Making Games is EASY, and I won apparentlyPosted: July 14, 2010
So a few things to report here, firstly I was asked to write an article for Develop magazine and they kindly made it the cover article for this month’s issue which was super nice. the article is pretty much about getting started making games on a cheap budget, and how to keep going, you can read it online here (pages 18-19)
I was also sort of interviewd with a few other cool folks for an article in a previous issue which is now available right on their blog type features thing: its mostly people talking about what it’s like being indie and indie issues and this is the link to that.
And as I mentioned in my last post, I was a speaker at the World of Love conference last month, I understand videos will be uploaded of the talks at some point (I suspect the new footage of Subversion and Eskil Steenberg’s tools will be the hottest things on the internet once they are) and I’ll link that here when it’s available. (even though I was pretty shakey and probably not so understandable).
the talk was titled ‘computer games are awesome, but you suck because you haven’t made one yet, you lazy bastard.‘ and I spoke about how it puzzles me that some people who want to make games don’t, and list off a few reasons why they should. I’ll post what I planned to say after the jump so view this post in full if you want to read it. 🙂
Not enough people are making games.
too many people know only how to make ‘parts’ of games, in other words they see themselves as a programmer, or an artist, or a musician, and ONLY that.
that’s quite fine for plenty of projects when working together in teams, but I rarely ever see a day pass by where someone is looking for a project to work on.
this seems pretty weird to me because these people;
– Want to make games
– Have free time to make games
so they have this free time whilst not on a project and this will to make games, but they aren’t spending time learning how to make games themselves before a team oppeertunity arrives?
by my thinking, either they don’t really want to make games, or they don’t realise;
MAKING GAMES ON YOUR OWN IS ACTUALLY PRETTY EASY.
I mean, it’s just sitting in front of a computer, odds are you won’t be hospitalised from the physical strain, and you don’t have to be smart or talented (I’m living proof).
The only real challenge is that learning stuff takes time, and seems like a challenge at first. But it’s not impossible and if you want to make games, you will get through it, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you.
If however it is too much for you and you want to give up, you need to ask yourself if you really want to make games. when you are not in a team you have every oppertunity to make games yourself and if you don’t take that oppertunity what does that say about you?
I do believe there is nothing wrong with someone who wants to provide help to others so another persons vision can come true, that’s awesome in fact. super decent. but that sounds to me like wanting to help make games, and not wantiong to make games.
Like I say, there is nothing wrong with that, just make sure you know where you are, if you never get the opportunity to work on a team again, would you still make games or just give up?
…do you really want to make games? if so, then PROVE IT! MAKE A GAME ALREADY! 😀
so, now we know you really want to make games (I’m assuming you do, making games is totally awesome after all) here’s how making games is really easy:
1) You don’t actually have to become good at it.
Just good enough to make something super basic.
When you were born you shit yourself all the time, couldn’t talk and your hands were too small to shoryuken. in other words you really sucked at being a person, but thats ok, when you start out at anything you will suck, the same is true for making games.
EMBRACE IT! sucking at stuff is only the first step in the direction of becoming awesome. when you accept that for a good long while everything you make will be the gaming equivelant of babyshit it’s much easier to get better at taking dumps and sooner or later you can do it in the toilet and not your pants… ok not a pleasant analogy, but it really fits, your games will suck. don’t tell yourself “yeah, but I’ll plan mine and…” nope, planning is for people who don’t have undo buttons, dive headfirst into making games and don’t worry about making rubbish games. after a while you will notice your games become less and less bad the more you work at it.
which brings me to my next point;
2) it’s just like a j-rpg!
To improve your skills you need to accumulate experience in the appropriate disciplines, in other words;
JUST GRIND! 😀
The more time you spend doing something, the better you get.and following through with this analogy further, you can power level too, and the power leveling guides are available online, just google ‘<what I want to get good at> tutorial’ – this works for EVERYTHING! and if you are having trouble following these ‘how to make games’ walkthroughs, why not ask someone to level your character (that’s you), just drop into the appropriate online chatroom and ask for help, I’m not the only one who wants you to learn, people will help you.
3) It doesn’t take that much time.
Ok sure, if you want to become a level 99 master ninja game making warrior, you gotta set aside a few years making games. but we are aiming for ‘make a game’ not ‘make gaming history’ (not yet anyway), and getting your first level is always super short and super easy (we are still on the j-rpg analogy btw 😉 )
Most tools for making games are pretty damn easy to use, and you can learn them in next to no time (I reckon most people could learn game maker basics in an afternoon, unity in a weekend). and let’s keep in mind you hardly have to set aside ‘learning time’. that time when your boss/teacher/partner thinks you are doing something productive but reall you are just looking at lolcats? that’s a few minutes that could have been spent skimming a tutorial, learning some basic concepts, or even making a game.
here is an example, how to unwrap a model in blender ready to put textures on it;
- select some edges that will act as seams (where you would cut the model if it was made of card or felt to make it into flat shapes)
- press E – mark seams
- press U – unwrap
- Admire your new UVs that are ready for a texture
there, that didn’t need an hour to be put aside, sure you haven’t ‘done‘ the tutorial but the stuff is in your head now, and it will bake away in there until you do follow a tutorial practically and this will have helped you and saved you time later (you’re welcome by the way 😉 )
so yeah, you don’t have to be an unemployed layabout like me to have time to learn the skills needed to make a game on your own.
lastly and most importantly;
4) Making games is really damn cool.
Seriously, I don’t play games that much because making them is more fun. and it’s not just because games are fun, it’s because each thing that goes into making a game feels like an achievement (a real one) . like I say you should expect to suck at first, but you will soon do work you can be proud of, and that will push you on. Motivation is rarely a problem if you are doing something totally kickass like making games.
And that’s why making games is easy, but there is a hard part:
people don’t like learning, not when they are aware of it anyway, it’s like being back at school, which was forced, there were bullies and nobody had good hair.
the main problem with learning skills to make games is just being motivated enough to get started. and it’s not made easier by the fact all your early work will suck ass, but once the ball is rolling, ‘picking up the skills you need’ will become ‘picking up the skills you want’ and it will be effortless!
so have a go, find out what it is you need to know to make a game, and learn it!