Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
ravndark

Will I get far if all I can do is code?

This topic is 3091 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Wall of text incoming, sorry! So, I decided to finally pick up a book and learn some programming and I'm starting with "Teach yourself C++ in 21 days". My ultimate goal is game development and I know I'm still very early in the process and it will be a little while before I can really get a full grasp of what it all encompasses, but I had a few questions/concerns I was hoping I could get answered. While the idea of programming has always been something I've been interested in I never really had that artistic quality and as such am concerned about being able to make games myself. I know for basic stuff I really don't need to do that much. But if I wanna be successfull I imagine I'm gonna have to be able to make my own graphics for my games. Perhaps I'm wrong but I always assumed there really aren't any books to read that will teach you how to be "artistic". I've done some basic searching and found books that will teach me about programs like photoshop and what not but nothing about learning what I want to know. Perhaps I just didn't know what to search, though. Has anyone else been in this position? I'm not really sure what to do. Am I just doomed to begin with if all I can do is program and don't know any artistic friends? My long term goal is to work for a big name game development company and I always assumed when i was younger that I would just do the code and the design would be handled elsewhere, but the more I look around it seems everyone does their own design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Indie dev teams are often multifaceted, but real industry teams are pretty much specialized. In other words, you'd do just fine and do not NEED other skills to be useful, though they would make you extra useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, that's definately comforting for my long term goals. I appreciate the answer. As I mentioned my ultimate goal is to get a job at a big name game development company, but in the mean time while i'm learning and going to school I was hoping to mess around a little bit with apple's app store. Knowing for my goals i'm not required to be able to design relieves a lot of stress, but are there any recommended books, online tutorials, etc. I can read to try and learn some basics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Best thing to do is to pick a language and stick to it. C++ and Lua are what blizzard use for different aspects of there games. Im not sure if they incorporate other languages as where. Once you pick a language, start running through the basics on it by creating some simple games, such as Guess The number, tic tac toe (console version). After a few text-based games, move up to 2d.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure about you but for me, art like most things, is 10 percent talent and 90 percent hard work/practice. To make fantastic/exceptional art your going to be needing that 10 percent, but with hard work and practice you can get pretty far.

Plus it will be a interesting experience. And who knows? Maybe you'll find that artistic side on the computer and the 3d world. (Creating art on a computer and by hand is pretty different imo)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Us coders are famous for our "programmer art" =D

At a big company you'll definitely just code, and not do design or art. However, at my job I still have to make some "programmer art" from time to time, just as a place-holder until the art team gets time to replace it.


If you can make an actual, working game (or a demo/prototype/proof-of-concept of one) using "programmer art" you should be able to find some artists to help you polish it up. The help-wanted section of these forums is a good place to start looking. There's always people trying to find all sorts of talent in there, but often they have nothing to show for themselves. If you can build something that works (even if it looks ugly), you'll have a big advantage over these guys for recruiting other talent ;)


As for learning to draw as a technical thinker, I've seen a book called "drawing on the right side of the brain" recommended before (but I've not read it). It's supposed to be good for people who don't have a natural artist's view of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Being multi skilled is always going to be a bonus, a person with 5 skills on their CV is going to look better than a person with 4 (provided all are appropriate). However, you dont have to be an amazing artist to be an amazing programmer, there is absolutely no link!

Some of the best programmers that graduated my uni class only ever used primitive shapes to show their code. For those with good google-fu skills, they could always do a search for free assets or tutorials ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by LionMX ... you dont have to be an amazing artist to be an amazing programmer ....


But it helps.....

Games are inherently visual. Whether you are writing AI code (why does that NPC look wrong?), simulation code (why does that fluid look wrong?), animation code (why does that anim look wrong?), GUI code (why don't the testers like this gui?), or virtually any other portion of a game, being able to analyze the visual aesthetics, cinematography, and mood are extremely useful.

My art training has helped me more than any other skill (after C++ programming obviously) over the course of my career. My advice is that if you're a budding games programmer, go do some life drawing classes... !

Quote:
At a big company you'll definitely just code, and not do design or art.


Indeed you will, however you'll be vastly out numbered by people with an artistic background and no CS experience. An ability to easily communicate and understand the needs of by far the largest department of a games dev team is an extremely useful skill to have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Learning how to program well is important, but possessing good problem solving skills is even more important, in my opinion. Once you master a particular language, you should be able to pick up other languages relatively easy, if the need arises.

However, being a walking encyclopaedia of a particular language is next to useless if you don't know how to apply this knowledge in real world situations.

Good skill is about having good techniques for implementing solutions, being familiar with various algorithms and mathematics - and know when to use them or not to use them. I also agree that having a good sense of visual aesthetics helps, too - with respect to graphics programming at least. Expose yourself to proceedings and journals in your field of interest, and see what other people have been doing out there. Research will broaden your thinking for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in the same situation. I am a coding-type, and thus, art asset production always bored me (not to mention that I was no good at it). However, that doesn't have to slow you down.

What I would do is make games that have placeholder graphics. Just different colored boxes will do. You can have a colored box for each type of asset (for example, a green box will be the player avatar, a red one will always be a specific mushroom monster, etc.). Treat these boxes like what they are supposed to represent in the code. Then, when you have the game done, make a Help Wanted ad and display your game with the placeholders. You will get a lot of attention, since artists are usually wary of projects that have not started yet (they usually die). Since yours will basically be done except for the art, it should be easy to get someone on-board, as they know that once their art is done, the game is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!