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jueves, 28 de mayo de 2015

How to Learn Game Development for Free

Learning game development does not have to be something you need to pay a lot of money for, note however that it does not mean it would be easy or that it requires no hard work, because it does.


What you require to learn for free?

  • Determination
  • Access to a place with Internet
  • Facebook, Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn accounts
  • Access to a computer enabled for Internet
  • Learn to use google and youtube search effectively
  • Patience

Why learning for free?
Some times you don't have the means to pay for University, or the means and/or resources to go to another city or country that offer these kind of programs.
When I first started learning about Game Development, Costa Rica did not have any program in this field and we all had to learn by ourselves, with what we could find on Internet.
Nowadays Internet is filled with incredibly rich and useful content, and there are many communities with lots of people willing to help you.

Why "determination"?
Your determination is the main factor that will drive your success,
if you are determined you will find ways to stay motivated. If you are determined and motivated you will not give up no matter the downsides you may find, but if you are not determined chances are you won't be motivated either and will give up on learning or continuously practicing game development.
To stay motivated is your own responsibility, don't expect others to motivate you since, they don't have to, you could ask tips on what other people do when they have felt bad and had second thoughts about continuing on game development, but what worked for others may not work for you, so it is really important to know yourself: what makes you happy, what motivates you, what you are passionate about, what you want to do with your life, what do you want to be doing 5 years from now, and so on.

Why Patience
You need to be patient, do small steps, you need to have a main goal, and proceed with small steps that ultimately drive you towards your goal.
Start with small games, clone other games, just for the sake of learning how to implement them and to force you think how you would make it better by applying your own ideas into the game.
Don't expect to create high quality games with incredibly awesome graphics, with long and immersive stories in a day, with only one person.
You need to know that chances are your first games won't be a successful hit, they could be, but that is the exception to the rule.

Let's start
Learn about Game Production Pipeline: http://www.ign.com/articles/2006/03/16/the-game-production-pipeline-concept-to-completion

Learn to create Game Design Documents

Indeed working Game Design Documents as a text document is not the best, but I would recommend it for an initial approach, so you realize what elements you need to consider when designing your game. If you start implementing your game without having some kind of design document as a guide you will be causing yourself many troubles.
Part of designing your game is to choose the tools you require, for the sake of making it easy use game engines, you will need to research which game engines meet your game's requirements.


Choose a free game engine


Note: There are many other games engines, which are also free. These are just the 2 I feel most comfortable with.

If you chose Unity you will find these links useful



If you chose Unreal Engine

Social Networks Pages and Groups:

As you can see there are plenty of online resources that will help you learn for free.
Now it's your move to go learn more, research, design and implement your very own game.
If you are not an artist don't worry you can make a game with basic forms, remember Pong?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrezFjGF-Kg
If you are not a programmer don't be afraid to learn or research on game engines that do not require programming.

Practice, practice, and practice is the key to become better and better over time.
Also don't forget to participate in social networks and help others, share your experience and knowledge.

I hope this has been helpful to you, and stay tuned for more useful information.