Do I have to do ALL the work?!
There are all kinds of jobs in Game Development, you don’t HAVE to do all the work like I decided to. I’m just stubborn, but it will help you develop stronger relationships with your team and other developers if you know a little bit of what the go through.
Try to do everything at least once.
Do I need to go to school?!
I didn’t. That’s not the answer to this question, but who would you rather hire, someone who spent 2-4 years learning how things come together to make a game, or someone who spent 4 years of experience of making games, even if some of them are bad?
Yea, but what Engine do I use? There’s a bajillion!
Honestly, You’re going to make a decision regardless of what I or anyone else says, and that’s good! I personally use Unity3d because after experimenting with others, I just felt more comfortable using it over others! It’s not only free up to a vast degree, the Unity Team is outstanding in it’s efforts to help all game developers, regardless of age, skill, and team size.
I picked an Engine, Now what about making my game?!
Here’s the surprise not everyone is ready for. I don’t recommend starting off on that game you want to make, first. Do the crumby and super boring tutorials, branch of those and make more levels for them. COMBINE the tutorials into one game so you can test the flexibility you have in making games. Build your confidence and skill before you get burnt out trying to make that game you always dreamed about.
Do I have to let people play my games?
Remember how I said we all suck at something in the beginning? I’ve spent half a year making a game I thought was fun to play. It wasn’t until I was almost finished did I let people play it… And people hated it. Controls were too much, players had no guidance or tutorials. I had to completely remake the game from the ground up because I waited too long to see if the game was even fun! Let people play your game in the early not pretty stages. It’s a lot easier to fix or make new things in the early stages, trust me.
But Fo realsies, What do you need to make a game?
I use the Unity3d Engine, but that’s just a foundation.
To program, I learned and preferred C# because it is a strongly typed language and taught myself to make comments or write code where I would know what it meant months later. If you are programming diverse functions in your game, you might not even need that code again until level 3 or something! Take your time to make it legible.
There is a lot of modeling software out there. It’s kind of like a shirt, There’s T shirts, Tank Tops, coats, and that robot suit from Alien. Grab something easy to learn off of, then decide which one you prefer, the concepts are all the same, even most of the tools! I like Blender because it has my favourite “F” word in it, FREE!
Illustration is all about the artist and not the tools. Sure people say start with GIMP because it’s free! I still don’t know how to use gimp. I don’t want to spend a boat load of money each month on Adobe either, so I called and asked if I could have a one time fee of the older version CS6. Yea it was like $300, but I’ve had it for at LEAST 5 years now, and I probably won’t even want a newer copy for another 5. I’ve even learned that you can animate in it!
People often affiliate game design with levels, characters, story! Sometimes it’s just a team going “Oh what if we do this!?” or “Well we can’t do that, but we can make it THIS instead.”. If a game stays to the original plan to the T, you might not be doing it right. Games are meant to be flexible and some ideas in the beginning might not seem so attractive later on. Definitely try sharing your game design ideas with other like minded people. The best thing you can do, is review it with a complete non gamer. Getting with your audience makes a lot more impact.
Narrating was something I’ve also always wanted to do, but it is a real surprise to hear what you sound like. If you’ve played the demo, you’ll definitely know how I felt. XD While I admit, I have taught myself all the previous game dev areas, this is something that may damage you in the long run. I highly recommend getting lessons from a professional, taking improv classes, and even acting classes.
Do you have any recommendations?
If you’re still reading this article and not already getting started, there is a high probability you are too nervous. If you don’t believe in yourself enough to get started, find someone who does. If you can’t find someone who believes enough in you to get started, start believing in someone else! If it were not for my best friend at Nahual Studios, I would never have believed I could do this. If that doesn’t work, go on steam and buy those really REALLY simple games and then come back and tell me you couldn’t make one of those yourself. I’ve heard mentors help, but good luck finding someone to take you under their wing, they are probably too busy doing their own thing. Perhaps you just got to show them you can do something on your own, too!