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Frolicks

I want to learn to make games. What is my path?

12 posts in this topic

Complete beginner here. I've just completed the Javascript CodeAcademy course, but I'm still lost as to what I'd do if I wanted to create a game. 

 

I don't want to use an engine (unless someone convinces me otherwise), I want to learn to be able to write my own games from scratch. 

 

Can someone point me to a resource or set of resources that would teach me exactly what I needed to learn? 

 

I'm open to all languages, and I'll take recommendations very seriously. Currently, I'm downloading SFML and OpenGL, while trying to figure out what they are after reading mikeo01's post on the forum. I figured I might as well make my own post as a complete, utter beginner. 

 

[PS. Would be great if someone took me as their apprentice and taught me their craft whilst having me help out when I'm ready.] 

Edited by Frolicks
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Hello Frolicks, welcome.

 

I have quite some experience with C++/GL/D3D but I took a tour to JavaScript some months ago.

My suggestion is: screw the other languages. Stick to JS another bit. It is a very promising platform. Consider WebGL.

 

I am not familiar with the CodeAcademy courses, I assume they teach you DOM stuff. You need those as those are basically required but for gaming, DOM ends at getting an handle to a canvas.

 

From there, you're basically on your own. There are some frameworks around but I'm not quite on them yet.

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Complete beginner here. I've just completed the Javascript CodeAcademy course, but I'm still lost as to what I'd do if I wanted to create a game. 

 

I don't want to use an engine (unless someone convinces me otherwise), I want to learn to be able to write my own games from scratch. 

 

Can someone point me to a resource or set of resources that would teach me exactly what I needed to learn? 

 

I'm open to all languages, and I'll take recommendations very seriously. Currently, I'm downloading SFML and OpenGL, while trying to figure out what they are after reading mikeo01's post on the forum. I figured I might as well make my own post as a complete, utter beginner. 

 

[PS. Would be great if someone took me as their apprentice and taught me their craft whilst having me help out when I'm ready.

If you look up GameInstitute on google they have a great course that teaches a lot. All access for $49 for i believe a year last time a checked.$99 for 5 years and $3000 for a certificate program. I personally would not pay $3000 for a certiticate. If your going to buy the $49, you mine as well save up the extra cash for $99 if you plan on investing a lot of your time learning.game development. This site i would recommend, its looks pretty legitmate. I have not used it myself but i am certainly thinking about.it, its looks like it would be a great thing to invest in using while in college to help give me an upper hand. I am also new to the game development field i am actually going to college for it soon in a couple months.

 

 

What type of games are you looking to create 2d/3d or both?

 

Unity is a great engine to use with javascript, the Game Institute will teach you C++ which is used for most high end games, But i would recommend sticking with javascript and playing around with unity for a little bit, unless you would rather learn C++ instead and forget about javascript.

 

I forgot to mention, the only downside to Game Institute is if you plan on making characters you need access to professional programs like 3dsmax and Maya and stuff for character modeling and rigging. But if you end up wanting to create characters to animate,and rig you could use Blender thats under the GPL(general public license)!

Edited by GameDesign14
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What type of games are you looking to create 2d/3d or both?

 

 

I want to start off with two-dimensional games, but later branch off. Like I said before, my goal isn't to make one game in particular, it's to learn how to create games. And I'm thinking that the path probably begins with 2d games.

 

Anyways, I don't want to spend any money on this endeavor. It is possible to learn without paying for courses right? 

 

My suggestion is: screw the other languages. Stick to JS another bit. It is a very promising platform. Consider WebGL.

 

I am not familiar with the CodeAcademy courses, I assume they teach you DOM stuff. You need those as those are basically required but for gaming, DOM ends at getting an handle to a canvas.

 

From there, you're basically on your own. There are some frameworks around but I'm not quite on them yet.

 

Okay. Stick to Javascript and learn this so-called WebGL magic. Got it. 

 

Frankly, this response isn't as thorough as I wanted, I was hoping for some tangible (and free) resources you could point me to, but thanks for answering anyways. I'll just go back to googling things for the time being. 

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What type of games are you looking to create 2d/3d or both?

 

 

I want to start off with two-dimensional games, but later branch off. Like I said before, my goal isn't to make one game in particular, it's to learn how to create games. And I'm thinking that the path probably begins with 2d games.

 

Anyways, I don't want to spend any money on this endeavor. It is possible to learn without paying for courses right? 

 

My suggestion is: screw the other languages. Stick to JS another bit. It is a very promising platform. Consider WebGL.

 

I am not familiar with the CodeAcademy courses, I assume they teach you DOM stuff. You need those as those are basically required but for gaming, DOM ends at getting an handle to a canvas.

 

From there, you're basically on your own. There are some frameworks around but I'm not quite on them yet.

 

Okay. Stick to Javascript and learn this so-called WebGL magic. Got it. 

 

Frankly, this response isn't as thorough as I wanted, I was hoping for some tangible (and free) resources you could point me to, but thanks for answering anyways. I'll just go back to googling things for the time being. 

 

Unity is still a great free engine. It can be used to make 2d and 3d games. It was the engine that was used to make the popular game angry birds!

