Game Design: Where to start?!

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  10 October 2013
Question Game Design: Where to start?!

Hi everyone,

I have a good friend who's looking into developing video games. While I can offer him advice on art direction I have absolutely no idea as to how to actually develop a PC game, or even where to start. So I thought to ask you for advice.

He's not looking to develop a massive game, just a basic RPG. But at this point he's staring at C++ debugger screen and tearing his hair out. I know there's coding involved, but I think actually seeing the game level/pieces would motivate more than dry coding.

So what tools are available to start creating games? Anything basic/low cost to start the creative juices flowing? He's planning to take game development program in college but that is about a year away. What can he do in the mean time?

Thanks for any information on this.
  10 October 2013
They asked this question once of Shigeru Miyamoto.

He claims the first question to always ask in game design is: "What FUN thing do you want the player to do?"

He also explained that this referred to both what the player would be doing "in-game" through the avatar... but also what the player was doing literally... what hand, finger, motion sequence was expected of the player ergonomically because this actually is part of the enjoyment.

Plot is secondary.... JUST CAUSE 2 is a fantastic game for example, but with really laughable, stupid plot.... makes Spongebob look like the Shawshank Redemption.

For starting devs, a combo of Blender and Unity is very popular for game development. I think both are available for free.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
  10 October 2013

Right down your alley!
The tornado twins have an fps system that is low priced to purchase. You can also pick up a free version of unity. There are loads of free resources available in the form of tutorial packs where you can test your configuration out on quite attractive content.

Game design is based on knowing what is popular and works now and what will be popular and what will work in the future. There are also rules which are based on years of testing and response, like how wide corridors may be, what distance waypoints should ideally be, how difficult it should be to capture a flag and so on. That info can be found on blogs and wikis all over the interwebs. There is actually so much info it is a wee bit mind blowing. I dont have any code related tutorials and resources as I am looking into that stuff myself atm, but the material is there.

Have loads of fun and watch out, bakin' games iz addiktive
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  10 October 2013
What did you find fun about games? When you find that out, do that!
  10 October 2013
If hes just starting out, I would deffo suggest grabbing Unity and a visual scripting prefab like uScript and perhaps something like FPS control as was previously suggested. I would also recommend he eventually move onto Java or C# once hes confident with uScript/FPS control as their both much more widely documented/supported and easy to learn, esp Java, compared to C++. Lastly, while its tempting to rely entirely on uScript, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with Java/C# as that code is much more efficient at completing its tasks then finite-state machines.
  10 October 2013

Thanks to all! This is all VERY useful information. I'm seeing my friend tomorrow - I'll pass this knowledge on and get him set up with the aforementioned tools.

Thanks again for your time!
  10 October 2013
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