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November 11, 2012
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Video game designing and development

:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Photographer
I really hope this is in the right forum cause I don't want nasty comments telling me off :(

I'm also going to post in the gaming forum too but it seemed better suited here :)

Basically my other half has recently decided he wants to look into trying to get into games designing and development, including games programming and etc but with other commitments at the moment he wouldn't be able to do a university course and so i've taken to the internet scouring for books and on-line courses etc for him as a big christmas surprise.

one course I found that sounded really good for all aspects that he wanted to look at was on Train2game but after researching in to it many people found it a rip off and completely disgusted in the course so that's become a no-no and I was just wondering if there was anyone that's taken similar paths or are interested in games designing or development/programming that can give me advice on any on-line courses/ books/ dvds/blogs/articles etc etc etc that I could buy/ look in to or any advice that I can compile for my other half?
i've looked in to it quite a lot but its always better for some advice :)

thankyou ^__^
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Devious Comments

:iconlatin-geek:
Latin-Geek Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Extra Credits and Egoraptor's Sequelitis are videos about game theory. Real good sources.

For the actual development bit, look into C++ and XNA programming. I'd advise you to stay away from "make your own game" type programs, since they're often gimped and it shows when you try to popularize or monetize your game.
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:iconsinister6664life:
Sinister6664life Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
OH YEAH!!! Mr "It takes a long Goddamed time."
HECK YEAH NICE TO RUN INTO YOU HERE!!!
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Photographer
i have to admit in my research so far I haven't come across XNA so will have to do more research in to that as I have no idea what it is :P
thankyou for the tips ^-^
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:iconfawfulmk-ii:
fawfulmk-II Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
There is this great webseries called Extra Credits that explains some fundamentals of game design(and Gaming in general), which could help him out in the projects he works on.
also there is a forum for the series full of peeps who could ya out as well.

you can find it here:[link]
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
thankyou so much :D
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:iconchemno9:
ChemNo9 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'll offer him some advice and thoughts on how to get into game design and production if he wants to reach out to me.

He can check out my blog and indie game at Mercurial Forge. He can also find my contact info there too.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
I'll definitely pass the link on to him :D thankyou ^-^
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
If he wants to develop his own games, he needs to learn to develop software in general. That's enough of a task to worry about for quite a while so I'd suggest just focusing on that. Avoid any "game specific" programming lessons, books, tutorials, whatever. Just learn to write good, solid, software. He should remember that there is a lot more to programming than just knowing a language, and a lot more to software development than just programming.

Once that's out of the way, he'll be in a position where he can learn the specifics of game programming, which are important and do need to be covered, but shouldn't really be approached without a platform of programming and development ability to build on. Learning to use OpenGL isn't going to be much use if you don't know how to design the overall architecture of the game, or how to use basic development tools like a debugger.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
from the research i've done it certainly does seem like a lot of work and dedication so I completely understand he needs to start with basics. thank you for the advice :D
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
It kind of depends on the scope of what he wants to do. I taught myself how to make any number of relatively simple 2D games with a 10 dollar book and the internet. Obviously fancier and/or more specialized stuff is more expensive.

I would put it out there that I think, with the number of internet resources out there, most people can learn the basics of a programming language with a book or two and a whole bunch of hard work.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
yeah I think the best thing for me to focus on is starting out simple and getting the basics learnt first but i'd also like to treat him to some sort of subscription or games program to try light a fire under him - games wise. so-to-speak :P
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
This doesn't fit into a Christmas present motif but, if you live in or near a largish city, go to Meetup.com and see if there's a game development related meetup group.
I sort of live in the Middle of Nowhere, but there's an amazing monthly meetup not half an hour from my house. It has done better than literally anything else to spur me to get things done.

The trouble with buying something, is that a lot of development kits are free for amateurs :D. C#/XNA, Java, C++, GameMaker... basically everything I can think of. I think even the iOS development kit has a free version now. Maybe a book is a good way to go. Those things are EXPENSIVE!
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
ooh i'll be going on that site right after sending this comment then :)
and haha i've noticed the books are quite expensive.. I even found myself looking into the 'for dummies' collection to try and find something cheap but no... ;P
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
I found my book used on Amazon, maybe try that or a local used bookstore. A book that's a few years old is usually fine for a beginner.

[link] (this is the book I love :heart:)
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Photographer
oooh thanks for the link :)
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:iconserbus:
serbus Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm currently working on my BS in Game Design and my school offers free access to Gnomon and DigitalTutors. They are excellent resources and sometimes I'd have to say that I learn more from them from class (don't get me wrong, I learn a lot from class; I get a lot out of my schooling). So I would definitely suggest a subscription to Gnomon or Digital Tutors.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
thankyou ^-^

I know what you mean - sometimes hands-on approaches in your own time at home and etc can really help you learn alot :)
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:iconkwhipkey:
KWhipkey Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Writer
Honestly, the best thing you could give him is a trip to the Game Developer's Conference. It's pretty spendy, but the information you learn there, as well as the networking opportunities are invaluable. It's actually run by industry professionals, so the information you get is usually more relevant that what you could find in a book or tutorial. It gives you a great look inside the industry and would let him decide if it really is something he wants to pursue.

