The YearBook part 1

The yearbook, part 1

This series is all about me and my learning process in the last 5 years, it is not meant to have any significant value as a tutorial or anything like that. It`s aimed for those who want to know about my first steps as an aspiring game developer.Just to be clear, I don`t consider myself as a seasoned game developer. I am a hobbyist and really just starting out myself. That being said, I do think I have enough insight to be actually able to give some valid advice for those who are just getting started. So this is how the journey began for me…

Fall of 2011 (Awakening)

I was in a kind of “gaming burnout” from World of Warcraft and began looking for other games. Weeks went by and I did not find any games that would have matched the freedom and “being part of something” feeling that WOW gave me. So I came up with an idea of making my own game.

My first Idea was to create a small rpg with a kind of an Warcraft 2 feel to it. Little did I know that developing any sort of an RPG (not to mention isometric “kind of” 2d sprite based game) would be a very poor choice as a first project.
This is what got me into game development however. Back then I did not know how graphics work or are done, how game logic works or how it is implemented to a game. Basically I had zero understanding of how games are made.




From fall of 2011 to summer of 2012 (1st impressions)

After I became interested of game development and started to have some understanding of basic disciplines and skills needed for game development, I started looking for a right game engine for me to use. Now this is where I can save you a lot of TIME. If you are a complete novice or even if you are a veteran, IF YOU WORK ALONE you should most definitely go with Scirra Construct 2. No question about that.I have tried most of the affordable or free game engines and Construct 2 is by far the best. ( and I am not getting paid to say this, I am just a very happy customer) I will get in to detail of selecting a game engine in the other blog posts.

This is one of my first 3d works. I made this for a little 3d 1st person action game.

This is one of my first 3d works. I made this for a little 3d 1st person action game.

 

Back to my timeline. At fall of 2011 I haven`t even heard of Construct 2, what I started with was Game Maker Studio. However for some reason I could not get in to it, I made couple of small demos but the software just wasn`t right for me. I tried bunch of other engines and stumbled upon Unity3d. Now Unity3d is a great engine and if you are very keen on making 3d game, this is what I would advise you to go with. I did use Unity for more than a year and with that I really started to understand how it all comes together. (scripts, colliders, graphics, sound, lighting etc.)

 

At this point I had started to try little of 3d modeling also. I tried 3dmax and Blender. Both of these programs where pretty daunting for a beginner but Blender was the one I ended up using more. Blender is free, and can do all the necessary things for 3d modeling and animation. Then I found Google Sketchup… Now, any game 3d modeler would stone me to death for suggesting Sketchup for 3d game modeling, but… well there you have it. For modeling static objects like houses etc. there is no better program, you can even use it to model character if you like. It has by far the most intuitive user interface I have ever seen in 3d modeler (or any other program for that matter). Major problems with Sketchup are however that skinning (texturing) the model is very hard / limited also you cannot use Sketchup to rig (proses involved in animating) or to animate your model. Other thing is that you need a paid version for Exporting your model in most usable formats. So the big POINT here is that if you are a novice and especially if you work alone you should go to 2D instead.
When I created this guy here. I realized that now I needed to learn about 2d graphics to be able to actually skins this guy. That basically meant learning a new discipline AGAIN.

My first 3d character

My first 3d character

Fall of 2012 (Actually getting somewhere)

So as a 2d graphics software I started testing Gimp and Photoshop. I ended up using Gimp, which is awesome by the way. Its free and very powerful. I would definitely suggest using Gimp and starting early on since this is the software you will need on everything. (game characters, environment elements, UI elements, backgrounds & webpages…) Using Gimp got me thinking that maybe I should get back to 2D game development so I started searching for a 2d game engine again. This is when I discovered Scirra Construct 2.

 

When I first started using Construct felt right at home. I could not believe how simple but flexible and powerful the software was. I also learned from the start, that Construct 2 community is awesome and extremely helpful. In just a couple of days I had built my first game prototypes. Nothing to complex but finally it felt like I was getting somewhere.
This is where I conclude Part 1 of my development journey. Be back for part 2, You can subscribe by clicking here.

Construct 2

Construct 2

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