Sign in to follow this  
sonnyb

I'd like some guidance please

Recommended Posts

First of all, you guys are just awesome. I appreciate the hospitality and welcome I received from my greeting thread. But now I guess I can open up a bit. I wanted to talk with you guys about how and why I joined this site. First off, I'm neither a game developer nor a programmer;I know little to nothing about the actual game industry. I don't even know the difference between Java and C++. I think you catch my drift. Needless to say, I love and enjoy playing video games. Moreover, I love art and literature among other things. I've always imagined creating a game but never took myself seriously until more recently. While working as a probation officer, I just started writing a storyline for a game with ideas to accompany the gameplay. To my surprise, a few folks thought it was interesting. 3 months later and now I'm considering pursuing this project and re-enrolling into a 2/4 year school. Now I'm sure a guy with an idea for a game come a dime a dozen; do I really don't want to delude myself or waste anyone's time here. To this end I post; hoping to find experienced persons who could more or less point me in the right direction, even if it means abandoning ship. Presently, I'm looking at the pros and cons of making such a radical decision. You see unlike the avid 18 year old gamer str8 out of High school, I'm a 32 year old, married, father of two college grad with a background in philosophy and religion. You're probably asking yourself: how did you go from theology to video games. I don't know, go figure- your guess is as good as mines. Albeit, our paths have crossed and I would appreciate your honest opinions on this matter. thanks in advance for the replies; they are all welcomed and encouraged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are obviously able to write intelligently and that will give you an advantage over a lot of people. If you just want to be a writer you might not need to go to school, I have a B.A. in humanities with one of my focuses( the spell checker is complaining about focii and not about focuses... ) as English and I don't really think it helps much. If you are wanting to learn how to program so you could be a more versatile member of a small development firm that might be a good idea, although since you're creative you might do better studying art.

You could take a class in digital imaging and one or two in programming without going back to school full time to help you decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well you've still got many years to learn and develop games so I guess its never too late to start, however I'd suggest working out exactly which part of the development pool you'd like to dive into because its a lot of hard work and learning. For example, do you want to design levels, model and animate characters; do you want to be a programmer for the game(s) you want to attempt (such as C# or C++ languages), alternatively would you like be the content creator in a general sense, such as scripting levels, developing levels, designing sound.

There's a hell of a lot of avenues to walk down when it comes to game development.

Programming
Programming is primarily for, but not restricted to, logical and mathematically sided people, and means that you'd probably be best to begin with something like C# or ActionScript (in Flash games) to get acustom to programming. C++ is widely used in the games industry but is a harder more strict language to get, especially when you've never programmed before.

I for one, did a lot of experimenting with ActionScript in Flash games before starting my C++ games programming degree and it helped a lot.

Modelling and animation
This area is more for the artistic and creative type of people, who may enjoy sketching, drawing and painting figures, worlds and anything inbetween.

Neither programming or modelling are easy and require lots of practise and learning to get good at (lets say a ballpark figure of 2-3 years) before you'd want to look for employment, and even then you need to be quite good (at least in your passion to overcome problems and lack of experience and/or certain skills) but game development is a rewarding and interesting field to work in; after all you're making GAMES for a living!



Anyway thats just a bit of a hint at what its all about in games dev.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks guys for the prompt response. My story is something like this. My first discovered talent in elementary school was drawing. Graduating H.S., I went to Technical school where I began study in commercial art- that didn't pan out. I eventually lost interest and took to other studies. It is, however, those other studies that have brought me back to art, namely the video game design. I envision creating a hybrid where religion, theology, and philosophy meets next-gen gaming in an unprecedented cerebral yet entertaining game experience. Thus the interest in school; however, having spoken to some guys, I'm hearing that there are various ways into the industry that may not require schooling but hard work, personal studying, game doc, portfolio, and shopping around a demo. As stated earlier I don't know what to and what not to believe being that I'm new to all of this. Yet, despite my lack of experience in the field, I willing to learn, glean from others, and absorb all that there is to offer. Truthfully speaking, I would prefer to avoid the school route --consider our economy right-- but I'm not sure if its unavoidable- perhaps someone here could clear up those cob webs for me.

thanks and I'm listening to replies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I'm guessing that modelling & animation and/or conceptual design as well as story writing would be your desired field(s) in game development?

