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Getting started from almost complete scratch.

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I am a 15 year old who is wanting to become a game designer, I want to learn game development and I have two years of experience with Autocad Inventor, Revit, and 3DS Max. I have almost no education aside from just knowing about engines such as Unreal Engine, Cryengine, Unity, and others from triple A titles.

 

My question is, where do I start?

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You need to learn how to program.

Get a book and start working through the exercises.

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Go with the simplest goal, then build further.

 

Understanding someone elses engine fully, takes very much effort.

You best make some simple engine yourself in my opinion.

starting with windows programming in C++, then add DirectX lateron.

 

When your 25 years old, you will have a good engine if you start now.

Or go with a existing engine, and when your 25 you still have nothing.

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Hi,

 

Game developer is the person or company which is ultimately responsible for the development of a video game.  Inside that organization, which could be an indie developer, is game design.   

 

1) Concept

2) Design

3) Develop (Including Alpha versions called "Proof of Concept" and early Demo version.  Alpha versions are usually tested inhouse. )

4) Test - Beta versions [Includes Demo and Beta RC (release candidate) versions.  Beta versions are mostly tested outsource with some inhouse. ]

5) Publish

 

A) Choose a game engine

B) Select one language which is native and the primary one to that game engine since you are a beginner (Intermediate and advanced developers could select a compatible secondary language of the game engine. Many game engines have their own proprietary coding language for game scripting which is similar to another major industry standard language, but also many game engines offer use with a standard coding language.)  If you choose an industry standard language, then avoid C++ until you reach at least intermediate level in another language. Unity, for example, has its own proprietary language which that invented for the engine but it is similar (if memory serves me) to other languages that are standard in the software development industry. You also can use another language such as C# with Unity, so you have options.

 

Spend months working with the language of your choice, making 3-5 applications starting with "Hello World".  Examples are text/letter display application, window configuration, randomizer, indexer, search application, or any of the many other relatively simple applications that are common and provide skills that you may need in the future of game development. It would also be a good idea to make a few simple games such as Tic-Tac-Toe, Crossword Puzzle, Word Search, and so forth. This could take you months or even a year but well worth the effort.  A very good coding language course would include assignments to create and extend applications such as this.  Game engine communities sometimes have members who offer good tutorials to do just this, like on YouTube and so on.

 

C) Return to the game engine.   and start making games in this order:

 

 

2D games: 1-2 years

Single Player 2D games

Multiplayer 2D games  

 

3D games: 1-2 years

Single Player 3D games

Multiplayer 3D games

 

If you are doing this as a hobby for now, then getting enjoyment from it is the most important thing.  Later if you make a final decision to have a career at this, then you will need to look into forming a team and using something such as Git or Perforce or work in a cloud anyway.  Using iteration system such a Alpha, Beta, and Beta RC should come eventually too, maybe the sooner the better.

 

For now just learn a simple but broad base and be sure to have fun! smile.png

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... Ok, I have to ask, why did you as a 13 year old use Autodesk Revit???

That's an architecture design,previz, engineering package. Pretty niche and heady stuff for a teen...

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Go with the simplest goal, then build further.

 

Understanding someone elses engine fully, takes very much effort.

You best make some simple engine yourself in my opinion.

starting with windows programming in C++, then add DirectX lateron.

 

When your 25 years old, you will have a good engine if you start now.

Or go with a existing engine, and when your 25 you still have nothing.

 

I respect you opinion, but really... is this good advice for a newbie?

 

I don't know where it comes from, but there was this quote: "make games, not engines!"...

 

 

If he is interested in Engine Programming, your advice is a good one... IF he is the type that can stick to a project for 10 years (granted, maybe he writes 4-5 different engines until he ends up with the good one at age 25).

 

What I read in his OP is "3D Modeling expierience, and interested in existing engines". If he REALLY was that much into programming that he might want to build a game engine, he would have started with programming instead of 3D Modelling, no?

 

 

So while I also think, learning to program is always a good advice... someone who is not really hardcore about programming should maybe think twice before starting a project like writing an engine.

If you just want to create nice scenes and see your 3D Models move, using an existing engine IS a good start if you ask me.

 

 

Just my 2 cents

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Start by knowing about lots of things.  Film, art, math, history, politics, philosophy, literature... anything and everything.  Become a good game designer by not limiting your attention to game design.

 

This is what I have read about everywhere do games, even re-do already made games like pong, tetris, mario, etc. Think about finishing a hole level and show it around!

 

When designing a game think about the experience you will convey (fun, fear, love, companionship, etc). Think about who is playing and why.

Don't focus on terms of "kind of game" like puzzle, or FPS...

 

If you are interested in the programming side give that a bit more focus, find free games in Unity and write scripts for them.

If you like more character design try blender 3D, it comes with a game engine!

If you feel like making a game right now!, try construct 2 and try web based games.

 

If you are set on an idea, start simple with squares and circles, this will keep you focus on gameplay and then you can add the other stuff! :)

 

Also, there are some great tips on level design and stuff on youtube (just don't waste too much time here...) from Extra Credits (Extra Credits: Game Design) and an ode to Mega Man X level design from 

" title="Sequelitis - Mega Man Classic vs. Mega Man X">Sequelitis (adult language) you can get some insight into how to think like a game designer.

 

And most important find your way to keep going, don't follow our rules by the book! ;)

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Also, there are some great tips on level design and stuff on youtube (just don't waste too much time here...) from Extra Credits (Extra Credits: Game Design)

Yes.


and an ode to Mega Man X level design from Sequelitis (adult language) you can get some insight into how to think like a game designer.


And yes. This video is the one who help me turning on my game design spirit. Meaning no adding features on a game because this feature is cool. But because it has a purpose, it fulfill a precise role in the game.

Also, this book is in my opinion a must read : http://www.amazon.fr/The-Art-Game-Design-lenses/dp/0123694965

Creating board games with paper is also a good exercice. Don't underestimate the power of the pen :) 

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First off, you'll have to decide exactly what you want to do. Saying you're interested in game development is a little vague.

 

I take it you're interested to pursue this as a career and want to develop the necessary skills for it, not just making a specific game idea you've happened to think of. So in that case, think long and hard, regardless of what your previous experience has been (some modelling I take it), on what skill excites you best. After you do, ask another question here and I'm sure people will guide you on what you can do to get started.

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