I have a degree in Game Art and Design from Westwood Online, but everything I learned paled in comparison to what I got from the GDC. They also have archives of previous conference sessions that you can purchase if you can't afford the pass itself. Or you could have him apply to be a volunteer (which is what I did and it was an amazing experience). Everything you need to learn about it is here: [link]. I highly recommend anything they offer. :)
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
that sounds like an amazing experience and from what I've looked at on the site so far it definitely sounds like something to look in to - unfortunately i'm in the UK and haven't yet come across anything on the site that's in the uk ( although I may be wrong as I haven't done a thorough check yet) so it'd be quite a hefty price indeed to get to one of them :P

I'll definitely look more in to it though :)
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:iconkwhipkey:
KWhipkey Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Writer
They have a Europe version. It's smaller, but same idea. Looks like next year is in Germany. Still not your backyard, but maybe a bit closer at least. :)

GDC Europe site: [link]
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Photographer
haha maybe in a couple years I'll be able to afford the flight tickets to one of these things :P
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:iconthewalkingghost:
TheWalkingGhost Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
A monthly subscription to ImagineFX magazine would be a sweet gift idea too.
[link]
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
ooh this is actually a magazine i've got a couple times in teh past and had completely forgotten about it - thankyou :D
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:iconthewalkingghost:
TheWalkingGhost Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
Check out:

Gnomon workshop stuff, they have a lot of stuff on game development (mostly 3d modelling in Maya, 3DS Max ect along with concept art)

Check out conceptart.org, a fantastic forum, similar to DA but IMO it is a lot more professional.
None of this "OMG UR PIC IZ SO KOOL!!!1 <3" bullshit... Serious critique and they will lead you to the right path for any form of artistic work.

Also, digitaltutors.com have tutorials on game design in an array of software. It costs ~$300 a year I think... We have a subscription via my uni.

Also check out the UDK (Unreal Development Kit) and Unity forums. You can download/buy the software to practice and use. UDK is free I believe, until you try and make money from the games.
You can also download the full version of CryEngine 3 for non-commercial use (same engine used for the Crysis games).

What exactly does he want to do in game design?
Characters, environments, assets, sound production, programming, concept art, script writing, story boarding... ect?

What software does he currently have?

Seriously though, this would be the best bet to start learning and be one hell of a gift! [link]

Also note, YouTube has a heap of tutorials!

There's also these too:
[link]
[link]

Enjoy.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
Thankyou SO much for all the advice and links :)
I think i'll have to dig deep into my miserable bank account to afford anything more then a months subscription to a site but it actually looks REALLY good so thank you so much :)

Well he's not entirely sure what exactly he wants to go in to yet but has been looking at storyboarding and script writing or programming being the main interests of his.

Programming in particular is calling to him but he hasn't really done much of ANYTHING to do with it - its really a quite spontaneous epiphany as he's been a bit clueless as to what to do with his life for the past year.
He's got such a good memory sometimes I swear it's almost photographic and he loves fiddling about with open world gaming programs and doing all sorts of different things that go completely over my head computer wise ( and I like to think i'm quite tech savvy :P)It's not a certain thing yet that he'll want to go into the industry as he hasn't really looked into it an AWFUL LOT yet but I thought if I gave him the push with all the right info and advice for the parts he's interested in then he can decide what it is - if any- he loves and can pursue more seriously :)

He is in a band otherwise though and so has also thought into sound production but I don't think he's that much of a fan of that idea as he wants to be more hands-on-deck :)
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:iconthewalkingghost:
TheWalkingGhost Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
No worries, glad to help.

Yes, nothing in this industry comes cheap unfortunately.
digitaltutors.com is a fantastic site, there is a trial period I believe, so maybe yourself and him can set up a trial account each to see if it's worthwhile.

This is a good book for storyboarding: [link]

Now, programming on the other hand is something I detest! However I have learnt a bit of AS3, JavaScript, HTML and C++.

For computer games (I presume 3D kinda games is what he's after), he should look for as many books/tutorials on C++ and JavaScript.
I have a friend doing games design (I myself just finished an Advanced Diploma in Animation, about to go onto illustration)... anyway, they're the programming languages he's having to learn.

I also have a mate in a band/studying sound production... and have friends working in industry doing so as well.
It's VERY hard to get work for sound production; if we're talking about making the music.
Sound engineering on the other hand has a lot more to offer in terms of work opportunities.

... I have a GREAT video somewhere on one of my external drives on story boarding, I'll look for it later and either give you the title... OR, if I'm feeling really generous I might even upload it onto YouTube and send you the link... That is if I can find it though.

And yes, ImagineFX is a great magazine! I get it eve now and then.
It's a bit hit and miss some issues for my interests, I always thumb through them before I buy an issue.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Photographer
wow you're so helpful :P
Sorry for the extremely late reply - I've had work to do like a maniac and then today my house flooded :/ eep!

thankyou for all the great suggestions and links and etc :D
I've been looking mostly into c++ :)

yeah I'm not surprised to hear it would be hard getting jobs musically in the game business :P

oooh well if you find it let me know and we'll have to hope you're feeling very generous ^-^

yeah I got ImagineFX a lot whilst doing Design& Technology focusing on graphics but not much since then
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:iconmazerrackham:
MazerRackham Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
I have exactly what you're looking for. I'll send you a note soon.
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:iconxmiaww-im-a-muffinx:
Xmiaww-im-a-muffinX Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Photographer
I shall have a look at it after replying to all the wonderful comments here :)
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