The internet is a huge school. You could learn a lot from simply doing self study/learning, following tutorials, researching game development strategies and methodologies and asking around for tips and whatnot. Doing some sort of formal course, even if its just a certificate III or IV in somethin like creative writing or drawing/design would help, especially when it comes to a career.

Good luck in your gaming endeavours!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since you seem to be good at writing, and have very little (if any) programming experience, I would say to look more at game design. You seem to have a storyline that people are liking, that's an excellent start. If you haven't already, I'd say detail it. Give characters biographies, describe the areas, expand on the storyline, etc. You can "make" a game without touching code, although sadly it won't be able to be played.
I'd hate to break it to you, but unless you think that you can learn and write code fast (read: 2 years learning, 2+ years coding), you won't be able to make a playable game. Perhaps you have some friends that know a language and can write it for you (very, very, VERY, good friends do it for free and don't give up... good luck).
Enrolling in school may be a bit extreme, although I'm being a bit hypocritical, as I'm about to go to college for a BS degree in Electronic Game Programming (but hey I'm about to graduate high school). It is very possible to teach yourself a language, although difficulty can vary depending on your learning style and what you use.
If for some reason none of this deters you I have suggestions:
-C++ might be the standard, but that doesn't mean it's the only language. Python is easier, and free, and if you really are struggling, Visual Basic is easy, but Windows based and, from my limited experience, not very powerful (although I can be mistaken).
-Buy a book or three. If you want to learn programming, this site has plenty of books to recommend. If you'd rather do graphics, learn 3d modeling if your game is going to be 3d, and get yourself something to edit 2d graphics with (photoshop and GIMP are useful, but MS Paint works if you're patient). If you're more of a writing person... you might not need a book, so just write more.
-*Insert generic "don't start off trying to make an awesome 3d FPS" statement here*
-Find people do dump work... errrrr... help you, I'm soloing a simple 2d game and crying myself to sleep every once in a while
-If you do find that friend who will code for you (again, good luck with that), focus in on the plot and appearance. It doesn't have to look amazing, in face I still love the 2d Final Fantasies more than their 3d counterparts, but find a good balance of graphics and plotline, since there is not any reasonable amount of time to work on both.

At least this is what I think, others with more experience probably have more helpful advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I'm hearing you both correctly, you two are neither discouraging the school idea nor advocating for it. Well then, based on what you guys know, how much success could one have if he/she diligently applies his/her self to game art, introductory programming, and if per chance a programmer is found and hired, at releasing a game the indie or major company route. I ask because I want to start work on this project, and as suggested forfeit the college route, opting for courses in various game art and programming offered at Tech schools and Community colleges. Its cheaper and perhaps more beneficial. If I'm asking too many questions I'll stop at any time.

thanks a million

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since its A) your idea and story and B) you are interested in the artistic story side of things (apparently), I'd suggest going down the design, creative writing and conceptual avenue.

While its good to have general knowledge about most fields, its not good to try to be everything at once.

Focus on your story, your designs. Find some game writing articles, read a few game design and writing books. Try drawing some concept sketches for characters and environments in your gameworld.

If the avenue i've suggested is what you're more interested in, then I suggest focusing on that. After teaching yourself good practises and methodologies in these fields, consider studying a short (maybe 6 month) cert 3 or 4 level course in one of these fields. They won't cost as much to study and they definitely help with pursuing a career and also at giving you a more formal understanding of these areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To Kobo, threedee, and Someone x I want to thank you all. I'll be back to post again. for now I have an appointment with Art Institute; i figure I'll find out the essential courses needed and see what community schools offer them. I think the class room setting might benefit me better than doing all the learning at home
on my own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this