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As a wannabe game designer who wants to focus on the creative side of making games, where should I begin?

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Background: I am an artist, love telling stories, and want to focus on game design over anything else, but I feel like I need some bit of credibility to get to that point--that I need to be a real stand-out with experience in order to net a position, paid or unpaid. 

I've decided that I should get my hands dirty and start working.  

 

To learn programming to a degree that I can make games (even 2-d ones like I'm interested in) is a herculean task. I'm overwhelmed, so here I am. 

Here's a few of the questions I have...

 

What is the programming language should I use? Is Gamemaker enough? (I hear that Undertale was created in it)

Is making a visual novel a waste of time? Will it give me programming experience? I'm interested because it seems like something I can finish. 

What resources will give the most educational value for the time I put into them? (books, free online courses, youtube tutorials, etc.). This is mainly what I will base/schedule my education around. Of course I want to see eye-opening videos or books about game development, even if they're not all that technical.

I have a ton of ideas in my head for compositions. Should I learn how to make music? 

 

I hope you guys can give me some input on this.

Thank you!

Edited by nootnoot!

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Gamemaker is enough however if you to want learn how to program to make 2d game I would start with learning c#.

 

Step 1. Research all you need to know and download to get started

Step 2. Try out a tutorial to learn how the system works

Step 3. Download a sample game and study the code and methods

Step 4. Come here and follow the most recommended guidelines for data structures and logic tactics

Step 5. Brain storm you game

Step 6. Design your game

Step 7. Draw out the blueprints (Small comics, diagrams, ect of what your game is about and how to play it)

Step 8. Download a new sample game as close to your idea as possible

Step 9. Modify the code, asset, resources of the sample game to match your ideas.

 

Step Super mega important master race tier. K.I.S.S (Keep, it, simple, stupid)

 

 

In regards to your questions.

*Learn c#

*Game maker is enough

*I have no experience or opinion on visual novels. It may give you a skill that could benefit your game later but I'm unsure.*

*you will get the most educational value from talking with others and trying your best but that just a theory... a larent theory.

*I think you should learn to make music.

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What if this programming language should I use? Is Gamemaker enough? (I hear that Undertale was created in it)
Is making a visual novel a waste of time? Will it give me programming experience? I'm interested because it seems like something I can finish. 
What resources will give the most educational value for the time I put into them? (books, free online courses, youtube tutorials, etc.). This is mainly what I will base/schedule my education around. Of course I want to see eye-opening videos or books about game development, even if they're not all that technical.
I have a ton of ideas in my head for compositions. Should I learn how to make music? 


Since you're not just asking about programming, I'm moving this to Game Design.
1. GameMaker might be enough, depending on what you want to do.
2.a. No, it's not a waste of time.
2.b. It'll give you a taste of how programming works, but it won't give you programming experience.
3. All are valuable. Are you asking if you should get a degree?
4. Learning to make music is valuable. But it's not an absolute requirement. Personally, I found it tremendously rewarding.

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Sorry to sound like a negative nancy, but I think you should avoid learning music. It's more like the icing on the cake for game creation (albeit still a necessity for most quality games). You would have to spend years most likely learning how to play instruments and read/write music just to make the icing for your game. I'd prefer you go right into game creation and save music learning for after you've done some basic games. You can always find acceptable stock music on sites such as audioblocks.

 

Programming is a different story. Although it can be an academic struggle compared to music, you can actually learn it quicker! Maybe even in a few months or sooner you'll be up and ready for some basic game creation! But even then, like others have said you can use programs like GameMaker to create games without programming. But be aware that you don't have as much creative freedom for making a game precisely as you want it. You'll have to judge how well it suits you.

 

I urge you to take the path that allows you to get your feet wet the quickest to see if you like game creation. The saying rings true that we must learn to crawl before we can fly.

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Start with whatever language seems easiest for you to learn, that can be used to make basic games. You can learn more powerful languages later to build more advanced games.

 

Gamemaker etc can get you started.

 

A visual novel is a viable type of entertainment software.  But some folks might not really consider them to be games - depending on how they work.  They tend to be simple to build. So they might make a good starter project.

 

 

 

 I'm interested because it seems like something I can finish. 

 

You have no idea how important that is.    If you understand that concept, you're WAY ahead of the game.  

 

 

 

books, free online courses, youtube tutorials, etc.

 

Different people learn best in different ways, some with books, some are "show-me" types, etc. You will have to determine what type of learner you are and look for those types of resources.

 

If you learn how to make music, you won't' have to outsource music for your games.  Check out Anvil Studio and Audacity for free tools you can play around with.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Background: I am an artist, love telling stories, and want to focus on game design over anything else, but I feel like I need some bit of credibility to get to that point--that I need to be a real stand-out with experience in order to net a position, paid or unpaid. 

I've decided that I should get my hands dirty and start working.  

 

To learn programming to a degree that I can make games (even 2-d ones like I'm interested in) is a herculean task. I'm overwhelmed, so here I am. 

Here's a few of the questions I have...

 

What is the programming language should I use? Is Gamemaker enough? (I hear that Undertale was created in it)

Is making a visual novel a waste of time? Will it give me programming experience? I'm interested because it seems like something I can finish. 

What resources will give the most educational value for the time I put into them? (books, free online courses, youtube tutorials, etc.). This is mainly what I will base/schedule my education around. Of course I want to see eye-opening videos or books about game development, even if they're not all that technical.

I have a ton of ideas in my head for compositions. Should I learn how to make music? 

 

I hope you guys can give me some input on this.

Thank you!

 

Seems a little like your focus is very scattered. From programming to graphic design to music. I would say where you need to start is to narrow down your focus to what you actually want to do. Since you are an artist and you say programming is actually quite a feat for you, then perhaps your angle is to excel in graphic design and work with a programmer to design games. 

 

Not that I would ever discouraging you from learning programming. If you want to learn, then don't let it be program based, like what you suggested. You will only limit yourself. It's more a question of programming language. I would say focus on C++ and Java, and if you're interested C#. You can learn the basics from online tutorials and reading, but what do you have against a formal education in this area? That also goes a long way to helping you land an actual job - paid or unpaid. I would suggest getting a degree in graphic design (in which you will learn programming), or otherwise taking courses and getting certifications. 

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