Making Your First Game: Basics – How To Start Your Game Development – Extra Credits

Making Your First Game: Basics – How To Start Your Game Development – Extra Credits


Every year, we get a lot of requests
to do sponsored shows and we end up turning the vast majority of them down. But every once in a while, somebody approaches us and
suggests something really interesting, like those Punic Wars episodes we did. It’s usually something that,
as soon as they pitch the idea, we all go, “Wow, why didn’t we think of that?” Well, recently, the folks at Unity
asked us to do a series on creating your first game. Frankly, I’m actually shocked we haven’t
addressed that before now, so time to fix that! The truth is, I have run into too many people who at some point decided
that they wanted to make games. And they picked up an engine, and they started diving in and they quit before they ever finished their first game because the experience was just frustrating. It seemed like it was going nowhere. And I don’t know if we can help, but this team has quite a lot of
collective game-making experience, so hopefully some of our advice here will
help you avoid the common pitfalls. The first thing you’re gonna wanna be careful about is scope. Many, many people pick up a game engine dreaming of making the types of games they play. Unfortunately, this often just is not possible. Games like God of War or Final Fantasy are made by teams of at least 40 people, sometimes way more than 40 people over the course of several years. Even if you’re just amazing and you throw
your whole life into creating your game, you’re not gonna make a God of War or a Final Fantasy. Not even close, and especially not on your first attempt. Truth is, you’re not even gonna create something like Super Mario Bros. as your first game. You *may* create like, 1 level’s
worth of Super Mari Bros. but even that’s kinda pushing it. Your goal with your first game should be to get something built that you could actually play, even in the most rudimentary fashion,
as soon as possible. Think of your first game as a learning exercise,
not your master work. If you start with a huge project, you’ll find that
you don’t even know where to begin and you’ll get bogged down doing little bits and pieces that have no tangible result, and it will seem like you’re not
making any progress at all, and you’ll hit roadblocks that
you don’t know how to overcome, simply to be left flailing for what to even work on next Trust me, Keep It Simple. If your first attempt at making a game turns out to be a one room platformer with bad collision
that you took three weeks to build, be proud of that, because you built it.
You actually got it done. You made a game. That’s more than most people ever manage. So play it, and show it to your friends and don’t worry when they don’t understand it or are critical because they’re still thinking in terms of the big budget games they’re used to playing. *You* know how much work went
into making that game, and more importantly, you know that next time you’ll be able to do it even better and faster. Soon, you’ll be building games that
people are asking you to let them play. Second thing to keep in mind, (and, I know that this is gonna sound weird but)
don’t go into your first game with a specific idea. Learn what you can do, and design around that. Don’t lock yourself into an idea and
beat your head against it for weeks or months. Instead, learn a few tricks watch a few tutorials, then start working towards something you’re pretty sure you can build. It’s okay if there are still a few parts of it
you have no idea how to even start to do but make sure it’s only a few parts when you’re breaking your projects down and planning things out. Which, of course, brings us to tutorials. Any major engine has tons of people who happily make tutorials about pretty much everything. Go find them. Watch them. Study them. Then, if you’re stuck or if you can’t find
an answer to your question, just ask. You’d be shocked at how many people are happy to help you through things if you just post on a forum or throw
your thoughts onto the message boards. And don’t be afraid of coding. Lots of people say that they can’t code, but if you design your game right, you would be shocked at how little coding you
actually have to do to get something done. It’s a small enough amount that any of you out there watching this right now *can* handle it. Again, just start small, keep it simple. You’ll learn as you go, and here especially there are plenty of sites out there that’ll help get you started. StackExchange is a fantastic place
to look if you have questions. Which leads us nicely into one of the big ones: Design your game around *your* skills. Part of understanding your scope is understanding your resources and, in this case, *you* are your resources. Are you a great artist but you’ve never coded in your life? In that case, have your game lean on your art skills while pushing you just enough on the code
side that you learn some new things. Are you somebody who can’t draw or model or animate? That’s alright. There are plenty of games out there that get away with what you’d call minimum graphics. Accept that, and embrace it as part of your design. Constraints force us to be creative. And if there’s something you really just *have* to have, if there’s some coding task or some piece of art that you game just can’t live without but you just don’t have the chops to do it
yourself, go to the asset store. There is an amazing amount of stuff that you can get there for next to nothing. James just talked to a professional studio that picked up their entire voice chat code from the asset store for less that it would’ve cost them
all to go to the movies. James really wishes he had this sort of thing when he started out working in games. So take advantage of it. Finally, don’t give up. There is a lot of life that’s gonna get in the way. Most people start out doing this between
juggling a job or a full school schedule and it’s very, very easy to let days and then weeks pass before you get back to working on your game. It’s gonna be a struggle at first, no question. I wish I had more comforting words for you, but all I can say is that most things worth doing are a struggle. and if you stick with it, maybe one day you’ll have the option to make games *instead* of having to do all that other stuff. But that’s it for the basics. I know that was all broad, basic stuff
that most of you probably already knew but I think it is important to start there, because when you’re deep in the process of making a game, it’s often that real high level basic stuff that people forget. But, join us next episode for more of the practical
nuts-and-bolts of making your first game. See you next week!


100 thoughts on “Making Your First Game: Basics – How To Start Your Game Development – Extra Credits

  1. I don’t even know what tf an engine is… or how to code. I don’t know what’s going on. I just want to make a video game.

