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  • So You Want to Make Video Games?

    - Elmar Talibzade
  • Crossposted on App Goodies


    You're probably wondering how to make cool games. But you have no idea where to start...

    You're not the only one with such problem. There are lots of people who encounter this issue and try to learn through YouTube tutorials. Some people succeed in getting grips on the programming, but mostly just give up and move on.

    Sure you can always ask people on forums, but most people will simply reply with a generic solution like "learn to make a Pong first" or "watch online video tutorials".

    Solutions are great and they work, but you're likely to find them either outdated or just dull and ineffective.

    Looking back, I had the same issue gaining knowledge from one video or another, trying to learn concepts of programming through tons of reading  and watching videos (some were useful, others weren't as much).

    In the end, I succeeded making my first simplistic and most generic game on Earth. However, I gained a lot of knowledge from it and next time I was able to make a more advanced game, which was followed by even a better one.

    I myself have a long way to go and do not mark myself as a "veteran" of the gaming industry as it would sound selfish and inaccurate.

    The point of this article is not to teach newcomers to program games or use engine, but to point them in the right direction. Some much more experienced game developers may find some of my writing misleading or incorrect. If you're one of them, feel free to let me know and I'll change it accordingly.

    Also, this article isn't intended for people who wish to learn to make game engines from scratch. It's intended for people with little to no programming experience, although the latter are highly welcome.

    This article aims to target people who have interest in making games as a hobby. Making games for commercial use is a different story to tell.

    With that being said, let's get started!

    Do not touch the game engine (for now)

    If you have decided to make Unity/UE4/CryEngine your starting point in your game career, you're likely to have a freshly installed copy of it on your desktop. That's good, but you won't need it for now as you'll have to learn to program first.

    An average newcomer (with a big game idea in mind) is likely to download and install a game making a program, open it, find it confusing and just uninstall it and move on.

    A small fraction of these people may watch YouTube tutorials and read online articles on help. Some may find it boring and too hard to read and move on.

    A smaller fraction will get basics of engine and try to make their first game. Once again only a smaller fraction will succeed, thus gaining more experience and moving on. They become more confident in concepts of engine and programming without having to rely too much on an online material.

    This can be easily represented with a funnel chart.

    Obviously, the funnel is a rough representation on how many newcomers actually become experienced game developers.

    The main problem is that people like you become demotivated of something that looks rather hard to master, like an engine or a 3D modeling software.

    Therefore, not only it's essential to learn to program first, but it's also important not to get tricked by the looks of the complexity of a program.


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