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I read the articles about how to dive into game dev but still in a dilemma

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#1 fofay   Members   


Posted 24 April 2013 - 03:56 PM

As the title says.

I have the retail version of RPG Maker VX Ace and GameMaker: Studio. I also have the book Android Game Programming for Dummies.

I seriously don't know what to focus on. Most likely people will tell me to complete the book and program in Java (I also like that idea) but would like to hear if anyone has some other information on how to fluidly enter game dev. And of course, the easier way.

I'm working 3 shifts at work and I already managed my schedule so I can learn something from the above three.


Thank you in advance smile.png

#2 Khatharr   Members   


Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:24 PM

VX will let you make a small project in a couple minutes. If you stick with it you'll learn Ruby and you'll learn about the general layout of games, along with some techniques for grid-based motion and the like. GMS uses a proprietary language but is designed to create a broader range of games than just RPGs and I believe it can publish to multiple platforms. (VX can make non-RPG games, but the GUI is geared toward making RPGs). Java is very widely used and you can dev straight to android with it.


I'd recommend fiddling around with the three of them for a week or so and seeing which one you like, then focusing on that. The thing is, pick one and stick with it for a while. Programming is mostly about problem solving and logical reasoning. Your first language will be the hardest because you have to learn programming through the language. Once you have a grip on that you'll find that picking up additional languages becomes very much easier over time.

void hurrrrrrrr() {__asm sub [ebp+4],5;}

There are ten kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

#3 frob   Moderators   


Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:30 PM

I think this will be the overriding concern:


I'm working 3 shifts at work and I already managed my schedule so I can learn something from the above three.

Learning new skills takes time.  Hopefully you will have time on your current work that you can spend reading and developing skills.




What do you want to do?  Do you want to program games?  Or do you want to design games?


From the looks of the books, it seems like you want to program.  Programming is certainly a thing to make games.  


For most beginner programmers, it usually requires many hundred hours of practice and study before becoming competent enough to get into serious game programming.  After that, it requires several more hundreds (or thousands) of hours to build the game parts and put them together.  Many people do it, but just realize you are probably facing a multi-year investment of effort.




There are also non-programming game tools out there if you are more toward the designer personality.  You are limited to only doing the things they were written for, but they require much less time than learning how to program.  There are many out there, such as Game Maker Studio, that can do that job.


If your goal is just to make a game and not to be a professional programmer, that is more likely to be a successful route to making a game.

Edited by frob, 24 April 2013 - 05:32 PM.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.

#4 fofay   Members   


Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:46 AM

Thank you for the answers :D.

In all honesty I lean towards the part that I wish to be a programmer. I truly enjoyed programming in high school and would like to learn some language that would help me in game development. I have a small project (a few maps) already made in VX (it's not complete, but it's there) and in GM:Studio I have a few sprite holders and a simple blocking mechanic. Also I read (and have coded) half of the book that I bought about Android game dev. So I fiddled with everything and still I'm not sure on what to focus. I got GM:Studio just so that I can create a simpler game then a RPG.


I would like to make a simple game that people would enjoy playing. If I can make some money from selling it, GREAT. If not, no worries, at least people are playing it.

Edited by fofay, 25 April 2013 - 01:49 AM.

#5 jHaskell   Members   


Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:56 AM

The advantage of Game Making environment like VX and GMS is that they let you create something tangible in a short period of time, so the reward for your investment is more immediate.  Creating something from 'scratch' from a programming language like Java involves a much great investment in time to reach that 'something tangible' point, but you end up with a more powerful and flexible skillset.


If you want to be a programmer, then the quickest path to that goal is to start programming (though it's by no means quick.  There is no quick path), but that's not necessarily the easiest path.  There's going to be a period of time where you get little tangible reward for your efforts as you learn both the language and the programming concepts, but as you gain knowledge and experience those tangible rewards come quicker and you have much more freedom in the kind of games you can develop.  Persistence is key though.  Actually writing code is also key.  Reading all the books, articles, and tutorials in the world won't be all that helpful if you don't write any code.


VX and GMS are stepping stones into game development, but it's a longer path.  You'll spend some time learning and gaining experience with the tools themselves, and that time and experience won't fully transfer over when you make the transition to full blown game development.

Edited by jHaskell, 25 April 2013 - 09:56 AM.

#6 Tim Cooper   Members   


Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

If it's your first project the problem can often be that you don't even know what you don't know yet, which makes the studying side of things slightly tricky!


One way around this is picking a project to work through from start to finish. Either come up with a game idea of your own or (possibly easier) create a copy of an existing game. In many ways it doesn't matter what you decide to create, just that you pick something to work towards. Make it something you'd enjoy playing (you'll be working on it for a while), but simple enough that you have a real chance of completing it. And yes, this means don't pick a full scale, multi-country rpg game with umpteen classes and skill trees, a monster manuals worth of creatures and detailed back stories for every npc in every town :)


When you set out to create a complete game (or finished mobile app or desktop app) it gives you a lot of experience about what goes into it. Game frameworks, gameplay, game graphics, sound effects, user interface and probably lots of other areas I can't think of off the top of my head. There's so many details that it's almost impossible to learn everything in advance, you have to dive in and try it. As you work through putting everything together you have a much better idea of what goes into a game. Just get started in one area and build things up.


For example:

1. Show a world using tiles and load the world information from resources.

2. Show a character in the world and get them moving.

3. Show baddies in the world (random or scripted).

4. Add some form of combat system (sword animation, attack button, damage versus defence/life and track for each character).

5. Animate the combat - hit animation, death animations.

6. Get some free old school sound effects and create a sound system. Play sounds on attack, hit and death.

7. Add a user interface - character health, items, etc.


and so on. Every time you add one detail it highlights other things that need to be added, or other things that could be done. A lot of this you can read up on as you're going along, which should give you even more ideas for how to do things, structure things or just ideas for more things to add.


So yeah. Pick a game to create and start working on it, and it'll help focus your efforts straight away :)


Good luck!




P.S. Most peoples first development projects are pretty rubbish. This is completely normal, so if you start to get frustrated don't worry about it (everyone does it) :) First time through you're just figuring stuff out and making all the mistakes, no matter how much reading you do before hand you won't really know it until you've tried it. Each project you work on will be better than the last one you did, as you know more and make better design and development decisions. Stick with it and you'll soon be slapping together little games easily and wondering how you every struggled to get the first one going :D

Tim Cooper - software developer, project manager and occasional iOS app developer.

Creative Shadows Ltd - My hobby company website


Try my game "Happy Landings" on iTunes - Land balloons in a simple, top-down view game.

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