View Full Version : Getting started. Tips?
09-18-2010, 08:24 AM
okay, so after dropping out of high school and getting my GED, I've come to realize that motivation won't just magic itself up out of nowhere. So, here goes.
After lots of sitting and doing nothing, I've decided that I have to just do something. Anything. Improvement will never happen unless I actively take a step towards it. So..
Basically, I want to get started on making games. Any kind, shitty little platformers, awful RPGS, anything. Problem being, I'm really awful at getting started, as I am easily overwhelmed. So, what kind of tips does everyone have (especially those of you that make games.) What kind of programs do I want to use for sprites? For coding? What are the best places that offer some kind of help? I really need to start doing something before I just lose all motivation. Now, i've done game maker and other such things, I've even made the first room of a text adventure (Big deal, I know.) and all of that stuff. I have a decent enough grasp of things such as anatomy, etc, so actually making the sprites wouldn't be a huge issue after some practice. Coding of course, is my weak point, but i've done it before and I sure as hell want to learn how to do it better. This is completely unorganized and not well though out but..
Tl;dr I'm 18 and have been on this website since I was 12, and have done very little that I consider to be worthwhile. I want to make games. What do. (Programs for sprites, tutorials, any advice, anything you can provide me.)
09-18-2010, 08:38 AM
i couldn't recommend a better start than unity for one man game projects, be it 2d, 3d, the engine is very flexible. There's a great community for scripting tutorials/help.
Prior to the start of this past summer i had little to no programming knowledge, and by practicing a few times a day in unity, i'm only weeks away from my first functional prototype
09-18-2010, 08:59 AM
Head over to the TIGForums (http://forums.tigsource.com/) and Gamedev.net (http://www.gamedev.net/) and learn about whatever interests you.
Maybe head out to a community college and take some programming courses. The structured environment might do you some good. Or if school isn't to your liking then pickup a couple of programming books and go through them.
At some point in doing that you might find something that excites you enough to take things farther than just the beginning.
If you're really interested in Indie game development then I also recommend Unity. I've been messing with it for about a month (more to just make an art piece (http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76211) rather than a full blown game) and it's quite easy to get into.
09-18-2010, 03:05 PM
There's a lot you can do to gain motivation. I would suggest narrowing your interests down to one thing you find that you enjoy, first. Too much goes into making a game, you might find there are aspects you don't like and lose motivation during those parts of creation.
My experiences are all art-related but I think they can be applied pretty generally to making games.
Here's two things that help/helped me with motivation: Community competitions and school.
Since graduating from school I've found most of my motivation from community challenges. I enjoy doing 3d so I want to do it, but challenges really get me thinking about a specific project to do. They give guidelines and a deadline. I personally work better with deadlines.
If you have a lot of trouble with motivation I would suggest school. All of the problems with for-profit schools aside, they give you a steady platform of assignments and deadlines which will keep you working and improving. If you care about what you're doing, you'll enjoy working on it and probably do your own learning outside of school as well. I don't see that it would be a totally negative experience if that was the case. You'd get the motivation, contacts and maybe learn some stuff in the classes.
I was a huge slacker when I was 17 and graduated from high school but I started at a 3d school the day after and it really gave me a lot of discipline. It flipped a switch. Instead of doing no work, I was up all night, every night, working towards ridiculous deadlines on multiple projects and enjoying it. Later on I was using places like Polycount to further my learning beyond what I was getting in class.
If it wasn't for going to 3d school I would have done who knows what. I had little motivation to pursue a career as a graphic designer(Photoshop was my only applicable skill at the time and I was told 3d was out of the question by a guidance counselor (which was fucked up)). I even missed an interview for community college, haha.
09-18-2010, 07:48 PM
Always do what you are afraid to do. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash. -George S. Patton
We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. -Arthur C. Clarke
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. -Aristotle
Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need. -Voltaire
Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking. -William B. Sprague
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others. -Solomon Ibn Gabriol
09-18-2010, 09:46 PM
Ah, thanks for the response. I will check with everything mentioned, as I take your advice in good faith, you have provided much help as a community before.
I hope to have something worth showing sometime in the future.
Maybe I can hope to achieve something worthy of the crazy awesome art here.
09-18-2010, 10:05 PM
Seems like something to look at is your attitude towards yourself and your work.
Everything from your signature to comments like 'contributing something worthwhile' and 'something worthy of the crazy awesome art here' say that you don't value the time you've spent getting to this point, or your own potential or whatever. I'm not trying to psycho-analyze you or anything, but your comments about yourself do seem pretty negative.
I've got ten years on you, and I didn't start seriously pursuing game art until I was at least 26. Even then, life got in the way and I'm still working on learning techniques and improving at 28. Saying that, I wouldn't change anything, because all my experiences in other fields and life generally have made me who I am today.
Don't kick your own ass about not starting to figure all this shit out at 12(!) years old. Christ, when I was 18 all I worried about was chasing tail and partying. It's great to approach anything with a humble attitude, but don't think of things in terms of 'worth', especially time.
The fact is you're at this point now, and are looking at taking action to make something happen. Some people go their whole lives without either having or listening to that epiphany that says get your ass in gear.
Now get to it. :)
09-19-2010, 12:22 AM
Ahah, I guess that's a way of motivating myself, TBh because when I see it it forces me to think about how i need to work on things, etc.
I dunno. Thing is I actually practiced 3d (although it was awful primitive 3d) when i was that young, and haven't really since. Still, I'm glad to hear that i'm not to old to start thinking about this stuff, heh.
If coding is a weak point for you, you could try the "logic bricks" in Blender and then do some python scripting if it is needed.
09-20-2010, 10:55 AM
SO, if I get started in Unity, and lets say I figure it out and manage to grasp the concepts it covers, would it be simple enough to jump ship to UDK afterwards?
In short, what i'm asking is if it's a good "Launch Pad" for this kind of thing?
09-20-2010, 01:32 PM
Starting with a goal of "I want to make games" is probably too lofty an ambition for where you currently are now. You could easily get discouraged if you run into a simple code problem, script syntax errors, art not looking 'right' in whatever engine. There are so many things that go wrong when working on game stuff, it just comes with the territory. And it can easily kill your motivation.
So I would suggest just picking one branch, like coding, since that is the stuff that drives the game to begin with. If you can;t make it work, well, now you know. So move to something else like art.
Also, you should really try to find like minded people to work with. Working with other people who care about making games is the best reason for working in this industry. And that way you don't have to figure out so much shit on your own. Going solo = path to insanity.
09-20-2010, 01:54 PM
The problem is that i've already let that happen far too many times.
I've made one or two crap games before, but I've never actually invested serious effort into them, hence why they were crap.
09-20-2010, 01:56 PM
Going solo = path to insanity.
09-20-2010, 06:53 PM
bob is a nutter
after I get the basics down i'm recruiting.
09-21-2010, 12:43 PM
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