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The joys and pains of being an "indie"...

I've always wanted to create video games as long as I can remember. This blog is about how I'm actually trying to make that dream a reality.

Author: Dracis

Learning the trade: An ongoing blog on becoming a game developer

Posted by Dracis Tuesday June 12 2007 at 12:58AM
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I"ve been meaning to do this for several days now, I've just had a hard time deciding where to start.


One thing I see here on in the development forums is alot of people wanting to become a developer. Most just have an idea, some have a bit more, but it's alot harder than it looks.


As with most developers, I've been playing video games for years. Nearly most of my life actually. I just never knew how to get started. I first started off trying to make Flash games, but I'm no artist by any means. Then I found a lovely little program called Game Maker that wet my appetite. I've made quite a few games on that, most just for friends and family. Game Maker wasn't enough for me though, so I enrolled in some classes and learned C++ and DirectX programming.


Now let me say coding isn't for everyone. You need math skills and good ones. One thing I've tried to instill in my daughter. It's been hard for me to learn, because I'm more of a hands on type of person. That and I guess I have the old dog/new tricks thing going on at times. You're brain really does turn to mush as you get older. Alot of time I can see the code in my head, but I just can't translate it from thought to the computer.


Another thing to know about becoming a developer is finance. Let me state for the record, I'm no financial genius. There have been very few times in my life that I haven't been in debt, so going into game development wasn't much of a stretch for me. I can say that right at this point I've spent about ten thousand dollars on our little company. All of that coming right out of my pocket. A good chunk of that money is on our game engine and on various programs for our artist.


We went with a game engine, just because it was easier to actually adjust the engine for our needs than for me to code the whole darn thing myself. I'm pretty good, but I'm no coding genius either. I plod along and take my time. If I can find a code snipet here or there that some one is willing to share, I'm more than happy to use it instead of trying to figure it out myself.


There's alot more to it than just this little bit I'm writing here, but I guess I'd like you folks to tell me what you want to hear. Is there some question I can answer? Is there something about coding you want to ask? Do you want to just hear about the day to day things that I go through?


Let me know and I'll bash it out for you folks here.


skywisenight writes: Hi, I totally know where your coming from, although for me time/family is a interferring factor too. So, my question: what game engine did you decide to go with? Tue Jun 12 2007 3:06PM Report
Dracis writes: We actually own two engines and both are using Torque technology. We currently own TGE and Torgue Game Builder Pro. TGBP is alot like Game Maker in some respects, except you can do alot more with it. We'll actually be upgrading to Torque Advanced as soon as we get the cash to do so. We went with TGE for alot of factors. Price for a commercial license was definately a big one. Although there are some good free engines out there, we felt it was better to go with something that was actually supported by a company. In my other blog, on our site, I've actually listed most everything we use. It's part of our "Honesty is the best policy" creedo. Tue Jun 12 2007 3:45PM Report
Daedren writes: My studio has used the Torque Engine as well, with pretty good results. My suggestion for the starting game developer would be either get something like Torque (with good support) or Mod a current Engine (like Unreal Engine, CryENGINE, etc). Modding these games is a very good way to focus on content and not worry about programming much. Also, Oblivion has a pretty good Mod engine if that's your cup of tea. Thu Jun 14 2007 2:33AM Report
Dracis writes: I agree Daedren, there's a lot of ways to start out in game design and more than I listed here. Part of it is personal choice. I guess one of the things I'm trying to convey here is this is not a "Get rich quick scheme" or any way to make a fast dollar or euro, depending on where you are. Thu Jun 14 2007 9:11AM Report writes:
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