I will do a google search for you and help you out!

 

Ok so what i have found is:

 

-learnunity2d.com

-howtobuildgames.com

 

Your best bet is to go with unity engine, don't forget that you an also look on youtube for video tutorials, there are probably so many great tutorial videos you can find!

Edited by GameDesign14
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This tutorial is a good starting point. It's easy and short, and gives you some insight in how games are supposed to work (game loop, update and render logic, handle user input...) and also serves as introduction to canvas API, which I recommend to learn if you want to make games with JavaScript.

 

After that, you can spend some time trying to make simple games (as Snake, Pong, Breakout...) and learning deeply the canvas API.

Edited by Avalander
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I don't want to use an engine (unless someone convinces me otherwise), I want to learn to be able to write my own games from scratch. 

 

The big advantage of an engine in my opinion is that you don't have to spend time recreating basic stuff like a physic/graphic/sound engine and dive directly into making game. 
Once you'll have a few more games done, I think you should'nt hesitate to use what is avaiblable to do the basic thing from you (and often better, as they are dedicated to it)

But it is interesting and also very formative to do, at least one time, all the game with your own hands :D
 

Can someone point me to a resource or set of resources that would teach me exactly what I needed to learn? 

 

I think you'll have to reverse engineer tutorial you'll find on the net and extract what you want from them. For exemple take the character movement from a snake tutorial, take the collision from a pong tutorial. And so on until you are able to create those mechanics with your own hands.

I don't have precise ressources links, but once again, google will be your best friend.

If you want graphical ressources, here is some links :

 

http://opengameart.org/
http://www.pixelprospector.com/places-to-find-graphics-artists/

I hope it help, good luck :)

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Frankly, this response isn't as thorough as I wanted, I was hoping for some tangible (and free) resources you could point me to, but thanks for answering anyways. I'll just go back to googling things for the time being.
Yes, I guess I understand your feelings. I'm honestly going through JS myself (still doing only plain 2D canvas, WebGL is next). So far I've used mainly the Mozilla Developer Network. It contains everything you can use for Firefox, which is going to be your primary development environment.

 

Be aware that Webkit based browers still don't support more recent ECMAScript so for example there's no let. It sucks a bit.

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As said several times in these forums, the only way to learn this is by doing it. It does not matter if you pick up SFML and C++ or go easier with Lua and Löve2D; pick something, think of an initial project (such as clone this or that game) and do it. Spending some hours a week developing and learning is the best way to do it.

 

Of course, if you start by using Lua and by any chance want to move up to C++, you'll have a much harder time than the opposite; but it is easier to get results using simpler and less complicated tools thus more rewarding and motivating. If you think you have problems with staying motivated throughout a project you should definitely go for something that gets faster results.

 

But stay away from OpenGL for now, it is unnecessarily complex and you will end up focusing on graphics programming instead of general game programming and architecture that is what one should be learning if he wants to be a game developer. If being an engine/graphics programmer is what you want, ignore what I said, but if you just want to turn that game into reality consider it.


Unity is still a great free engine. It can be used to make 2d and 3d games. It was the engine that was used to make the popular game angry birds!
I don't know who told you that, but I am pretty sure Angry Birds was made with SDL and Box2D.
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Thanks for all the great responses guys!

 

Still going to stay away from Unity, as I feel that I don't nearly have enough experience to go into that.

This tutorial is a good starting point. It's easy and short, and gives you some insight in how games are supposed to work (game loop, update and render logic, handle user input...) and also serves as introduction to canvas API, which I recommend to learn if you want to make games with JavaScript.

 

After that, you can spend some time trying to make simple games (as Snake, Pong, Breakout...) and learning deeply the canvas API.

 

I'm going to start there and then invoke the power of Google to learn more about canvas API. Thanks for the link Avalander!

 

You're welcome. It's not always easy to find good tutorials, so I'm glad I helped.

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I would have suggest learning C# or C++, but sticking to a language you know is always a good start. I also like starting off with good old programming from scratch, no engine. In this way you learn a whole lot more and you are in full control of the game's design and you're not limited to what the engine can offer. Though it will take longer to finish, but who cares its your project.

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The game engine I use is Maratis 3D (free, open source, easy):

http://www.maratis3d.org/

The 3D modelers I use are Blender, Wings 3D, Sculptris, Google Sketchup (all free):

http://blender.org
http://www.wings3d.com/
http://pixologic.com/sculptris/
http://www.sketchup.com/

For 2D, you could use Game Salad(free-limited. $200 for full version) or Game Maker (free for windows development, costly otherwise)

http://gamesalad.com/
https://www.yoyogames.com/studio

I love this iPad app called GamePress, hopefully soon they will add in-app purchases for releasing on the App Store. This is the perfect way to learn game development (no coding experience required!)

http://www.gamepressapp.com/

On the iPad, the Codea app allows you to make games using LUA, and the project can be ported to XCode.

http://twolivesleft.com/Codea/

Pythonista is a great iPad app for programming games or business apps in Python:

http://omz-software.com/pythonista/

The same guy who made Pythonista (Ole Zorn) made Editorial. I use this app to practice my python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills:

http://omz-software.com/editorial/
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