Getting Started in Game Development
So, you wanted to get started with game development? Or would like some useful tools and tips to help you improve your skills? I’ve compiled lots of useful tips and tricks from my own personal experience as well as the experience of other developers. Let’s begin.
It usually all starts with an amazing idea for a game that you are desperate to bring to life. However, in reality, your idea may have to go on the back burner for a short while whilst you do your learning. But, that’s okay. Note your idea and make it happen once you have the skills. The game of development, is a marathon not a sprint.
First things first you’ll need to be introduced to Game Engines. Put very simply, games engines are the software that you use to make games. A few free to use game engines are, Unreal Engine, Unity, Gamemaker Studio 2, Godot and GDevelop. All of these game engines are incredible, all are better for different things some are even more focused towards certain OS.
I will not go into the details of that as not only are game engines constantly evolving and changing, but it is down to you to make your own mind up on which suits you best, this post is here to simply help guide you in the direction that suits you best.
There are some useful videos on YouTube which describe the benefits of using certain engines. Here are a couple to help you make your mind up on which engine best suits you:
The engine that I personally chose to begin with was Unity. However my reasoning was that I was lucky enough to have friends who knew C++ who were able to help me learn, so that suited me very well, Unity is a little more code based where as Unreal games will primarily developed with Unreal’s Blueprint visual scripting.
GameMaker Studio 2 provides a similar drag and drop style to Unreal’s visual scripting which is incredibly useful for beginners and provides a powerful platform for more experienced developers. However, to access all features of GameMaker Studio 2 it will come at a cost.
Other engines such as Godot and GDevelop are open source game engines meaning the original source code is freely available so that the game engine itself can be modified. Not something which I would expect many beginners to be doing but it’s nice to know.
I would encourage playing around with as many different engines as you possibly can. I would spend an adequate amount of time using each engine to decide which engine best suits you. I have gathered a list of useful guides to getting started in the game engines I previously mentioned:
Unreal – https://bit.ly/Unr34l-3ng1n3
Unity – https://bit.ly/Un1ty-3ng1n3
GM Studio 2 – https://bit.ly/GM-5tud102
Godot – https://bit.ly/G0d0t-3ng1n3
GDevelop – https://bit.ly/3fTn4vR
A couple of those guides are on Skillshare, you will need to sign up for a free trial to get access to them however they are worth the little extra effort, I promise. If you cannot sign up for whatever reason, don’t worry, YouTube is a growing library for game dev guides. The official Unreal YouTube channel for example, has countless tutorials on making all sorts of games.
Just because this is game development, doesn’t mean that the only useful resources are online. Whilst studying at university I found that some of the most useful information on making games to be in books. Here are a couple of books that I found to be especially interesting:
A Theory of Fun – https://amzn.to/2URon6l
The Art of Games Design – https://amzn.to/2N6ldY1
Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design – https://amzn.to/2N4Aysj
Game development is a never-ending learning curve, make no mistake. This information does not cover everything by any means. However, I hope these resources have helped you somehow! If you have any questions feel free to ask our community any questions you may have in the support channels!
All the best,