Archive for January, 2011
So you have made your Console Applications for some time now and even created a simple text adventure game. But it’s now time to get your coding skills to the next level. A good way to start game development, is to create a simple game like Pong or Pickin’ Sticks. Forget about making the next MMORPG or FPS Blockbuster, you have to take small steps at a time.
Don’t underestimate the research and work a game needs, especially if you have never done any graphics programming before. The good thing is that nowadays internet has ton of information and resources, that help you overcome any obstacles you may face. Some time ago I found Moosader, a site that has plenty resources for beginners like Tutorials, Source Code and Art.
In order to take advantage of the graphics and sound capabilities of your computer, you have to use a library that has access to these subsystems. If you are programming in C++ good choices are SDL, Allegro, SFML and if your preferred language is C# XNA is the optimal path for rapid game development. These libraries have advantages and disadvantages and there are lot of choices out there, but you should eventually use something that has plenty of documentation and community support.
To sum up, start with a simple game and try to finish it. It doesn’t have to be very polished, but it should have all the ingredients that make a game playable and complete. This process will help you acquire skills and experience needed for more complex projects.
Good luck on your game development journey!
The game development process can be really difficult and complicated. Companies spend a lot of time and money to develop their product, especially when it’s for an AAA multimillion title.
For those who are interested to watch the construction of a video game title from start to finish, Chris Taylor posts every Friday a video showing a sneak peek of the new RTS game by Gas Powered Games. It’s name is Kings and Castles, a fantasy theme real time strategy game.
The blog presents the game development process: concept/brainstorm, pre-production, production. Kings and Castles uses a modified version of Supreme Commander 2 engine, which helps the team test and balance the game mechanics in the early stages of development. One interesting technique is called “grey boxing”, in which the art team places grey polygon structures as placeholders on the game world, in order to test the function and design of a building.
If you like to watch the game development journey of Kings and Castles, you can visit the official blog.
I’m borrowing the title for my first post from a very nice book by Guy Kawasaki. For days I have been thinking what to write about in this first post about our Game Development Playground Blog. Should it be something on game design? How to find a job in the industry? What are the most usual pitfalls in production? I had no clue.
And then it dawned on me: Just start. Something. Anything. And the rest will come. There is no point in having all those ideas and dreams if you don’t do something about them. It’s the same with making games. To get into game development you have to love games first. And then you gotta start making them. Think about your favourite game. What ticks you off? What inspires you about it? Would you change anything? Grab your favourite FPS and design a level with its editor. Get one of the tons of free engines and start scripting. If you’re an artist, just draw. If you’re a coder, sharpen your coding skills and design a small game to start with.
GCoder and myself created this place to talk about game development. It’s a playground, so there are different things that we’ll be discussing. From programming, to design, games that we like, audio and more. Perhaps we’ll ask people to guest-post, let’s just see how it goes!