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Wannabe

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Hi guys, I'll keep this short and simple. I've always wanted to get into game programming but I had two kids at a young age which forced me into other things. I'm currently a kitchen manager, which pays decent. I have a mortgage and two kids to pay for with no chance of going to university.

My question is, is it too late for me to try to pursue something? Be as brutally honest as possible. Also I have literally zero experience at all with any type of programming.

Cheers.

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It's never too late to pursue anything. There are a million ways to get into game programming, you just have to find one that is easy enough for beginners and offers to you the freedom and features you expect to have. Some immediate products that come to mind are: DarkBASIC, Unity, pygame, etc.

 

I personally started making games with DarkBASIC when I was about 14. It's a very simple language to pick up quickly and the results are immediate. It's also a lot of fun to play around in. I wrote games for about 5 years using only that product.

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Yeah I know the old "it's never too late" but I'm not in a good position, especially to get into the line of work. I'll look into those programmes man, thanks a lot for that! Looking forward to giving it a go.

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Moving to the job section of the site.  Please read the FAQ links since the question is fairly common.
 
There is much info in the FAQ. While you will likely face a few additional challenges due to starting as an adult with children, people have transitioned in to games at your age and older.
 
As you wrote "I have literally zero experience at all with any type of programming" I will caution about it truly being your passion.  Making games is fun for many people, but it is different from playing games.   Just like making delicious food is different from consuming delicious food, designing race car engines is different from driving race cars, or enjoying a stage performance is different from performing on stage.  Many people wrongly assume that because they enjoy playing games they will also enjoy creating game software and discover later that the have no aptitude nor passion for software development.

 

As you've never had any experience with any type of programming, I question how you know software development is something you are passionate about.

 

I STRONGLY recommend getting a current copy of the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?". It has been a best-seller every year for decades so libraries and used bookstores have copies if you don't want to buy a new one.  Somewhere in the book (it changes between annual editions) is a series of exercises called The Flower Diagram. Those exercises can help you identify what your passions are, your passions for work environments, your skills you are most passionate about using, your passions for career growth, and other aspects of your life relating to career that are generally important.  After working through the exercises you will likely discover some things about yourself, including what career direction you are most passionate about.

 

Perhaps after completing the book you will find you are right, this career option of software development that you have zero experience with really is where you want to work and where your passions are. No matter what it is, the book has many good recommendations about how to switch careers, even to careers that typically require heavy education when you are already a working adult with a family.

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You don't need professional training to make games.

You can learn it yourself without paying for any course just using resources on Google.

As frob said learning to program is extremely important for most of the core of game creation but perhaps you want to contribute in other ways to games?

Can you draw, or perhaps make music? If you find programming isn't your thing these are all important game development talents and there are small teams crying out for talent like that.

Whatever you do practice makes perfect. You can expect to spend 5 to 10 years just becoming competent in a skill such aa programming or making models for games. You will then spend the rest of your career or hobby staying current with the latest trends and developments.

Good luck, you came to the right forum! :)

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