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Introduction to Game Development

This post is to motivate people to game development. It also helps people who want to enter the world of GameDev or are interested in it. It tells the basis of game development and how to start.

INTRODUCTION TO GAMEDEVELOPMENT

 

Technology is all around us. Over time it has become a part of our lives. Starting from Desktop computers to mobiles phones, it helps us in every aspect of our lives. Companies such as Windows and Apple have become part of human history. We use this technology for important things in our life, as well as for entertainment. One of the world’s greatest entertainments at the time is video games.

 

Starting its journey at the 1980s, the video game industry has become very much popular world-wide. Desktop computers, home consoles and mobile phones are the most played gaming platforms. Let us look at the popular gaming platforms at the time.

 

Desktop computers: Desktop computers were the beginning of the game industry, but at the time became less popular because of release of other better devices. However, it still stands as the basis of game development.

 

Consoles: Home gaming consoles and portable consoles are very popular now as they are powerful and do not have to meet system requirements. Some popular home gaming consoles are Sony’s PS series and Microsoft’s Xbox series.

 

Mobile Phones: This is the most popular gaming platform, as it is carried by almost every person in this world for its other benefits. Games made for this platform are lighter than PCs and consoles. Its games are for all people, not only for gamers. Mobile game publishing is done to the most popular mobile platforms, Android and Apple’s iOS. Also, publishing to this platform is easy and does not require advertisements, thanks to android’s Google Play Store and iOS’ App Store.

 

We all have played games, first on PCs and now on Mobile devices. But have you ever thought of MAKING games? When I did not know anything about GameDev, I used to think that they were made by Super Computers, which were not available to public. But I assure you, its not that complicated and rather easy, if you have the potential. GameDev can be fun, if you think it as a recreation. However, the experience is completely different to that of playing games. When you PLAY games, its just a way of showing another person’s world to you, for your fun. But when you MAKE games, you are representing YOUR world through your work, for other people’s fun. When I didn’t start GameDev the games I played were just games, but now, I can see another world hiding in the games. A world of Graphics, Programming and Sounds. Now, when I play games, I think of how they were made, not just play them.

 

Games can be divided into two types: AAA and Indie. AAA games are company-made games such as FIFA, Assasin’s Creed, Sims etc. You have to start a company of your own, just like companies of other sectors. And its serious business.

 

However, there is another easier way to start creating games, and that is Indie. The word Indie comes from the word Independent. If you start making a game now, all of your own, in your PC at your home, it will be an Indie game. Indie makers do not have enough resources and money like the AAAs, but they do have potentials and motivation. Indie games are as fun to play as AAA games. This article is about making Indie games.

 

Games can be divided into two types: 2D and 3D. 2D games are easy to make. However, don’t think 2D games as silly, they are much fun. 2D mobile games are as popular as 3D games.

 

A game-engine is a software that lets you create a game easily. Without game-engines, GameDev would not be popular to public, and making them would be harder. Imagine writing codes after codes in notepad or other compilers, with no visual representation of your game to you. That would make game development the most boring work. Thankfully, we do not have to do that, thanks to popular game-engines such as Stencyl, Game Maker, Construct 2, Unity, Unreal Engine, Source 2 etc. Normally, companies make a game-engine of their own for each and every game they make, and, after the game is published, they don’t use it again. This increases the quality of their games. Indie makers normally use a game-engine that is on public domain, as they do not have enough resources and money to make one of their own.

 

Making 2d games are easy, and you can easily make one with a 2D game-engine. You do not need to have knowledge of computer programming to make a game in most 2D game-engines. They use a thing called drag-and-drop, which are pieces of code represented in English, and you have to join them up to do the programming of your game. For example, in MIT’s Scratch, you have to join pieces of code like blocks of lego to make a program for your game. A picture of the code of a program which displays the message “Welcome to GameDev” in Scratch is given below.

 

Making 3D games require programming to program your game. However, other things such as Graphics, Sounds, Level Design, Building for target platform etc. are done by the game-engine. You just have to write scripts that will control your game and the behaviour of characters, items, scenes, world etc. This can be easily done by the drag-and-drop in 2D game-engines. Each block represents a piece of programming code, and you simply join them up. In 3D game-engines you have to write the codes yourself, in a programming language that is supported by your game-engine.

 

If you want to start making a game, I will recommend to use 2D game-engines like Scratch, Stencyl and Game Maker, before starting to learn programming. In this way you will gain experience of GameDev and will be ready to learn programming to make 3D games. After you have made enough 2D games, you can start to learn a programming language such as Python, C, C++ etc. You can then make 3D games with Unity, Unreal Engine etc.

 

If you already know programming then I will recommend to take a look at the 2D game engines and their tools. Then, you can start making a 3d game.

 

                                                         GOOD LUCK!

 

 

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