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Zrifepsych

Getting started

14 posts in this topic

So I'm pretty much a newbie in this, despite several attempts before. I'm still deciding where to get start with. I'm currently looking at either GameMaker or Unity3D. My dream goal is to make a character action game (DMC,Metal Gear Rising, Killer is Dead, etc). My main problem that made me failed on several attempts before is coding. I consider myself to have ZERO programming knowledge (no, I'm not trying to be humble, HONEST). Of course I realize the game I'll be able to make is no where the scale of the games I mentioned. So which game engine should I pursue and is there any recommendation of techniques I should be learning to code? 

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The best advice I can offer is to start simple and practise often. There's no quick way to gain the knowledge you need, the reality is that you'll have to put in the time and build up your skills by trying projects of increasing complexity.

 

The choice of game engine is far less important.

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So you're saying I should just learn general programming? Because right now I'm thinking of devoting my free time(since I'm a student) to learn coding/scripting of a game engine.

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Okay say I want to go with GameMaker. I keep seeing people say that's where they got started. Should I just go on Youtube and find tutorial videos or that isn't enough for me to learn coding? Anyone got experience with GameMaker?

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No expierience with GameMaker here, but why are you not just watching the tutorials and judge for yourself if these tutorials are helpful for you?

 

Certainly, following tutorials is how most people learned programming. Even at school, its what people usually do at some point. You might miss out on important basic concepts if you do the tutorials without the additional theoretical lecture, but good tutorials will also give you some of the theoretical background if this is possible within the limits of their timeframe.

 

When you try it and get stuck on a particular problem, THEN come back and ask questions.

Edited by Gian-Reto
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why are you not just watching the tutorials and judge for yourself if these tutorials are helpful for you?

 

Well I said before, this isn't my first attempt. I'm not good at this topic and pretty much a slow learner. That, or I just keep finding bad tutorial videos.  However, I'll try giving it another shot again.

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If you want to make something like games you mention, you need to learn programing and you can't do it alone(at least not in reasonable time).
Game engine is nothing more than a tool and tool is good how good your skills are.

I would recommend starting from here, they have general programing course and Unity lessons.
After you finish some courses i think you will know in which direction to go.

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why are you not just watching the tutorials and judge for yourself if these tutorials are helpful for you?

 

Well I said before, this isn't my first attempt. I'm not good at this topic and pretty much a slow learner. That, or I just keep finding bad tutorial videos.  However, I'll try giving it another shot again.

 

 

Well, If you watched a tutorial and couldn't figure something out you should have learned from the tutorial, I would take that particular question to the forum. You certainly would get a quick response and you could keep asking questions until either you have understood the concepts or all people in the forum are fed up with your questions (I guess the first case would happen smile.png).

 

Not trying to troll here or anything, it is just a trillion times harder for people to give you a helpful response when you ask them vague questions like "should I watch tutorials?" - yes of course... "will I learn something from it?" - If you learn something from it is up to you, but that would be the plan of a tutorial... "which engine to pick?" - Well, what do you need exactly?

 

 

As per the FAQ, try to find information on your own (like watching tutorials like you did), try to apply / Learn what you found, and when you get stuck, prepare your question (try to phrase it in a way that makes it easy to understand the question), then post it on the forum.

 

 

To come back to your situation:

 

Why exactly were the Gamemaker tutorials bad? Bad like in hard to understand the concepts? Bad like in too advanced for you to follow the topic? Bad as in a hard to understand the speaker? Bad examples chosen? ...

 

There are a ton of tutorials out there on most subjects... there are just as many bad ones as there are good ones. Chances are the tutorial was not bad, but it was just to advanced for you, so please specify more what the problem exactly is with the tutorials you already checked.

That will also help people that DO have Gamemaker expierience in chosing the right tutorial to recommend to you.

