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  • just mess with unity3d

  • There's so many avenues available now to aspiring developers, the issue went from not enough available to just being overwhelmed with options. My humble suggestion based on what's working for me.

    Think of it as a curriculum. When you go to college, you aren't just focused on one specific thing, you do multiple courses that are all related to the main goal. When it comes to game development, especially by yourself, you want at least a little bit of understanding in all areas. So here's kinda what my journey plots out like.

    First of all, I want to make games. Not program or draw pictures or learn music, I want the feeling of seeing a game in action that I made. So I want the absolute easiest thing that's going to let me do that from nothing. I look at GameMaker Studio. I look at Playmaker for Unity, I watch some tutorials for making easy games that don't need me to code. Drag and drop stuff. The lazier I can be, the better. I download graphics and music from free asset websites to use. I follow along with the examples. Youtube is full of them. So now I've made some games. Space shooter, asteroids, maybe a breakout style block breaker. I'm learning basic game structure. It's fun. But I feel limited because of using these template systems. I want my pacman to be able to shoot out a 6 foot tongue and eat the ghosts from a distance. I want my frogger game to be 2 players and let me control the trucks to run over my opponent's frog. I want to be different. I don't want to be limited. Now I'm ready to learn the heavy stuff.

    I like to set up a lesson plan for myself so I'm doing something for a half hour or so, then something else for a bit, and so on. That way I don't burn out. An hour or 2 a day depending on how you arrange the schedule and how much time you want to dedicate to learning.

    So I take a programming course in whatever language I've decided should be first. (c# for me because I like using Unity, but you can pick python, or java, or whatever you feel will give you the best foundations.) Once you've learned a programming language, it's not that hard to learn another. It's those fundamental core concepts and developing a problem solving mentality that are going to take the most time. Again, udemy has some, youtube has some, brackey's looks decent enough, just pick an instructor you like and follow through. Take it slow. You aren't going to suddenly turn into a master programmer in a matter of weeks or months. You're going to learn a concept and realize it can be used in a game. Then that's going to lead to learn something else. The more moments like that you get, the more inspired you'll be to keep going. You CAN do it. You're going to find times when you think you can't. You'll get a lot of those times where coding feels like it's turning your brain to mush or you need that Bradley Cooper pill that gives you the mind powers. But you can. It DOES click eventually, I promise you. The programming is what will set you apart from every other cookie cutter game, and is what will make you in demand if you ever want to work with a team or get hired by a software company.

    I want my games to look like whatever was in my mind. That means sure I can get an asset pack with a bunch of random stuff, or buy stuff of the unity store, but whenever someone plays my game, they'll know that my character and enemies came from that pack. My main character could be used as a begger asking for gil on the corner in someone else's game. So I also take a course in creating art assets. I don't have to jump right into How To Use Blender For 3D Games.. but if I want to, I can. Or I can learn pixel art in Gimp or Aseprite. Again, it's a process. You learn skills by practicing. So I take a half hour or an hour each day, whatever. Practice making powerups, or health bars, or whatever I want to focus on at the time. It all helps you level up.

    Basic game music can be created easily in flstudio or some other daw with the help of a beginner level online course. Again, I prefer Udemy, but there's free options online. Once more, we aren't talking about becoming a full time expert composer here, just learning the basics. Enough to put a few tracks in your game that enhance the gameplay without the world knowing you just yoinked someone else's tunes.

    It seems like a lot because it is a lot. Games are like movies in that they are a transcendent sort of art. It's art, and sound, and it's telling a story, and most of all it's about being able to critically look at your project and answer the question "is this fun?". And not everyone succeeds. If it was easy, everyone here would be living on their millions from creating best selling blockbuster titles. But it's a journey unlike any other, and the satisfaction you can get is one of the best feelings in the world. And I hope you get to experience that. With some hard work, you will. Good luck man.

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