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Looking for Career advise, Video game Development and creation related


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#1 phantasyx

phantasyx

Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:29 AM

I just want to start off by saying that CAG is a awesome site and has a Great community. I like it for all the funny, kind hearted, and informative people here (even the D-bags are cool)

So my question is about Creating games. I have some really great ideas and I would like to implement them into video game format. I've read a few books on it, but I'm only looking to make a DS or 2D style game like super metroid (actual this style is exactly what I'm going for). I know its hard! however I am currently looking at a large access of time and I feel like now would be great to try and create something to express myself and make money off too.

So what I'm asking for is advise on were to start and programs to look into. I don't like college, I looked into full sail in Florida but I believe that the time and money it would take to go there would be better used learning certain game related programs and skills instead.

Now I as far as platform goes I think that Microsoft's XNL? I forget exactly what the program is called but the one they make live games off would be a good place to start. I am some what interested in Sony programing but anywhere is a great start for me and I like that Microsoft is American based.

What I now know or can do is make sprites and pictures of the characters but I am unable to do the actual programing aspect of it. Any links to (cheap or free) Training or advise on how to get started would be much appreciated. Also if you know of any good programs I will look at them and download or purchase. I love to hear stories of how people started, it definitely brings inspiration to me and others looking to get into the field.

On a closing note, I did mention that I was trying to make a Super Metroid style type gameplay. While this would be my main focus, I find that old nes style games and bare bones simple games like breakout or wario ware style games are also interesting and would love to learn how to make those as well. Thank you all!

#2 Salamando3000

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 12:55 AM

So, are you looking to do something as a career? I know you say that in the title, but I get kind of a "i want to do it more as a hobby" vibe from your post.

If you plan on doing it as a career, you'll either need a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science, Physics, Math, or something similar, or you'll need to develop one damn good portfolio. In most cases, you'll need both. Either way, expect to spend a lot of time learning, experimenting, and programming until you build something people actually want to play.

So, first question that should be answered - How much programming experience do you have?


#3 62t

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 01:40 AM

Funny Wario DIY has a mini game maker. You probably wont be making any money but you can make games that people will play.

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#4 Sir_Fragalot

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 01:51 AM

You have no chance getting into a gaming studio without a Bachelors Degree. Companies need to see Bachelor Degrees with a good portfolio. It doesn't matter if you developed game development skills. Companies want to know you can work with deadlines, under pressure and developed skills you could only get at a college and a degree proves that.

Now if you want to learn on your own, I can't stress this enough, LEARN C++. Since you do want to develop a career out of this C++ is the language of choice for a lot of studios (still the language most used) because it is both fast, efficient and powerful. It will take a lot more work to get your game working with C++ but trust me, it will pay off.

I don't recommend XNA, or anything like that because no one develops with C# besides Microsoft. Just learn C++ and go for a college degree.

#5 phantasyx

phantasyx

Posted 18 May 2010 - 04:10 AM

I see so C++ I can do, college degree will take some working on. I have a learn C++ in 21 days book. I'm guessing thats pretty impossible unless your a genius but say I get good and learned on it in 6 weeks, where should I go from there? I've seen some $10,000 programs similar to Unreal 3 and such but I don't understand too well right now how they work or what to start with. Can someone break it down for me what happens? I know how the industry works but I guess thats not really a answerable question asking how a complex C++ based program works when I know Nil about it...

I tryed to take a Computer Science class but it seemed everyone there knew already what was going on, the instructor was a total geek and was practically speaking in code so I could hardly understand anything. I survived maybe 8 weeks of class but it picked up quickly and I was unable to follow along and had to drop the class. I still think that I can learn C++ however I might need to go at my own pace.

#6 SinOfHeart

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:19 AM

Well I guess I can throw a couple of thoughts out here.

First, I'd say where you start kind of depends on how much programming knowledge you currently have. You mentioned that you struggled before, but that could be because you just didn't go about learning the material in a good way, namely the way I was taught and that I think makes sense is not to learn a particular language first because many of them have complex features, instead it is better to learn stuff like basic looping structures through writing pseudo-code on paper since that will teach the basics shared by all programming languages, and just kind of how to write and think through code.