Edited by Gian-Reto
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Why exactly were the Gamemaker tutorials bad? Bad like in hard to understand the concepts? Bad like in too advanced for you to follow the topic? Bad as in a hard to understand the speaker? Bad examples chosen? ...

Well this is where I'm pretty much convinced as a slow learner. But basically I will always questioned every single detail and ended up not satisfied when I couldn't find exact answer, and kills my mood to continue to study. For example, I'll watch someone goes "ok here you put ; after x" and I will be like " why? Why do we have to use ;? I don't get it." And then they just move on to the next thing and I'll still be left wondering. It's silly, I realized that. So now I'm trying to look at it like math, where that's just how it is, that's in the formula. 

Edited by Zrifepsych
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"which engine to pick?" - Well, what do you need exactly?

Well I'm aiming to be able to develop a character action game in the future. I guess for my first time making a platformer is the way to go first? I'm really passionate to make action games but I don't want to make a rookie mistake and start too ambitious and ended up failing horribly. Correct me if I'm wrong but learning to do scripting for an engine is a good way to start? I'm looking at forum on yoyogames forum called " The Complete Beginner Guide to Gml Coding".

Edited by Zrifepsych
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Do something.

Anything.


Really... that's the best advice anyone here can give you.

Pick something. Hell, throw a bunch of things on a dart board and pick randomly by throwing a dart. Then take that thing and run with it. Play around, use what was included in the package and see if you have success. If you cant figure it out on your own, then read the included documentation. If that doesn't work, check any included samples. Still no luck? Then get on YouTube or Google for tutorials. Still no luck?

Then, maybe just then, think about picking a different technology and start the whole damned process all over again.


Nothing, and I can't put too fine a point on this, NOTHING trumps experience. Trying to make decisions when you have no perspective with which to make those decisions is an exercise in futility. Pick something, jump in succeed or fail, whatever... at least then you will have a bit more perspective to make the next decision easier!


It's getting a bit older, but the advice still stands. If you want a long form version of my advice for beginners ( with tech suggestions and resources ) read this http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx


If you just want a few technologies so you can tape them to your dartboard... here are a few beginner friendly options in order of esculating difficulty:

GameMaker
Construct ( if Visual, if prefer programming/scripting, dont )
LUA with LOVE
HTML5 with Phaser
LibGDX with Java
Unity with C# or JavaScript


What's the difference between them? To you, at this point, that question simply doesn't matter. Pick one, run with it and have fun.


Now if you are going to come back to me with "Hey, what about _______".

SURE! Pick that! I dont really give a damn what it is, it's not going to be a bad decision. Even C++ isn't the completely terrible decision it used to be ( it would easily be at the top of the difficulty list though... ). Even languages I view as completely inappropriate for game development are generally completely fine for beginners.

If you have a game friendly library, can install and use the tools on your machine, and it doesn't make your eyes bleed reading the code ( ObjectiveC, cough ), go for it.
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I figure there is something else I should add to that this...

Your first language really doesn't matter... and if you stick with this whole programming thing, it certainly wont be your last. If you got to look through the code base of any large game you will probably be shocked to see how many languages are in use. Even if the primary engine code base is in C++, you will probably see C# used to make the tooling, maybe C++/CLI used to bridge the code, often a scripting language like LUA or JavaScript/JSON used to implement game logic or data. There are probably even a few hundreds scripts, perhaps Python or Perl used as part of the build process. This isn't getting in to the languages that aren't even thought of like languages, like GLSL shader programming, or perhaps a GPU targeted dialect. Nor the native shims, like Java for Android or ObjectiveC for iOS used to make games cross platform.


Put simply, you will never speak only a single programming language.

Also, don't let that fact be daunting. Once you know how to program, learning the next language is a great deal easier, to the point you will probably start programming in languages you dont actually know... Yeah, you probably shouldn't, but I bet every one of us that's been at this long enough has some code in production they wrote in a language they didn't even know... I know first hand there are about 800 lines of poorly coded IronPython code out there being run thousands of times a day...


