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Absolute beginner and an introduction

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Hello all here at gamedev

Thought the first thing I should do is post a little introduction.
I'm Packie from Australia, I have next to NO experience in programming or game development, but I have determination.

I already have a video game idea in my head but I'd like to keep researching and learning before I go ahead and start. And what a better place to come to than Gamedev, right?

I currently plan on using Unity3D since programming isn't really my thing (I tried it at a QANTM open day) and Unity appears to be more of a game developing tool than a programming one.

My only goal is to make a game that I'm happy with and hoping with a little help and shove from you guys, I can get there. 


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Hello Packie, welcome to this forum!



I think you misunderstand something... no Game Engine in the world can relieve you completly from programming duties.


You can cut it to a minimum by using existing third party code (either bought from an asset store, or copied from the internet in case of opensource code), or by using tools that help you coding without having to know the exact syntax (which is exactly what visual scripting tools do... you are still coding, but with a visual language).



I strongly recommend learning programming. If you want to go the lone wolf route, or at least be self sustaining enough not to have to look for programmers all the time, having a firm grasp on basic programming concepts will help you more than anything else you can learn about game development.


Of course, there is also the option of using visual scripting. Unreal Engine 4 comes with a visual scripting tool, Blueprint, out of the box. Altought that visual scripting tool gets a lot of praise (didn't click with me when I tried though), be aware that Unreal Engine 4 is slightly more difficult to pick up for a total beginner, and the online documentation was harder to use (IMO) than Unitys.

The downside to this is that Unity does NOT come with a visual scripting tool out of the box. There are good thirdparty assets for that (Playmaker for example), but these often are not free.


Most important point is that visual scripting is still programming. It seems to take away the irrational fear some non-programmers have when they pick up a programming task. But apart from replacing characters with visual boxes, and replacing the C#/C++ Syntax with the one of the visual tool, you still need to know programming concepts, else you will not get far (or worse, you will click together poorly performing nonsense that will crumble under its own weight).



Apart from the programming aspect, a modern 3D engine is quite a beast to tame for a total beginner. Maybe you want an easier entrance by trying to work on smaller, simpler games you can do without an engine, or with a simpler 2D engine first.

Common routine is to start with Pong / Pacman, and work up the ladder of difficulty (which happens to be a chronological order in which games where released mostly). When you feel comfortable building a simple game with graphics from scratch, try to do a super mario clone for example with a 2D engine. When you feel comfortable using that 2D engine, move to Unity.


Of course you can jump in the deep end. Nobody can stop you. And depending on how much resistant you are to frustration, that might not be a problem. Just be aware: you WILL bang your head against the wall way more than starting out with simpler projects, and you will have way less feelings of accomplishment and success as everything will take longer, both to learn and then to produce.



Last point is the time needed to learn game dev and create games.

Depending on your speed of learning, the material you use to learn, and so on, you might be up and running creating your own pong version in hours. Learning the skills and producing your own 2D Jump and run will take weeks, given you want to create anything nontrivial.

Learning the skills needed and producing a modern 3D game can take years... many years. Be aware that if your goal is that, you have a long journey ahead.



TL;DR: You SHOULD try to learn programming if you don't want to delegate programming to someone else. No tool in the world will relieve you completly from programming duties.

Be aware that modern 3D game development has a steep learning curve... and that it might take years to learn the skills needed, not days.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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The main problem at all what you didnt understand is that even unity in its kind of scripting leads to high level programming languages C#, and some scripting languages JavaScript and Boo. You may use Unreal Engine and its node based action klicking system but that is as same as in unity when going over the build in functions you need to code that by yourself in Unreal Script.


There is and will never be such a Tool and it is some kind of sad that game designers these days think they could get into the business without the knowledge of the business. I have had so much people in my job saying "what, programming? Thats your job here you have my vision and get it damn working until the next week" and it never worked because people think we programmers are wizards just snipping with fingers and the computer does whatever it should <_<


What you should do is to take your idea into a real working conception by writing anything down, think about it and rewrite it if possible. Make a design document with every feature (and if it is even just a click onto a single button) and if it is also a story driven game then start also working on the story. That is what a gamedesigner does.


What about Art? Did you already think about the style what your game should look like, what the models are about when you are going 3D? When you do this also think about the platforms you like to publish on. Mobile platforms are way more limited than a high end PC but not every user has a 5000$ high end development PC so also think about that. That is the job an artist does.


If you are completely finished with that then the chance is high to find a team that will work on our idea. Until that happens you could use some Tools to design gameplay flows like Articy Draft. You drag and drop storylines as well as gameplay events in that and it has a full unity integration so your work would fit into unity and helps the backend programmers to get the game running faster

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I suggest you search for a meetup of game developers in your area.  Try some social media, and ask a professor at a local college that teaches game development.  You can design a game with just paper and pencil, but you need understand the tools to turn that into a computer game.  Having someone to help you learn these things can save you a lot of time.


Don't be worried about the programming.  You can get really far without knowing anything really complicated.

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Welcome to the community!!!


As others have said Unity is not a tool for making games without coding. If you want to avoid coding, then you can go with something like GameSalad (you are avoiding coding but not programming).


Well, many people, after looking at some piece of complicated code while learning, think that programming/coding is difficult. But that's not true at all.


Actually, learning programming is interesting and it automates a lot of your boring stuff.

Think of programming like talking with the computer. The computer is ignorant, it doesn't understand human language. You being smarter than the computer have to make him understand what to do.


If you want to make your learning more easier and fun, you just have to pick a easy to learn language and a good book.

Python is probably the easiest language to learn at start. If you want to buy a book, I would recommend Head First Programming. It will make your learning more efficient, complete and fun. I have read Head First's other books myself and found them a lot helpful. Check out the book's preview and you'll understand. (Note: that's my recommendation, your choice might be different but there's not harm in checking it out.


Good Luck!

Edited by Tanay Karnik

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