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What programs/software are good to look at when getting started...?

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Hi, i'll keep this short.

 

So i'm an aspiring games programmer. I'm learning Unity, C#, C++ and DirectX is the plan.

 

I was wandering what other things might it be good for me to have a dabble in as a games developer. This doesn't have to be coding specific also. 

 

For example: GIMP, Blender. Maybe I can touch on these slightly just to know how they work or can be used.

 

What other programs/software comes to mind for someone looking to get into game development?

Also, if you can clarify for me what GIMP and Blender does exactly also ^^, sorry?

 

Thank you.

 

Edit: My main focus would be programming but as something to just have a little practice with what do you think would be beneficial for me to take a look at. Or to know how to use.

Edited by GameDevCoder

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I would definitely learn GIMP and Blender. GIMP is the open source version of photoshop. You use it to edit 2d images. Think of microsoft paint with many many more features. Blender is the open source version of maya. You can create 3D characters, texture them, animate and render them. It is the most impressive piece of open source software that I know. I should also warn you that Blender has a steep learning curve so be ready to be looking up a lot of help while learning it. Both pieces of software are very useful for 3D game development and I use at least one of those for every personal game project I worked on. To add to the list, I would also checkout [url=https://inkscape.org/en/]Inkscape[/url]. It is also a 2d open source art editor like GIMP, but instead of storing images as grid of pixels it stores images a bunch of curves and shapes. I use this software less, but I still find it useful. [url=http://www.audacityteam.org/]Audacity[/url] is a great simple audio editor. This is useful for recording, combining and making simple edits to sound effects. [url=https://lmms.io/]lmms[/url] is a decent music composition program I highly recommend you read through this [url=https://gamebalanceconcepts.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/level-1-intro-to-game-balance/]Game Balance Concepts[/url]. After reading it I have had a completely new perspective on game design for both board games and video games. Also a plug for a game design youtube channel I think is pretty good and deserves more views [url=https://www.youtube.com/user/daltreywaters]https://www.youtube.com/user/daltreywaters[/url]

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Games are a piece of art that includes many processes.

As a product itself, it has the whole managment/sales pespetctives. (How to manage a team and product, and how to sell it).

As a piece of art it has the design and meaning perspectives.

As a software it has coding perspectives.

Additionaly it has audio, gui, IO, if network is available than servers/p2p. (Maybe more I forgot)

 

In my point of view you should focus on code practices and devlopment, while learning bits of the other worlds.

3D modeling,

2D graphics,

User experience (For GUI and IO) and graphical design,

Audio editing and recording (for music and sound)

 

If you have any stupid question like "What does blender do". just google it or go to their site: https://www.blender.org/

Seriously it's not hard to do.

 

For a software recommendation, I'm not going to write a "to buy list". Just search these stuff using your favorite search engine.

People already asked this question like million times. 

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Get an IDE (Visual Studio or IntelliJ IDEA or something similar). IDEs are for reading, writing, testing and (most importantly) debugging programs. You can use Visual Studio with Unity to edit and debug your scripts.

Some kind of hexeditor (pick any one you like or write your own). These are for examining files that don't have a more appropriate program that can load them. Most useful if you write your own save game file format, or things like that.

GIMP is an image editing tool, similar to Photoshop. You can create/view/edit 2D images with it. Your game can then load those images (with the appropriate loading code) and display them. You can use them for things like 2D UI or textures (the surface coloring) on your 3D models.

Blender is a 3D modelling tool. You can create and edit 3D models with it. You can "export" these models (convert the data into a file format your game can load), and then display those 3D models in your game. Edited by Nypyren

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@happycoder . Thanks for the reply. Really really helpful your post is i find thanks. 

 

If I wanted to make my own assets for a game, a 2D sprite asset. What software springs to mind for doing such a thing? Is it advisable for me to get a tablet also so that i can use to draw with? As I only have a mouse.


@WoopsASword. I appreciate your honest opinion. Thanks for posting. Most helpful.


@Nypyrne. Thanks for the explanations. 

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If I wanted to make my own assets for a game, a 2D sprite asset. What software springs to mind for doing such a thing?


