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WesleyWolf

Tips for a Beginner

11 posts in this topic

So ever since I was around 12 I've wanted to make Video Games. Not stuff like FarmVille or stuff similar to that, but an actual game with a story and such. Well I'm 17 now, and I feel like I'm way too late to start learning how to program. 

 

Basically, I just need to know if I'm too late to get into Game Development and if not, some direction on where I should start. 

 

Maybe some general information on what I should know getting into this, and how to motivate myself to actually follow through. 

 

Also one more thing, do you need a fancy degree and a lot of education to get into the industry? Like, I'm not completely opposed to working for a big company, but I'd rather do stuff my own way. So any information regarding Education, and whether or not you need a degree and stuff would be helpful!

 

Thanks,

Wesley

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When you say that you'd rather do things your own way, that suggests that you'd like to run your own studio. Having your own studio means your running a business. To be succesful running your own business you'll need every advantage you can get. That means you should probably want to start with the best education you can get. Even then, there's no guarentee you'll be succesful and if your business does run into trouble you'll want something you can fall back on. As such, if you have a degree that is in demand by industry, you'll be in better shape than if you don't have one.

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So ever since I was around 12 I've wanted to make Video Games. Not stuff like FarmVille or stuff similar to that, but an actual game with a story and such. Well I'm 17 now, and I feel like I'm way too late to start learning how to program. 

 

Basically, I just need to know if I'm too late to get into Game Development and if not, some direction on where I should start. 

 

Maybe some general information on what I should know getting into this, and how to motivate myself to actually follow through. 

 

Also one more thing, do you need a fancy degree and a lot of education to get into the industry? Like, I'm not completely opposed to working for a big company, but I'd rather do stuff my own way. So any information regarding Education, and whether or not you need a degree and stuff would be helpful!

 

Thanks,

Wesley

 

It is never too late or too early to learn something.

 

Getting a degree can make it easier to get your first job but its not strictly required. Most companies will pick the guy with a degree over the one without a degree if everything else is equal but in the real world everything else is never equal, a solid portfolio will blow most fresh graduates out of the water.

 

I would recommend getting some education though(even if you don't complete a proper degree), it can be very difficult to catch up on your own and if you are going to work full time with something else while learning and building a portfolio it will be even harder.

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So you want to make a game but "not stuff like FarmVille"? Can you draw well? Can you make good and fitting music? Can you write? Making a demanding game takes a lot of time and various talents. You can compensate a little in those areas with public domain assets and/or hiring artists but if you want to make something "better than FarmVille" you either need some budget, a team, be multi-talented and/or have remarkable endurance.

 

So my advice is as follows:

 

1. For get about great games. If you have a well-working and a little creative version of pong you've done a great step

2. Get a book and learn C. You can start with others but C has few features and gives you good insight about how programs work

3. Make a calculator, sorting algorythms and some console-input programs

4. Get into any programming language you like and make pong

5. Make better pong

6. Re-evaluate game development, ask yourself if you enjoyed the process and decide from here

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If you are interested more in art side, I suggest you to learn Maya/Photoshop/Zbrush or Blender/Gimp. You don't really need to get complicated with C++ programming. Being a programmer won't let you shape your world. 99% of a game is visual art, so there goes most of the fun. I suggest you to start learning 3D modelling/sculpting, in combination with Unreal Engine 4 Blueprints. All that matters is purpose. Instead of spending a lot of time in front of a text document, spend less, doing things interactively, and use the remaining time for developping your art. For using UE4, there is just a small one time tax, if you don't want upgrades. You get the source code, the full featured high end editor, and a lot of assets in demo scene that you can use in your project. In UE4, you also have game templates, very good as bases for your projects.
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Well I'm 17 now, and I feel like I'm way too late to start learning how to program. 

 

Most people don't know what to do with their life at age 17. You are perfectly fine.

 

I suggest you start with PlayMaker so you could have an idea of how game logic works. I started with this too. It was an all nighter very small project but I really learned a lot from it. After you get that motivation from PlayMaker, start learning a programming language. I suggest C#. Create TicTocToe text-based game. Then from there, you can start figuring out what next "simple" game you can make. Start small, and finish every project. After you have, maybe, like 3 text-based games done, try making a 2D game. You can convert your text-based games into 2D if you want. I can keep going but you probably won't follow every step anyway so....

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Just want to say thank you to every single one of you. You all gave great tips. As someone suggested, I'm going to try out GameMaker and then move on to learning a language (most likely C# or Python). 

 

Again, thanks everyone for the great tips, and you may not have intended to, but you also gave me the motivation to really try hard at this.

 

Thanks.

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