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Author Topic: What do I need to do for Game Design?  (Read 3619 times)

Lilmaverickk

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What do I need to do for Game Design?
« on: August 06, 2008, 10:14:32 AM »
Hello everyone, I am codebyte's little brother. I come from an all computer family. I am interested in going to college for Game Design. I would like to know what I should practice in order to be somewhat prepared. Like Flash maybe? Anyway I am fairly new so any ideas would be greatly appreciated! It would be nice to be able to make a full game. It doesnt have to be amazing. Thanx. If you have any specific questions for me let me know, and I can answer them.

mouser

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Re: What do I need to do for Game Design?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 10:20:02 AM »
The most important thing is probably less which language you choose to focus on, and more about actually practicing and starting to create things.

Flash would be a good place to start because you can see the results right away and so can others.  A good way to go might be to invest in a good intro flash game programming book.

Another thing that I would really advise anyone who plans to apply to a school, whether its an undergraduate college or grad school is, go do some research on schools you might apply to.  Find the courses in that school that you might take, and find out what books they use and what the courses teach.  (If it's graduate school find a professor who works in the area you are interested in and contact them).  Then start learning the material for those courses.

Codebyte

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Re: What do I need to do for Game Design?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2008, 10:57:12 AM »
yay! my brothers first post! (Getting him involved.... well... sucked into this beatiful god-given site!)
CodeByter.com - http://www.codebyter.com

Deozaan

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Re: What do I need to do for Game Design?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2008, 11:15:14 AM »
A lot of it depends on what level of programming experience you have. In the following text I'm guessing that you're a beginner with little to no programming experience. I don't know much about your background but I think you're about 15 years old and you probably don't have much income. So I think free or inexpensive and easy to learn tools are your best bets right now.

Flash is great because it's well documented and there are many good books on the subject, so that's a plus. The bad thing about Flash is that it's expensive. It's $700 expensive. Also, it wasn't really designed to build games. It was designed for interactive advertisements and animations. Of course, you'll probably still be able to get simple games running in Flash fairly quickly, and it's always rewarding to be able to see results fast.

On the other hand, there are tools like Game Maker that aren't very powerful (don't expect to make Halo), aren't very expensive (I can't see the price until I create an account and login? What the Smurf is that about?), but will gently introduce you to programming concepts with an overly simplified scripting language. And once you get better at understanding how drag and drop stuff gets things moving, you can enable advanced mode to actually use code.

You could also get a "real" game engine, something that was actually designed to produce games, for less than the cost of Flash. For example, Torque Game Builder, a 2D engine, is $100. The biggest problem with TGB is that the documentation isn't that great (but it's improving) so it would be very helpful if you were already familiar with basic programming structure and you should definitely be prepared to read the forums a lot to find answers to questions. The good thing is that the community is pretty helpful on the forums most of the time.

There are also free/open source game engines out there. But again, depending on your skill level you may have some difficulty figuring out how they work. I started a thread here nearly two years ago titled Game Engines and Apps in which we rounded up a number of game engines. You should check out that thread for some reviews of some other engines.

My advice then, as far as programming goes, would be to get started programming in some language, even if it's not related to games, such as PHP, to familiarize yourself with programming structure, variables, loops, conditional statements, arrays, functions, etc. That way if you go to another programming language, you'll at least be able to adjust what you know to how this other language does it, and that in itself will be a good head start.

My advice for education would be to take all the math classes you can! And keep your notes and your books! Getting a degree in video games (Real-Time Interactive Simulation?) or Computer Science involves some of the higher levels of math. Make sure you like math and that you have a good understanding of it.