose to regain a fresh mind, then start again.