So again, don't get too hung up in deciding if X is better than Y. If X was worse than Y in every way, X would no longer exist. This isn't really a decision you can screw up. The only real major mistake you can make is to spend too much time on the decision.


That all said, there are some langauges and technologies that are beginner friendly and those are generally good environments for learning programming. So, if you run into a situation where all other things ( to you ) are equal, pick the one with the reputation for being easy. If you find yourself "outgrowing" the language, congratulations, that is exactly what is supposed to happen!
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Why exactly were the Gamemaker tutorials bad? Bad like in hard to understand the concepts? Bad like in too advanced for you to follow the topic? Bad as in a hard to understand the speaker? Bad examples chosen? ...

Well this is where I'm pretty much convinced as a slow learner. But basically I will always questioned every single detail and ended up not satisfied when I couldn't find exact answer, and kills my mood to continue to study. For example, I'll watch someone goes "ok here you put ; after x" and I will be like " why? Why do we have to use ;? I don't get it." And then they just move on to the next thing and I'll still be left wondering. It's silly, I realized that. So now I'm trying to look at it like math, where that's just how it is, that's in the formula. 

 

 

Look, in this situation I would take this single thing you are not understanding right here to the forum and ask. There are more than enough people here that are happy to help a newcomer and someone most probably could give you the why.

 

I f you get the feeling there are so many questions you would open a thread every minute, then collect your questions first before posting.

 

Just like with math, there is an underlying reason why things work the way they work. Its sometimes hard for a non mathematitian to understand the logic behind it, but that is why forums like this one exist.

 

And to be honest, I for example also don't understand a lot of things I am using for game development. I try to get more knowledgable about it whenever I can, but sometimes it just does not matter too much if something is still "Black Magic" to you... as long as it works.

 

 

 


"which engine to pick?" - Well, what do you need exactly?

Well I'm aiming to be able to develop a character action game in the future. I guess for my first time making a platformer is the way to go first? I'm really passionate to make action games but I don't want to make a rookie mistake and start too ambitious and ended up failing horribly. Correct me if I'm wrong but learning to do scripting for an engine is a good way to start? I'm looking at forum on yoyogames forum called " The Complete Beginner Guide to Gml Coding".

 

 

Well, first thing is, you need to get a little bit more specific. Most probably for you "Character Action Game" is already pretty specific, but there is important information left out in this Name for someone not knowledgable in the genre.

 

For example 2D / 3D? Firstperson view or Thirdperson? Art Style? A lot of this will influence a) how much horsepower you need, b) what kind of engine would be more suited, c) do you even need an engine to get started?

 

And don't feel forced to anything in a particular order. There are good reasons why people around here will tell you to start with small games without much graphics, go 2D after and move to 3D after that.

This reasoning might not apply to you. The question is: how much frustration can YOU take? What does motivate YOU?

 

If you need to see results as in "a finished project", then yes, the smaller you start, the better.

 

But if you don't want to loose any time on anything but your dream project, you don't care if you might make stuff horribly wrong in the beginning and might need to start over, then go for it from the start. It will be frustrating, a chore at times, and granted, you will have a much steeper learning curve (depending on your expectations for your game of course), but its certainly doable.

 

 

Now, as I already pointed out, for beginner, the choice of the engine itself matters little. You will quickly hit your head on the ceiling of engine limitations if you naively start to throw things together in the engine without optimizations anyway, and if you start small or stay small, no engine will ever limit you.

 

Important are the tutorials and the community. I would really try to focus on that. If you cannot work with the existing Gamemaker Tutorials, try the Unity ones. Then move to UE4 or UDK.... and so on. At some point, you either find some that resonate with you, or you should start to question why all the tutorials don't work for you.

 

I would really urge you though to try to work out your issues with the tutorials you already looked at first. Maybe post links here together with WHAT you don't understand in them, so people from the forum can have a look and decide wheter the tutorial really is bad, or try to help you understand them.

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