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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Beginner questions

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So I'm interested in making games. I am totally new to game development. I've used programming languages such as Turing, C#, Java and VBscript. Where do I start? Should I establish a specialization? (AI, Art, Level Design) I'd like to be in charge of everything just to get my feet wet. Which language should I practice? Should I start with a game engine (Unreal/CryEngine) ? 

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If you check the link below, I've written an article covering this very subject. To answer your question directly, I would choose a language you are comfortable with and find any game library for that language. And create some simple games (I list a few in my article).

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You can also start with C# in Unity3d. Quick and dirty way to make games.

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You can also start with C# in Unity3d. Quick and dirty way to make games.

 

I wouldn't say that Unity is "quick and dirty".  Quick yes but Unity is quite a powerful engine and tool kit.  Other than that I would agree.  I believe it would be easier to wrap your head around the game development process by starting with something that uses a language you are friendly with (C#) and is capable of making high quality full featured games.  Also an added benefit is that Unity is widely used, you will have a very large community and knowledge base to reach out to when you have problems.  Another benefit is that many small development studios are using Unity and you will be learning something that will actually give you a bit of a leg up in the market.

 

If you are looking for a lower level experience where you are actually practicing and learning how to implement things more at the engine level and want to stick with a language of your choice (again C# as you mentioned it) I would suggest MonoGame.  It's actually a very nice and simple framework that will allow you to build from about one story up, I say that because it's not quite the ground level that Direct X is.  It provides quite a bit of the basic framework of a game loop and content management / pipelines that save you a lot of time and hassle.  From there you may or may not want to move into SharpDX to go even lower, however there is a major lack of tutorials and documentation for SharpDX as they assume you are already a Direct X master.  This will likely require you to learn some C++ and Direct X before you'll have a decent understanding of SharpDX.

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You can also start with C# in Unity3d. Quick and dirty way to make games.

 

I wouldn't say that Unity is "quick and dirty".  Quick yes but Unity is quite a powerful engine and tool kit.  Other than that I would agree.  I believe it would be easier to wrap your head around the game development process by starting with something that uses a language you are friendly with (C#) and is capable of making high quality full featured games.  Also an added benefit is that Unity is widely used, you will have a very large community and knowledge base to reach out to when you have problems.  Another benefit is that many small development studios are using Unity and you will be learning something that will actually give you a bit of a leg up in the market.

While Unity is a great tool, I would not recommend it to someone who is a total beginner in game development.  The main drawback is that it's too much, too soon.  If you jump right into Unity there's a lot of low-level stuff you wont understand, and it'll be too easy to become overly ambitious.  I think you need to start small, learning the basics and getting a solid foundation on the low-level and basic elements of what makes up a game.  

 

An analogy would be if you wanted to be an architect, but you have no experience.  Someone directs you to software that allows you to design skyscrapers, but you have no idea what the structural properties of a brick are, how steel beams are welded together, or how wind loads affect a large building.  Sure, you can design a beautiful building... but it will probably collapse half-way during construction.

 

Start small, start with the basics.  You get to where you're going with small steps, not by shooting yourself out of a cannon.

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