From there I think you can really transition into whatever language you want. While I'll agree with an earlier poster that C++ is a very good language to learn because it is heavily used and one of the more complex languages which means that every thing after it will seem easy by comparison, I also think that for someone who is a new developer and looking to work alone it might be really difficult because nothing is integrated with C++, to do anything you will have to learn and integrate a lot of external code libraries into your program. With that being said, I don't think you should rule out other options such as XNA. While C# may not be as popular for actual game development it is fairly popular for tools development and having written a couple of games/programs in XNA before I can say that it does a really good job of integrating all the components you will need to make a game in one package. Also in XNA's favor is that there are a bunch of books that cover XNA development, and most of the better ones will walk you through how to get a simple game created that you could probably use a template to work from.

As far as tools I would suggest if your interested in C++ (or C#) and on a Windows machine you should look into one of Microsoft's Express versions of their development software, it looks like the most recent is Visual Studio 2010 Express. I'm not 100% sure what all the restrictions are on the license that provides you but I'm fairly sure, at least previously, that the C# Express version was the tool Microsoft encouraged for XNA Indie development which means it covered distribution of your finished product.

If you are interested in XNA development you could look into the XNA Creators Club Membership which costs $100 for one year and allows you to deploy XNA projects onto an XBOX 360 for testing and deployment once the game is finished, also I know that Microsoft has offered the Membership for free to students in the past.

Also, I guess as another option to consider is you could learn Flash and ActionScript and use that to make a game as Flash games are fairly popular in the indie game development scene right now, though I'd say it would be harder to transition into a game career if you go this route, although many UI Programmers typically need to know Flash as many popular or custom UI solutions use Flash, such as ScaleForm. With that said Flash, much like XNA, is a good package of tools that makes creating a game considerably more simple than starting from scratch using C++, and it also has a nice interface for creating artwork as well. So, if your thinking of doing a solo project Flash might not be a bad option since it really simplifies development.

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#7 elessar123

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 05:40 AM

I see so C++ I can do, college degree will take some working on. I have a learn C++ in 21 days book.


Sorry, I snortled at this. That book is not going to teach you 10% of what you need to know. Don't put too much faith in it. There'd be no reason for CompSci degrees if all it took was one, or even two books. It'll get you STARTED, sure, and help you in your studies, to an extent, but that's really it.

A lot of it is also practice. Just because you can printf or cout means soooooooooooooooooooo little in the world of programming.

#8 phantasyx

phantasyx

Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:17 AM

thanks icebeast for the excellent info, thats mostly what I was looking for on what to get started for learning.

Yeah 21 days is all I've got as of right now, I can always buy things like the "for dummies" but I need practice for sure. I just wish there was a college in my area that had programs geared toward making video games hell even a Japanese program would be nice.

#9 elessar123

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 02:11 PM

thanks icebeast for the excellent info, thats mostly what I was looking for on what to get started for learning.

Yeah 21 days is all I've got as of right now, I can always buy things like the "for dummies" but I need practice for sure. I just wish there was a college in my area that had programs geared toward making video games hell even a Japanese program would be nice.


You can always take some programming class, anywhere. I took CompSci classes since high school, and I got a lot more out of it than most people, because I was curious and tried to do way more than the assignments asked for. Point being, you can take classes at community colleges and learn as much as any other university. You just need to start.

Also, try Rosetta Stone or something. I've known people that learned Japanese by playing H-games, and I've known people that can understand listening because of how much J-Drama they watched. Anything is a start. I actually bought the Japanese version of Sands of Destruction with the intention of trying to learn more Japanese.

#10 phantasyx

phantasyx

Posted 18 May 2010 - 02:52 PM

I actually only watch anime in Japanese, I can pick out words now and read hirigana and kata but H-games? wow thats a stretch.. Ok getting started today then.