You can use GIMP for that (or Photoshop if you own it). There are probably also some specialized tools for specific purposes, but I don't know of any publicly available ones off the top of my head.
 

Is it advisable for me to get a tablet also so that i can use to draw with? As I only have a mouse.


If you want to draw with a pen, then you have three main choices that I'm aware of:

- Get a "graphics tablet" (something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Graphics-Tablets/b?ie=UTF8&node=16034531 ). These plug into your existing PC but they take getting used to since you are looking at your screen while writing on the pad. The pads typically don't display what you're drawing. The ones that do are more expensive.

- There are monitors with graphics tablets built into them. They are MUCH more expensive but are nicer to use since the position of the pen directly corresponds to the position on the screen.

- There are all-in-one PCs that come with this kind of pen-enabled monitor. Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets are an example. The tablets like this are smaller than the standalone monitors but are more portable in case you want to travel with them. Edited by Nypyren

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Honestly, if you're just looking to dabble in everything and not commit to something specific to get something done, then you could pick _anything_

 

If you have a particular goal in mind, such as a project, then thats a different story, but what you are asking is something no one can answer unless you ask a more precise question.

Edited by v1Xus

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Honestly, if you're just looking to dabble in everything and not commit to something specific to get something done, then you could pick _anything_

 

If you have a particular goal in mind, such as a project, then thats a different story, but what you are asking is something no one can answer unless you ask a more precise question.

 

So my focus will be coding (this is what i'm currently studying). I was thinking how it would be nice to be familiar with some other aspects of game development also as in knowing how to use other software used in different parts of game development.

Are there any applications that spring to mind that would be good to know even at just a beginners level so I can maybe look more appealing to a prospective future employee? Something I can add on my CV to say I'm familiar with.

The programs i'm referring too. They don't have to be coding specific also, can just be used in general game development. Either or.

Edited by GameDevCoder

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You will have your hands full learning code-related tools, without getting into art, graphics, audio, etc.

 

You're learning Unity, C#, C++ and DirectX; to complement that, as a coder, I'd recommend you get familiar with:

  • Visual Studio (if that wasn't included implicitly)
  • Git, Subversion (source/version control)
  • Python (for scripting, automation, etc)
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • SQL, via Sqlite, or MySQL (for databases, queries, etc)

If you find yourself needing to create game assets, getting used to Blender, GIMP, Audacity, etc is useful - but employers aren't going to care about your experience there because (a) making those assets won't be your job, and (b) pro studios tend to use more expensive tools than those anyway.

Edited by Kylotan

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You will have your hands full learning code-related tools, without getting into art, graphics, audio, etc.

 

You're learning Unity, C#, C++ and DirectX; to complement that, as a coder, I'd recommend you get familiar with:

  • Visual Studio (if that wasn't included implicitly)
  • Git, Subversion (source/version control)
  • Python (for scripting, automation, etc)
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • SQL, via Sqlite, or MySQL (for databases, queries, etc)

If you find yourself needing to create game assets, getting used to Blender, GIMP, Audacity, etc is useful - but employers aren't going to care about your experience there because (a) making those assets won't be your job, and (b) pro studios tend to use more expensive tools than those anyway.

 

Fantastic post. Thank you very very much for replying. I fully understand and your post i hear loud and clear. Really helpful thanks Kylotan. I shall look into this info further then when I have the time. +1

Edited by GameDevCoder

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Other than what's been said...

 

You can get a free version of Photoshop CS2 from Adobe.  I'd recommend getting it and learning how to use it.

 

You can also get perforce free for personal use, so again... get it.  It's the best source control out there and used extensively in game studios.  It's also not a total nightmare like Git.

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Don't forget to get some mind mapper (i use xmind), wiki system (confluence) and task tracker (youtrack).

 

You start prototyping on paper, but then you need to organize bunch of notes, and tasks, so this is why it's good to know how to make it clear, otherwise big amount of work can just frustrate you and you will give up.

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@OrOd and @nicloay. Thank you very much for your posts. Much appreciated. 

 

This topic i made is doing me the world of good and I have really learnt a great deal from the people that have taken their time to write me a post that can potentially help me in becoming a future game developer. 

 

Thank you all very much.

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