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Where should I start with game development?

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#1 badchopsuey   Members   


Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:36 PM

I realise that this question has been asked and answered thousands of time, but please bear with me.


I am a painter, and I have been playing all types of games for years. Now I want to get my hands in the game development community


I have always wanted to write and illustrate my own graphic novels. But the comic book market continues to deteriate, while the gaming market continues to grow by the day. On Steam, anyone can submit a game to be "greenlit" and sold on Steam. which gave me the idea to make my first comic book as a game (a cheap one).


I am wanting to develop my first game to not be 3D, but a 2D, hand-painted, point and click story driven game. But I am not sure where to start. I do not know how to program. I know that you will likely tell me to just give up now (because programming is so essential to game dev), but I am not going to quite when I get started. I am stubborn but motivated.


I am not looking to start by learning something that will get me "interested" but will have to learn something entirely new to actually make a game. I want to be set for years.


So if I am should learn programming, which language should I learn? I want one that is on the easy side, but will not hinder my ability to make a game. Also I plan to teach my younger sister and two brothers programming so that they may get a good job one day.


And what engine should I use?


How would I make the sound for this game? Could it be bought?


Anything else that I should know?

#2 Alpheus   GDNet+   


Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:53 PM

Personally I would direct you to Interactive Fiction engines. They sound like more of what you're looking for.

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#3 turquoiseptato   Members   


Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:07 PM

this can be helpful:



If you take an engine , make sure to read the license!

Edited by turquoiseptato, 12 March 2013 - 06:43 PM.

#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   


Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:45 AM

It doesn't sound like you really want or need to learn to program properly if you're just trying to create some fairly simple games, so I'd suggest an authorware package such as Construct 2 or Game Maker, which allow you to create games using visual editors and simplified scripting languages rather than having to go through the full process of programming from scratch.  Some people think of these packages as kids toys or something that can't be used for serious development, but they have been used for commercially successful indie and hobbyist games in the past and there's no real reason you couldn't do the same.


However, if you really want to program I'd suggest a simple language and library such as Lua/Love2d.  Lua is commonly used as a scripting language even in professional development, and is a very approachable but capable language.



I'd suggest you stay away from C++ -- it's the language of choice for high-budget AAA development, but it's a lot more complex than your other options without offering you significant advantages for simple games.



Hope that helps! smile.png

- Jason Astle-Adams

#5 warnexus   Prime Members   


Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:27 AM

Since you don't know how to program, I highly recommend that you do. Which language? I would recommend either Java or C#. If you find it is too hard, I would say start with basic C++ and then revisit Java and C#. Programming is essential for anyone getting to making games. You need to get to the point where you know some Object Oriented Programming fundamentals: the idea of calling methods, creating objects, creating a class. Once you got the basics down, you will know how to add these images like your comic book art into your program or how to add buttons to the program that lets you go to the next page of your comic book. Adding music or looping a particular music while reading this comic book is also trivial. 


The important thing: understand object oriented programming and composition. Just programming 30mins a day and you will be addicted to it. Trust me. I knew I was.

#6 BeerNutts   Members   


Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

I am wanting to develop my first game to not be 3D, but a 2D, hand-painted, point and click story driven game.


You should check out Adventure Game Studio.  It's designed specifically for point-and-click adventure games.  AGD Interactive useds it to make their Sierra remake games.


From what little I've worked with it, it doesn't seem to be too advanced, so even a beginner programmer should be able to manage it by going through the tutorials.


Good Luck and have fun!

My Gamedev Journal: 2D Game Making, the Easy Way

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#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   


Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:45 PM

Programming is essential for anyone getting to making games

That isn't necessarily true --  there are a growing number of packages that allow you to create games using visual editors and simplified scripting systems, and they're becoming more and more capable of producing good quality games that are able to be sold.  You won't be able to make commercial AAA-quality games this way, but you can definitely make great games that match the quality produced by indie and even professional mobile or browser-game developers.  In point #2 of my post on "4 reasons you aren't a successful indie developer" I list a number of commercially successful indie games created with Game Maker and similar tools, and there are actually quite a few more examples.


Programming is a great way to make games, and for certain types of games and target platforms it can be your only reasonable option -- but it isn't for everyone, and there are capable alternatives out there that are getting better all the time.


Pre-emptive nitpick: Yes, in the majority of these systems the visual logic editors or simplified scripting systems used are technically still programming, but they're a lot more approachable and less intimidating for those who are less inclined to program, and usually don't involve the same process of learning sometimes arcane syntax and having to type and test large sections of code.

- Jason Astle-Adams

#8 Poigahn   Members   


Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:33 AM

BadChopSuey - What a great name for a cartoonish 2D game.  After Re-Reading your original post, you could either go this way (<) or that way (>) . Many great games were developed by people whom never new how to program a computer or even new what a computer was ( or Will Be ).


Palor games, RPGs, and many table family games were designed, tested and sold way before Bill Gates or Steve Jobs became household games.


My suggestion would be to go ahead, as you are, and develop your game, do your art work, sit at your table and play your game, several times over.  Once your satisfied that everything works as intended and all of your rules are in place, then find someone to help put that game into a marketable media, such as a computer program format.


At that time it would be advisable, no matter what your age is, to pick up a simple book such as "Game Programming for Teens".  A book like this, will not only begin to teach a simple language to learn, but also outline the steps and processes on how to assemble a computer game.  A book such as this, Assisted me in understanding more about graphics, further re-enforced game structure and provided enough tips to turn a few lights on in the cranium dome.


Your rules on how your game works, the order it must follow is the basis needed to provide your game programmer with a guideline to develop the structure and sub-routines in a computer program.


Good Luck and Press on.

Your Brain contains the Best Program Ever Written : Manage Your Data Wisely !!

#9 badchopsuey   Members   


Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:18 AM

Thank you all for your advice. I will be sure to put it to use.

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