#11 seanr1221

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 11:18 PM

The first post reads like a craigslist scam email.

#12 kainzero

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 12:08 AM

I've known people that learned Japanese by playing H-games, and I've known people that can understand listening because of how much J-Drama they watched.

This sounds like BS.

So many people make claims that they understand Japanese purely through drama or anime and I've never seen anybody anywhere close to it. I can open up a webpage or Skype a Japanese person and I highly doubt they'd understand either.

It requires years of study. Games and Drama help, but there is no way you'll understand much if you rely on only those.

-----

As for the OP, I'd try messing around with a modding engine too. I remember when I was out of a job I was considering a job at Bioware, which required that you make something using the NWN level editor. It's good practice and kinda preps you for design since you need to know what triggers what, how, what restrictions you need to make, etc.
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#13 jkanownik

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 12:12 AM

Did you start out with a programming logic course? See link below for a simple C++ degree program to get an idea of how the progression works.

http://www.lavc.edu/...TCertFrameC.htm

You may also want to look into getting a job in QA somewhere. EA is hiring for entry level QA testers in Orlando right now.

https://jobs.ea.com/...500000004CEDEA2

FYI... your initial post does not inspire confidence that you're serious about this
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#14 elessar123

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:05 AM

This sounds like BS.

So many people make claims that they understand Japanese purely through drama or anime and I've never seen anybody anywhere close to it. I can open up a webpage or Skype a Japanese person and I highly doubt they'd understand either.

It requires years of study. Games and Drama help, but there is no way you'll understand much if you rely on only those.


First, the person that learned Japanese playing H-games DID learn it, because he worked as an anime subber for awhile. He was Asian though, but I forget what his native language was.

Second, I said I knew people who could understand spoken Japanese from mostly watching drama. I never said they could speak it/type it/read it.

And it's really not that impossible. Some people have a knack for learning languages. I also knew someone that took basic Spanish classes and became good at comprehension after watching a lot of Spanish programming. It's definately not impossible. I myself learned English by learning vocabulary and listening to Disney records and watching TV. I honestly never had a grammar lesson in school, because they were teaching it when I was learning English.

*edit* But well, I'll correct myself. I knew A PERSON that learned Japanese from playing hentai games, and 2~3 that learned listening comprehension with j-drama.

*edit 2* Wait, I lied. I did learn 3 grammar related things in school. When to use who/whom/whose/who's, there is "a rat" in separate (which is really spelling), and when to use semicolon and colons. OTHER than those, I didn't learn any grammar in school =P

*edit 3* I just remembered H-game guy was Korean =P

Edited by elessar123, 19 May 2010 - 01:18 AM.


#15 phantasyx

phantasyx

Posted 19 May 2010 - 09:03 PM

Don't worry elessar we won't take this to a court of law.

I am very serious however I'm clueless as to where to start. I live in the middle of Michigan, there are no Video game Jobs or classes in my area (that are affordable) or anything remotely interesting so I am kinda stuck. I will be moving to either California or Washington state as soon as I can get enough money but in the mean time I've got tons of free time. I'd like to invest that time with something that I can turn into a career. I wanna be like the Gears of War creater Cliff B... idk I see his case is extremely unlikely but I can dream cant I?

#16 elessar123

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 10:46 PM

Don't worry elessar we won't take this to a court of law.

I am very serious however I'm clueless as to where to start. I live in the middle of Michigan, there are no Video game Jobs or classes in my area (that are affordable) or anything remotely interesting so I am kinda stuck. I will be moving to either California or Washington state as soon as I can get enough money but in the mean time I've got tons of free time. I'd like to invest that time with something that I can turn into a career. I wanna be like the Gears of War creater Cliff B... idk I see his case is extremely unlikely but I can dream cant I?


You can always start off with playing around with Unix/Linux. Learning scripting is also an easier way to start programming, before you jump into more complicated things. You can also have easy access to system calls in C. You can also pick up Python, which is arguably the best programming language to start with.