  2. This I think is going to genuinely help me alot. I'm signing up for game dev classes later this year at Full Sail University and I am okay with the fact its gonna be hard work

  3. I’m learning how to code right now so I can make games, and I think I’m a pretty artistic person.

  4. This gave me a lot of good tips :)) I’m still a kid and I started coding my own game! Really fun honestly. I recommend rpg playground, it’s what I’m currently using. It’s a good beginner game maker! Thanks for the tips :))

  5. Completing race even if you are failing is always better than stopping halfway.

    Completing a small project is way better than leaving nothing but waste of time. You might think, "What Am I making, I can't show this to my friends, It's waste of time".
    Believe me, even you make a game out of some boxes, You will learn a ton of new stuff and Your friends will go crazy even if you show them engine.

  6. I can think of stories for games in a snap, but I'm damn bad at art, I would be better suited making books than making games

  7. Sitepoint forums is also a good site for coding help.
    The community there generally seems friendlier than Stack Overflow

  8. My only skills that would apply to creating a game is storytelling. I can’t code, I can’t draw well. But I can write a hell of a story. I’ve been wanting to create my own game for a very long time, some could even say decades. And I think I’m ready to start. I’m thinking of making a game about history where there are many eras of history such as the rise of Athens and Democracy then the destruction of the city and rise of tyrants therein. It sounds dry reading it back but being a disguised time jumper beating on a tyrant in a toga Mario style sounds fun to me. Throw in some War of the Roses, the Fall of Rhodesia, maybe a World War or two. I don’t really have a solid concept right now or any concept really lol. But I love history, and I love good stories. Since I don’t see too many good games tackling this I figure I’ll make one myself. Have to iron out what genre it will be first though.

  9. Thank you for the video, its really thoughtful and with many things I did not even thought of, even when I've worked as a software engineer for many years. Appreciated for this good content video.

  10. Do you have any advice on how I'm supposed to start with an actual job? I'm certified in Computer Animation from college and was seeking some advice.

  11. Can someone please help me with what my starting language should be. I’ve done a bit with html/css/JavaScript/c++ but not enough to make a game yet. Is there better languages for games. And what’s the best website to learn from??

  12. I am brand new to this. Just like learning a fighting game. The stages be like,
    1. Friggin hard dont know what u are doing. But keep moving forward.
    2. Hmm I get that a little little very little bit. Keep moving.
    3. Oh yes a little success. I can make a 60$ game. Keep moving.
    4. Fucking stuck. Too hard. Cuz u broke through the toddler skill cap and now entered the beginner level. Repeat stages.
    Easier said than done.
    But I would love to build a game. MY game. So cool the thought.

  13. That was a really genuine, motivating video that remained honest to the reality of everything. I just started learning to code/program less than 48 hours ago and, honestly, I needed this. Lol Thanks!

  14. Here's what I've learned from my game making experience: Just do what you can, learn what you can, create what you can, and figure out how you'll sell your game when it's time. I've seen retired game devs say you need the highest of high educations, you team a team of 50 or more people as a start, and you have only one week to get everything done. this is all FAR from true. no one has the same experience when it comes to making games. maybe for their games, but not yours. every game is going to be different, and so it's going to be made differently. I know of kids who made Ping Pong while still in elementary school. Five Nights at Freddy's was done by 2 people. one coder, the idea a story writer. don't let yourself be intimidated because someone else had a hard time, just get in there and do what you can however you can, and worry about the rest when you're ready for that next step

  15. but…
    were do you make your game? like what app do you install to start? and how do you get it on the app store?
    someone please tell me
    please

  16. Your video has the wrong side. People quit because on how hard development is for them. Examples are coding, designing, etc. heck, using unity is even hard for me. Your video assumes people aim big when that really isn’t the case.

  17. what is simple game? that what you don't explain it in your video!
    not a platform, it is a trap, not a puzzle, it also trap. both of them need high quality of level design.

    Simple game should have no these things:
    – no story in your game
    – no multiplayer and everything related with network.
    – no levels just keep it in one single level.
    – no AI, even get ready to use system, or just enemy as simple follow the player, no complex than that.
    – no platform,puzzle, and strategic games.

  18. Lol im using programm "clickteam fusion 2.5 developer" and i made a lot of cool games. "Bejeweled CTF", "Online-chess", and "ruins runner" those games are the best i think. I wanna remake some games but i just stopping progress and fget the project at all.

  19. Struggling can indicate growth; it can also indicate stagnation

    If you're finding it hard to return to your project, instead of saying "I'm not serious enough", maybe consider what you need to do to make it easier (instead of just blaming yourself for not being able to meet it).

    Chastisement has its merits, but so does practicality — be forgiving of yourself; be understanding.

  20. Ok the small amount of coding is a lie but if it's not why did this not tell what they're using because I'm trying to make games on unity so far and there's and lot to remember just to make my character move left and right the one I learned is something like transform horizontal get. Horizontal and if I want to make it move daiagnol it's like vector 3 then the rest I didn't learn so I don't know

  21. I have a game that I made just a little mock up but I want to expand it bring it to life a little more but I don’t know which development platform is the best you know and want it to be a solo project but I know I’ll need help but people around me aren’t motivated for success or wanting more out of life like me I need a little strong team yeah if you have any tip for the best platform please help me

  22. I have time, i have awesome creativity . (even i have tons of maps on paper with races,planets etc.) But i have'nt money, i dont know coding at all, and im beginner at graphic design.

    So i wanna start to learn coding for game. Where should i start?

  23. if you wanna start off making a game then just start off small, there this website called scratch, its where you have to code some stupid easy mini game, and you can get others to play it, I really wanna make games and I started yesterday, now I made a stupid mini game that I have on scratch, when you first start off, DONT find a game engine, just download some mini game engine and keep with that until you get better, THEN get an engine

  24. I can draw, I can KINDA code a lil, I am creative, and I know how to make a game, but I can't start off with a whole gat style game… lol

  25. ive written a story outline that i really like but i really really dont want to make a crappy 2d game for this. should it just wait?

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