How are you doing?
Well, today’s post I’ll talk a little bit about how you can start working with games, what engines you can use, what qualities and skills the market is looking for, and more. Important to underline this is my own experience due to my current situation – looking for a job/Co-op/Internship in a game company. (if you know something, let me know. Really!).
So, the first thing you’ll have to get over (or to not care) is about people thinking that you will work with video games is the same as you will be playing video games all day. I believe I talked a little bit about this in another topic (How to be a game tester), but, yeah, people tend to think that. Want to try? Tell your parents that you want to work developing games and see their reaction…. But, don’t worry. I’m here to help!
Building a game can be something from coding a simple couple of lines to a lot (I mean A LOT) lines of coding and more coding. It takes time, days, weeks, months, years, patient, studying, sometimes weekends at home to finish your game… But should I start with coding then? What language should I study? What books should I read? Which is the best language? Which castle is the princess?
One step at a time, grasshopper.
A little example of a code I used to learn how to create games.
In this example, I used VS2015 (Visual Studio 2015).
Do not worry about “OMG, what the hell is that?” or “How am I going to learn that?” Well, it happens to me everyday when I get a new code. That’s why I said it takes time, patient and a lot of study.
A little bit about VS2015, you can use it to build your game and extract into a .exe file. However, probably all Anti-Virus will identify as a weird program and block it if you let it. Even more, it compiles only into a MS-DOS windows, so your game will be like those 70’s one.
This is what happen if you compile a code created with VS2015.
The famous Snake Game where you have to catch a fruit or an object, you tail keeps growing until you have no more space to move. (Its my first game, give it a break, okay?!) It took me about 1 hours to build that with a tutorial, between learning, pausing to understand, writing down some notes, fix error that I’ve got the guy on the video didn’t, etc.
But, if you are here, you are looking for something more, right? Engines!
Engines are programs game developers use in order to help them create the games. With those, you can write your code, attach into a specific model (enemy, player, car, etc) and work with it. You can come and go between the code and the UI, background, music, sound effects, etc. If you want, you can create a game from scratch using your Notepad, but why trying to reinvent the wheel when you have those softwares to help you out?! Most commons engines are Unity 3d and Unreal. (I’ll talk about Unity as I’m using it right now….)
Unity is a really powerful engine with probably everything you need to start your own simple game. And its FREE! They even have tutorials in their home page to help you out. Its a great way to start, learn and understand what happens behind the scenes. Also, unity is one of the engines a few big companies is used to work with. Nintendo, Ubisoft, etc. So, it may be a software you want to learn.
Following the tutorials, I had the opportunity to create 2 other games.
Roll a Ball where the objective was to roll a ball (yeah!) and pick up all the objects on the screen. A nice tutorial and I didn’t have to import anything as features, assets, characters, 3D models, etc. It gives you a North where to start with and for the basics using Unity.
If you want more information about it, you can find at http://www.unity3d.com.
You can also notice I use a lot VS2105, but if you don’t have access to that, Unity is smart enough to provide you its own C editor, so you can write the code without having to use an external software.
This project had no sound effects and only one stage. As mentioned before, the objective was just to pick up the yellow squares (which I also had to animate to give more life into it (:
The next project I worked with took about 1 week to finish as going through the tutorial, College, assignments, nights awake until 2am to learn, etc, but it was a little bit more complicated than this one. On this, there was Audio, Models, Prefabs, Textures, 10 scripts, etc.
There are still other tutorials I’m working on right now and also others on-line not so hard to find. Important to underline that between creating, adding and finishing the game, there was the tests I had to run almost all the time to see if something was working properly or not. For anything wrong that I found, I spent like 20/30 minutes trying to fix, as I’m not an expert into this and I had to learn about it to make it work.
I believe this is somewhere to start if you want to create your own game and an important tip is to never give up and never try something way ahead of your experience (too far!). I know we all want to build games like The Last of Us, God of War but we have to take one step at a time.
And how can I get a job?
I hope I helped you guys a little bit and thank you for stopping by.