Filtering by Tag: Tutorials

Remodel Updates & Blogging About Blogging

Hey all! You probably know this if you follow our social media, but I've been sick the last few days with some sort of cold. I'm feeling much better now, but I still feel like crap. That's why I'm going to soft-ball it today with a nice and easy post. The topic of the day is more remodel stuff and the blog itself! Lets hit it!

Last week we had artist extraordinaire Lance T. Miller and The One True Eric (Eric Baxter) of Nerdyish Things (yes, our part-time blog writer, Eric) in to kick this mural's butt! It seems to be coming along really well, if I do say so myself! It's really cool to look at the wall and see all of the cool stuff from games you've worked on (or plan to work on for some of them) sprawled out in front of you. It's just so awesome! Like, in the literal sense: it just fills you with awe! Okay, well it does for me anyway. Take a look:

Pretty nice, huh? It's really coming along. Only a little more sketching to do (probably another day's work worth) and then we're outlining the sketch with Sharpie. After that's the paint! Really no clue how long it'll take in total, but it hopefully won't be too long now.

That's pretty much all the news on the mural side of things. Now on to the blog news.

It's been about half a year since we started doing weekly blogs. It seems to have been a huge success! Before, blog posts were random and there was little incentive to even do them at all most of the time. This weekly format really makes us think about what we're posting and get something of value out of it. So, we're pretty sure we're going to continue this format for the foreseeable future. If it ain't broke and whatnot. Well, if we're just going to keep doing what we've been doing, what's this part about? Well I wanted to talk briefly about some things we want to be doing with the blog in the near future. A teaser, of sorts.

As you probably know, we've started up two ongoing series about the industry recently: "Where Do I Get Started" and "11 Things We've Learned from 11 Years in Game Development". We should have some new posts in both of those series here soon. The cool thing about those is that it (hopefully) won't just be me and/or Eric. We're trying to get not only the rest of the team doing little snippets on them, but also maybe some guest spots from other developers we know as well. Wouldn't that be cool?!

Other than that, we have a few other posts planned. We want to do a postmortem on both the mural & the studio remodel as a whole, a few more random development posts (for Collapsus, Physix, and Radarkanoid), a Radarkanoid launch post, a Radarkanoid postmortem, a couple posts about the status of the Collapsus weekly builds (when they're going on), at least one post leading up to the Collapsus Kickstarter, a Collapsus Kickstarter postmortem, a Collapsus Greenlight post, and maybe a few more Collapsus posts as well (like for the console releases, Arcade Edition, "weird ports", DLC, promotions, and the like). Then we shift into more Physix, JPH, and Cave Worm posts, but those are a while off.

Now, setting aside the 50 million development posts I just mentioned, you can also expect a post on the shirt making process, a post on the interviews we've been in recently, a post about making our old (crappy) game; FlyGuy, a post about our old (crappier) pre-FlyGuy games, a few posts about events we're either going to be at or breakdowns after we come back from them, a few posts about the game jam we're trying to organize, and hopefully a lot more (we are doing 52 blog posts a year, after all! That's a lot of air time to fill). There's even a few secret posts we have planned that we can't quite talk about, but we're sure you'll love!

There's just so many cool ideas we have ready to spring on you... so just stay tuned!

Where Do I Get Started: Programming

Hey all! It's time for a fresh, new blog post! This week, I wanted to cover something that is often asked by our fans. How do you get started making games if you don't know how to program? This question gets asked on Twitter and over e-mail, mostly, but we've had a few people ask in person and I've even hosted a panel at Pandoracon a couple years ago that was supposed to be about breaking into the industry as a whole, but ended up running over schedule because there were just so many questions of this nature. It seems that now, more than ever (especially with the success of smaller indie hits like Five Nights At Freddy's and Undertale being such big hits with kids and games like Mario Maker sparking game design creativity so easily) we need some good resources on this matter. That being said, sites like Pixel Prospector, Gamasutra, and TIGSourse (as well as many, many more) are way better at exploring this topic than any of us ever will be, but I'm going to give it a try anyway!

 Alright then, let's get to it! Que the title card!

Usually when people ask us "how do you get started making games if you don't know how to program" or some variation on that, instead of asking about how to get started programming, it's usually about what tools one can use instead of programming. I don't find this version of the question very interesting nor do I find it's answer very helpful (or honest, for that matter). I'll go ahead and answer it, though, because it does help broach the broader subject.

For general "programming-free" game engines, Construct 2 (our personal pick for best on this list), Stencyl, GameMaker, GameSalad and Fusion 2.5 (formerly Multimedia Fusion) spring to mind. There are many others, but these are some of the best. For something more specific, GameGuru (a spiritual successor to 16-year-old-me's personal favorite, FPS Creator) and RPG Maker. For making text-based adventures and visual novels, Twine is hard to beat. This is where the great lie is found, though! All of these claim to be "programming-free" and in a few, you can get some results without going under the hood, but to make the types of games that most people want to make and play, you have to get your hands dirty. These tools all have fairly powerful scripting languages inside of them, and while a lot of the time it may not look like programming (especially with the "general" engines I listed, which all look suspiciously similar to one another) you're essentially doing just that.

That's not to burst anyone's bubble, though. I'm just saying that to highlight how important to game development programming really is. Even in the "programming-free" options, they have to "trick" you (for lack of a better word) into programming. As such, these tools are actually great starting points into getting into "real" (again, for lack of a better word) programming and thus the ability to use more complex tools like Unity3D. Just know going into them what they really are and that nothing comes easy. You can't just make a AAA quality game without putting lots of sweat and time into it (and even then, you'll probably make something much smaller and less polished, but that's not a bad thing and can often be better, in my opinion).

So, what should you do if you want to get started with just programming? Well, might I suggest Code.ORG? It's a great place to get started with programming if you have no prier experience. It really helps get you into the programming mind set before moving onto bigger things. It uses a "language" called Blockly (which resembles the interfaces of those "general" engines, I mentioned earlier). Scratch (which is very similar) is also a great starting point.

CodeCombat is another great choice! It's a game that helps you make games! It's actually pretty fun as well! Code Hunt and CodeFights are other great games that teach you to program! 

If you want a more traditional "class" format, right on your computer Coursera, Lynda, and Udemy are pretty great. Just be careful, though. Most of these classes aren't free like most of the other resources listed above and can actually get pretty pricey in some cases, but they often go on sale, so just keep your eye's peeled. 

Other than that, even just watching YouTube tutorials on how to mod games you already love to play is a great way to get into programming. Bethesda games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 or Valve games like Portal of HalfLife 2 are some of the best because they tools to mode them are readily available and the developers actively encourage modding.

So, if you're wanting to get into game making, but don't know how to program... just learn to program! While it can be hard at times, it's more than doable for most people and can even be fun if you go at it the right way! The world needs more programmers! 

We really hope this helps! If there's enough positive response on this article, we may do more. Perhaps a follow-up to this one? Or maybe one about sprite art, 3D modeling, sound, game design, marketing or any number of other things. Let us know how you liked it on TwitterFacebook or G+

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