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Writing how to get started article for new game developers. Any recommendations?

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Hello GameDev Nation,

I realize the topic of what new developers need to get started comes up often on different boards. Our site is actually going to write a in-depth article about how to get started and i was wondering if you guys can make any suggestions to try to make our covering subjects better. Also I know this is a broad subject so some people may think im covering the wrong materials or not enough about one thing. Im honestly asking people to let have their feedback and also if need be, you grill me on some of the topics. We really want get a stellar article so the more info you guys think we should cover the better.

We are thinking about covering the following:

* Establish Goals for the Developer
o Create a game
o Market game or release for free
o Find freelance work
o Create games as a hobby
o Generate a career from this and go to develop and publish more games. Join Team or Publisher.

* Determine needs for audience or gamers
o Typically means choose what type of game MMO, social, platform, puzzle, FPS, RPG etc. Then determine what the games needs to get their attention and make it a fun game to actually play.
o Cost of game is it free to play or does it require money? What is your cost to develop it.
o Platform needed iphone/ipad/ipod, android phone/tablet,game console xbox, nintendo, sony, computer platforms pc, mac

* Determine if the game is being created for fun or commercial use
o Games for fun then use free products such as Adventure Game Studio, Game Maker, RPG Maker.
o Commercial games you can still use free products but its highly recommended to use programming to create a strong 2d or 3d title you can use other programming languages and products like OGRE 3D, Game Maker 9, Unity 3D, Construct, Impact for HTML5 and others.

* Determine portability, its important that development tools and programs like construct or game maker 9 are poised to support mac, windows, iphone, and most importantly, ANDROID.
o Android is a burgeoning market so any serious game developer who wants to make waves is going to consider an android port.

* Learn from books for programming, design, sound or go to school. The use of other tools and programs to create games from start to finish and incorporate all aspects such as programming, design, art, music, effects, artificial intelligence, etc.
o Books: Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus/ Tricks of the 3D Game Programming Gurus by Andre LaMothe
o Art Programs: An art program equivalent to Cosmigo Pro Motion or Photoshop.
o Programming : Familiarity with c-style programming (most game scripting follows c-style rules).
o Game Engines: An engine that does all the heavy lifting but still allows you to customize it for your needs (Adventure Game Studio, OGRE 3D, and Game Maker do this).
o Writing: Knowledge of design document creation. This is a must if you're producing a commercial title as it lays down all the rules and timelines for building the game.
o Music: Some kind of music and sound creation software (Renoise, Goldwave, sfxgen, Reason).

*Funding for development or publishing of games.
o Provide resources for funding such as kickstarter, private funding and loans, angel investors.

*Marketing and release of titles or publishing .
o Publishing avenues to get game exposure.
o Providing marketing and press release exposure.
o Network and socialize with marketing and publishing services or providers.

*Establish legal rights over games or content - Legal Services.
o Get license and rights over your games especially if you think their going to be re-licensed or profitable.
o Get legal council on distribution methods.
o Cover any other legal aspects you should know to protect yourself and your work/game.

* Last but not least - Loads of endurance. You will want to quit and move on to something else no matter how excited you are at the beginning.

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I'm more than a bit skeptical about your book selections, frankly.

Other than that... the idea is good but everybody and their lizard is writing a "how to be a game developer" article these days. What's going to set you apart? Why should I listen to your advice over someone else's? What kind of credentials in game development do you actually have, and why do they qualify you to be giving this kind of advice?

I'm not saying you're offering bad advice per se (well, except for your books) but as a skeptic I want to know why I should rely on you over the ten trillion other similar articles all over the web.


Also... Android seems to be getting a bit of an unfair focus in your post. I wouldn't say it's at all clear that Android is the "most important" or "burgeoning" mobile market that you describe; yes, there's a lot of developers writing Android stuff, but almost every Android user I know hates their handset/tablet. So YMMV.

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I'm more than a bit skeptical about your book selections, frankly.

Other than that... the idea is good but everybody and their lizard is writing a "how to be a game developer" article these days. What's going to set you apart? Why should I listen to your advice over someone else's? What kind of credentials in game development do you actually have, and why do they qualify you to be giving this kind of advice?

I'm not saying you're offering bad advice per se (well, except for your books) but as a skeptic I want to know why I should rely on you over the ten trillion other similar articles all over the web.


Also... Android seems to be getting a bit of an unfair focus in your post. I wouldn't say it's at all clear that Android is the "most important" or "burgeoning" mobile market that you describe; yes, there's a lot of developers writing Android stuff, but almost every Android user I know hates their handset/tablet. So YMMV.


I understand what your saying and appreciate your feedback. As for the books these are just examples and something I personally used before to learn. I agree there is better books, just listed a few. Also I can probably fill up a single thread on just books to use, but if you have any books you personally used to get started let us know.

We honestly want to give people a good resource to reference instead of just writing another "how do" article which theres a dime a dozen out there. We also taking the time/money to research and professional write this so we want to hit up the people in the trenches like developers on the boards to find out what we need to accomplish this. As for what qualifies us we are building a resource site by developers to provide the tools to develop or complete games. This includes resources like books, engines, tutorials up to finding funds, payment solutions, marketing for games. We are dedicating time and money to find the most useful and worthwhile resources to incorporate into our site.

As for Android, thats the type of feedback I need. Although we think its important to have tools that will support Android we think because of their demand and growth is so high is why I made that statement. I will revise my original post so it doesnt favor a certain platform, that decision needs to be left to the developer anyways.

I was pretty much wanting to know we covered the essentials and if I left anything out. We have also taken into consideration the fact that everyone is writing up similar articles. We are still spitballing ideas to really get the article to help folks. Any suggestions? Thanks for your feedback.

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Well, I certainly respect that you're trying to do this with real research instead of just throwing some opinions onto a web site - so good on ya for that much :-)


The books I learned from are easily 20 years out of date now, although there are plenty of good modern texts to be found with a little bit of hunting. I'll leave the actual recommendations for people who've read any substantial portion of the newbie literature in the last decade ;-)

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