A common question we get asked is ‘How do I start developing games?’ And often the person asking is not a programmer or artist.
In 2015, I started making games without being a programmer or artist. I also don’t believe you have to be one an artist or programmer to start making games. So I thought why not write an article about how to start making games without knowing how to code or make great art.
To make games, the most important thing you require is the urge for making games!
Game development is divided into three sectors:
Art and animation.
Most people have a basic understanding of Programming and Art. But I always see confusion about game design. Game Design controls all aspects of the game. This includes game rules, game experience, game feel, level design and many more.
So if want to get into the game industry, what skill should target?
If you are already an Artist or Programmer- please improve your skills and on the side learn game design. If you are not an artist or programmer- start learning game design.
So why do I Say this? I say this because the best way to improve your skills is to make games. And if you are not an artist or programmer you can still make great games. There are tools like Buildbox or Game Maker which allows non-programmers to create games. If you are not an artist, many great games are made using simple shapes (Have a look at the games Ketchapp Makes). But without knowing game design, you shall never be able to create good games.
So without further due- here are 4 best resources to learn about game design.
Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell: Best book on game design hands down. Whenever someone joins our team, the first thing we do is to advise them to finish the book. This is a 530-page long book- which may take two/three weeks to complete. But very few things in life is easy and game design is certainly not one of them. If you can afford; backpack it or directly buy from Amazon. But if you can’t, there are PDF’s available, but I am not going to give you links to it.
Game maker’s toolkit by Mark Brown: As the time of writing this- there are 68 videos in this series. I highly recommend watching all of them. Mark Brown reviews mostly PC/Console games from a game designer’s perspective. I watch and rewatch the videos all the time.
Extra Credits: Another amazing source for learning game design. They cover more of theoretical perspective of game design. They have more than 700 videos, although not all of them are not on game design, few of them are on history. But I shall still recommend you watch as much as possible.
Pocketgamer: One of the best game magazine out there. Try to read five articles per day on pocket gamer. You shall see, in few months; you develop a good understanding of the industry.
Bonuses (Advance Level):
Jan Willem Nijman – Vlambeer – “The art of screen shake” – In a single 45-minute video Jan introduced and showed what is game feel and how we can achieve it. Must watch.
Official GDC Channel: Here you will find all the talks given on Game Developer Conference (World’s Biggest Game Dev conference). Most of the talks are slightly advanced level. Watch the videos you like!
Disclaimer: I myself is a trainee game designer with hardly 3 years of experience in making games. This is my personal view, and we can both agree to disagree. However, if you have any observations/further questions feel free to reach out.
Oh another point: We are launching a major update of our strategy game Mukti Camp on 26th March. I would request you to download it and give it a try. We can only make and write about games if you support us. Thank you!