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Joseph Perez

Where Do I Start?

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If I am an aspiring game developer, where do I start?  I know that's kind of a broad topic, but I just don't know where I should focus my attention. Should I learn some sort of coding? If so,  what specifically should I learn. This is a completely different world for me so I have no idea where to attack first. If there are books or videos that I could read I would appreciate that also.  

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You must first learn a language. C# is a good one to start with in my opinion. Not sure how some of the more senior members feel about it but it was my first language and I enjoyed programming a lot of beginner projects in it using XNA/Monogame. 

After you feel comfortable with a language you just simply start working on projects to improve yourself! 

Here are some books I have that helped me when I first start: 

Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving

Beginning C++ Through Game Programming

Microsoft Visual C# 2015: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

If you don't want to spend any money then Youtube is definitely the right place to check out. TheNewBoston and CodingMadeEasy have nice videos! 

Here are also some resources aimed at beginners:

C#: http://www.learncs.org

C++: http://www.learncpp.com

I'm definitely not an expert (Still in college) so check out other replies as well. I hope I helped!

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Honestly, i find C# a little complicated. For me i recommand to learn lua^^.

A list of lua game framework :

-Love2D

-TIC-80

-PICO-8

-CoronaSDK

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10 hours ago, Joseph Perez said:

If I am an aspiring game developer, where do I start?  ... Should I learn some sort of coding?

Joseph, the other replies all assume you are an aspiring coder. But when I read your question, I did not assume that (because you asked if you should learn coding). You say you're aspiring to work in games - is coding your passion? Or is art your passion, or design, or music, or what? First figure out which area in the development of games you are interested in. Then try your hand at it and see how you like doing it. It's work to try these new things, but it can be enjoyable work when you start seeing your stuff turn into something. 

If you don't know what jobs there are in games besides coding, read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson7.htm

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I would very strongly recommend that you find your way into the game industry through programming or art.  There are a million sound guys out there, so I don't think audio is a good skill to achieve that simply because there are so many audio people out there.  Just being a pure designer is really not a valid path into the industry.  There is no level of knowledge, experience, or ability that will attract anyone's attention as a pure designer.  Being a pure designer is not really a valid path into the modern game industry, you really have to be a programmer or artist... and programmer is, by far, the avenue that is most likely to get you there.

Don't waste your life believing that you can find your way into the modern game industry as a pure designer, you almost certainly can't.  They will keep insisting that you can, but really you can't.  There is no level of knowledge, experience, or ability that will achieve that.

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3 minutes ago, Kavik Kang said:

Don't waste your life believing that you can find your way into the modern game industry as a pure designer, you almost certainly can't.  They will keep insisting that you can, but really you can't.  There is no level of knowledge, experience, or ability that will achieve that.

Would disagree on the basis I know several people that went to uni doing design courses and landed junior jobs as designers .. some are even fairly bad at art etc considering being a designer.

I wouldnt say its easy though it certainly is possible.. and it wouldnt be a waste if thats the area you really love.

In terms of your question though, Tom does a good job of covering it, working out which specific area interests you and working on that as opposed to a general "learn a bit of everything" approach is usually better, mostly because if you did land a job as an artist.. while it may be nice to know a bit of coding.. its not something essential to your job and you could have used the time to improve your art skills .. same goes the other way of course

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Your question is a bit too broad, what are you looking to do in the games industry? =)  Games make use of a lot of different talents, including programming, art, writing, sound, level design, etc.  Figure out which of these seem most fun to you, then approach learning how to do that =)

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2 hours ago, GibbonThatCodes said:

Would disagree on the basis I know several people that went to uni doing design courses and landed junior jobs as designers .. some are even fairly bad at art etc considering being a designer.

I wouldnt say its easy though it certainly is possible.. and it wouldnt be a waste if thats the area you really love.

In terms of your question though, Tom does a good job of covering it, working out which specific area interests you and working on that as opposed to a general "learn a bit of everything" approach is usually better, mostly because if you did land a job as an artist.. while it may be nice to know a bit of coding.. its not something essential to your job and you could have used the time to improve your art skills .. same goes the other way of course

If someone is wanting to work in the computer game industry, I think just about everyone would agree that becoming a programmer is by far the most reliable means of doing that.  By a long, long way.  If you are a particularly good programmer, they won't care if you've never even had an interest in games.  

Definitely, if you are going to attempt to become a pure game designer, go to one of their schools.  Learn their language, what they believe, and how they do it.  But this is more like playing the lottery compared to if you were to focus on programming.  Don't learn more than that.  Just go to their schools, read their books, and ignore everything else that might be out there.  Knowing more than they do about game and simulation design is detrimental.  You won't be speaking their language.  You will regularly contradict things they think are set-in-stone "laws".  They will think that you are the one who doesn't know what you are talking about.

I'm not saying this to be a jerk, this is just the way it is.  Learn to speak their language, not more than that, and hope you win the lottery of the random flip of the coin that they have no choice but to base those decisions on between you and everyone else who recently graduated from their "game design schools".  Or, become a programmer where you can get in on knowledge, ability, and talent alone.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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56 minutes ago, Kavik Kang said:

Definitely, if you are going to attempt to become a pure game designer, go to one of their schools.  Learn their language, what they believe, and how they do it.  But this is more like playing the lottery compared to if you were to focus on programming.  Don't learn more than that.  Just go to their schools, read their books, and ignore everything else that might be out there.  Knowing more than they do about game and simulation design is detrimental.  You won't be speaking their language.  You will regularly contradict things they think are set-in-stone "laws".  They will think that you are the one who doesn't know what you are talking about.

I'm not saying this to be a jerk, this is just the way it is.  Learn to speak their language, not more than that, and hope you win the lottery of the random flip of the coin that they have no choice but to base those decisions on between you and everyone else who recently graduated from their "game design schools".  Or, become a programmer where you can get in on knowledge, ability, and talent alone.

While I agree with programmers most likely having a much better chance of getting hired, the rest is your standard nonsense.

We get it - you haven't been able to get hired as a designer. That sucks, and you could potentially have a lot to offer. However, a lot of other people (both with and without experience) get hired. You not being hired does not mean designers are chosen randomly based on a coin flip.

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I appreciate all of the replies and I will most definitely make use of all of it. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to make a game, just something that everyone could enjoy. But, it was only recently that I looked at this dream as more than just a thought. I had an idea for a game and I just felt like "wow... people will like this, I know it!"  I really want to make it a reality, I've been writing about it, drawing concept art. Of course, I'm still in high school and no little to none about the process of the creation of games. When Cup Head came out I watched tons of videos on the Moldenhauer brothers and they didn't have much expertise in the field either, they just wanted to make a game. If I am remembering correctly, I believe one of them did construction prior to their game launching. So it's just that thought of "well if they can do it why can't I?" I love art, although I am not good at drawing. I am slowly learning both hand-drawn and digital drawing. However, I also want to learn to program things and have a hands on approach in creating. I know it's very ignorant of me to say "I'm gonna create a game of the year game as my first game!" but that's not what I'm trying to say at all and I hope it doesn't come off as that. That is my end goal, and I know I need experience and years under my belt before I can even think on a grand scale, but I just want to know what path to go down to start to get to my end goal. I haven't even began to learn to code, to program, to be honest I don't even know If I'm using the right terms! But, just thinking of concepts and writing it down is just so much fun to me I don't wanna stop, I wanna keep creating it further and further. 

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