When you think about video games, acclaimed titles like Final Fantasy or Silent Hill can come to mind. These are complex both from all angles – storytelling, development, graphics, and soundtrack.
However, there are a lot of basic video games that anyone can make. In this post, we will share a no-nonsense roadmap for starting your journey as a game dev.
More than other apps, video games are often as successful as their ideas. As soon as you have the concept, the technology follows. At the end of the day, if the idea behind the gameplay is boring and doesn’t excite end-users, it doesn’t matter how elegant your codebase is.
While this guide is not focused on the creative part of game development, here’s a quick look at ways and tools creators use for brainstorming:
Once you understand the genre and plot of the game, it’s time to think about technology. Most financially successful titles are built in C#. While a flagship technology for game dev, it’s by no means an easy language to learn.
Luckily, if you are fed up with C#, there are alternative routes.
Before you lock your choice in, do your research on how to learn gaming in Java as a beginner (or a different programming language) codegym.cc/java-game-programming-for-beginners-where-to-start. It’s a good idea to explore what developers on Reddit, Stack Overflow, and professional blogs have to say about game dev technologies and tools.
There are different ways to approach learning game development. You could pick up a few theory books to understand high-level concepts first or dive right into building projects and following Youtube tutorials. While some learners love being supervised, others prefer independence.
Before you start looking for tutors, exploring online courses, or books, figure out your learning style and commit to it.
Meanwhile, here’s a small but handy resource deck for all types of learners:
While it’s tempting to use a ton of resources, you could be risking chaos and confusion. That’s why it’s better to stick to 1-2 picks per category (e.g. 2 books, 2 YT channels, and 2 niche Reddit threads) to stay focused.
As much as you want to make a successful RPG on the first try, that’s likely not going to happen. If you want to have a complete game rather than an awesome but half-baked idea, it’s better to keep it simple.
To understand what types of games you can build on a shoestring budget, take some time to explore indie titles. A few simple but awesome ideas are:
Though simple by design, a lot of these games can become complex if you decide to throw AI in. Thus, don’t let the simplicity of the concept fool you and stick to indie concepts until you are confident in your coding skills and perseverance.
Game development is highly glorified and has a competitive job market. That’s why entry-level developers often see game dev as a distant dream and come up with a ton of excuses to not explore it.
The truth is, game development becomes straightforward and “crackable” once you study the theory and put your skills to practice. Don’t worry if, halfway through, you realize you have no idea what you are doing – in this field, no one really does.
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