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Where do I start?

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So I know nothing about code, or anything related, and I want to make video games. So, where do I start? What language, program, etc. I have a VERY rudimentary knowledge of computers, and should probably be more well versed in that, as well.

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It depends on what you want to do.

 

Are you just interested in creating experiences for players?  Find a game development platform and learn it. Unity is the most popular and perhaps the most complex. To make games in it you will need to do some programming, but there are simpler ones--none of which can be used to create tripple-A games.

 

If you want to go deeper, learn to program.  You can write almost anything in Java, so learn that.

 

If you're just a creative type but don't want to deal with technical details about making the machines simulate your vision, get into modeling software and get an intern spot at a game shop.

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As it seems you don't even know what to search for:

 

Given you just want to start creating games, and are not 100% interested in starting a career as programmer:

 

You will most probably be looking for a Game Engine. A Game Engine will do most of the heavy lifting and low level tasks for you when you develop games, so you can concentrate on the game logic, Graphics and GUI of your game.

 

Unity HScottH has mentioned above is such a Game Engine. But there is a whole list of commercial and opensource engines you might want to have a look at. You will find Lists of engines out there on the internet that explain pros and cons for each engine.

 

You will need to learn a Programming Language. Even when using an engine, you will still need to code part of your game. Each engine gives you different options. In Unity you can Pick C# or Unityscript (basically Javascript Syntax) as Languages for coding. Other Engines might be using C++ (or a C++ like looking proprietary scripting language).

 

You will need to pick up tools for creating your Game art. Depending on wheter you want to go full 3D or a 2D Route, you will need an Image Editor (for creating your 2D Graphics or Texturing your 3D Models) and a Boxmodelling Tool (for creating Polygon 3D Objects). Sometimes you will also need a separate Sculpting Tool (for adding highpoly details to your Polygon object, which make it look more detailed).

There is a multitude of commercial Programms to pick for these tasks, but the main opensource / free ones are basically these 2:

- GIMP (as Image Editor)

- Blender (complete 3D Package, can be used for Boymodelling and Sculpting)

 

Animations need to be done both in 2D and 3D Games, for 2D you need to learn how to do Sprite Sheets and how to use your image editor of choice to get all the needed animation frames.

3D Animation is more complex. You need to rig 3D Models to be able to animate them (creating a skeleton for animation by placing the bones, using weightpainting to define the inclfuence of these bones on the 3D Models "skin" during deformations of this "skin" because of animations). Then you can animate them.

Both tasks can usually be done in all good Boxmodelling tools. Blender has all the needed functions to accomplish this tasks.

 

Audio is usually either bought or taken from free resources on the net. If you are interested in also creating your own music, or recording and mixing sound effects, you will certainly need a microphone for recording effects, and a digital audio workstation program or some simplified audio editor. Here, the Hardware will be much more important than with creating graphics (altough having a cheap monitor with off colors will hamper your graphics work, usually people tend to spend more money on a good monitor than on good speakers)... if you have cheap 20 bucks speakers, don't even try. You only hear about half of the things going on on the audio side anyway with these cheap cans, so don't try to mix your own music.

 

I haven't seen any real good opensource complete package yet, altough small tools like Audiocity will certainly help you with creating and mixing sound effects.

 

The real commercial programs in Audio usually are VERY expensive (think Photoshop, but for Audio guys), but there is one smaller product aimed at hobbiest guys that is not too expensive and quite good: MAGIX Music Maker.

Will cost you about 100$ for the program, you can then start record your own music, or if you lack the skills for that, create music with loops (like what most DJs call "making music"... nothing against DJing, really smile.png).

Be aware that loops have to be bought separatly, you can get them quite cheap in packs from MAGIX, but the costs add up.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Lets say you have some mp3, some mesh,some sound fx and some textures to start with.

No software needed for that at this moment.

 

How to show this mesh in screen together with playing the music, soundfx and textures.

If that is what you wanto find out, makes it simpler to answer the question.

 

You can search for all those things individually as long you made the choise what language to use.

If you are a real nerd you can make your own engine from nothing.

Edited by the incredible smoker

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Lets say you have some mp3, some mesh,some sound fx and some textures to start with.

No software needed for that at this moment.

 

How to show this mesh in screen together with playing the music, soundfx and textures.

If that is what you wanto find out, makes it simpler to answer the question.

 

You can search for all those things individually as long you made the choise what language to use.

If you are a real nerd you can make your own engine from nothing.

 

Well, while I would object to the last sentence (you can, but a "real nerd" would most probably already know how to code, AND he writes that he is interested in creating games, so I guess he wants to create games, not engines), the rest of the post is spot on.

 

If you already have graphics and sound, no need to waste time on creating your own, IF you don't want to do exactly that. There is enough Stock art on the net to get you started.

 

And of course, explaining in a lengthier post exactly what you would like to do, what your skills are (you could be professional artist that would like to wet his feet in coding his own games for all we know) would help everyone giving you more accurate advices.

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