I’m in the forums a lot, and as much as I hate stupid questions that newbies ask, they are newbies and they don’t know it’s a stupid question. I’m compelled to answer them regardless unless they have some despicable vibe about them, or if I’m just in a generally bad mood on an off-day.
Anyway, answering the same question 100 times gets old fast, but there will always be new people who have these questions. So I will start listing all my generic responses to their generic questions here, and who knows, maybe I can link the post entirely in the future to cater to all newbie needs! I will update my answers as my explanations become clearer and more informative. Which means I will change my answer if I see someone has some valuable input that I’ve missed.
#1: ‘What programming language do you prefer for Unity?’
What the newbie also doesn’t know is that Visual Studio doesn’t really support it, and MonoDevelop’s intellisense for it is minimal, and class inheritance doesn’t even get included in syntax highlighting.
Also, UnityScript and C# are so similar as far as unity’s concerned, you’re just making your life harder if you don’t use C#.
#2 What IDE should I use with Unity? MonoDevelop, or Visual Studio?
For awhile, I was happy with MonoDevelop, I tried Visual Studio for awhile and believed I was doing nothing different from when I was in MonoDevelop.
Later on I discovered a few cool tricks in VS, though.
– It will actually fade using directives that you aren’t actually using, to let you know you can get rid of certain things.
– If you press Ctrl+. while hovering your mouse over a problematic section of code, it will offer sensible suggestions for fixing the problem. VS just seems to be better geared towards identifying problems in your code, and leading you on your way to fixing it.
– MonoDevelop seems to fail on some “Assembly” thing from time-to-time when you open it. This prevents intellisense from working properly. This issue NEVER happens when using VS.
– Visual Studio will pick up on code errors that completely bypass MonoDevelop’s scrutiny. I opened up a script that seemed perfect in MonoDevelop, and actually ran in Unity, but opening that same script in Visual Studio revealed to me that I had un-used variables, as well as some unassigned variables I wasn’t aware of.
#3 Where do I start learning to make games?
I’ve often seen people getting frustrated literally starting at square-one on their own. If you’re going to do that, start at the age of 8 years old. If you’re already in your teens, it’s time to fast track it and enrol in a course. If you know for a fact that games are what you definitely want to build with your career, there are plenty of courses to choose from that teach and discipline specifically in the ways of Game Development.
Please be aware of some things:
- Making a game is not easy. In fact, it’s hard. Don’t think you’re gonna spend a year learning something and then go off and make every cool game. Also, forget your precious early bed time and frequent socializing. Also, mostly forget about playing games, those are a sometimes-thing now.
- People have invested all of their energy in to trying to make it as game developers, depression is a frequent thing in this industry.
- Because of the amount of research and time away from people required, understand that you may become a recluse, introverted loner if you aren’t already. You will either come to really appreciate the time you get with people, or mould yourself into Gollum and forget what you ever liked about anybody. Just be ready for it.
- Get ready for competition, everyone wants to make a fucking game. Even people with no interest in learning how to make one. What type of person are you? You have to be prepared to fail, or struggle for a long time before you have something that’s worth something. Tools are getting better, but as well as you, who may just be starting out there are plenty of people in their basements with 10-20 years of experience in the industry, they’ve left the horrible thing, and now put all their skills to use creating their own child of heaven. These guys are pretty much direct competition, good luck.
- The technology is changing all the time. You don’t just learn game development and know how to do it whenever you want. You have to learn it all over again every year or so! At least it isn’t as bad as web-dev, may the world learn to love one another and agree on something before we’re all consumed in the amassing ball of hatred.
Now that we have THAT out of the way… kindof… back to the matter at hand. Where are you going to start, now that you know all these horrible things?
If for whatever, all that study is not a good idea for you, think about this first… is it REALLY not a good idea? 3-4 years of money pissing out of your future, and reading shit until 4am could potentially save you 20 years of living in your parents basement while you struggle to learn fucking Python to make your dream RPG. You will learn all this stuff, and be competing against everyone who has had all this info practically handed to them.
Now for some more positive stuff. These people living in basements probably never thought to try Unity, GameMaker, Construct or Unreal Engine 4. Seriously, if you MUST learn on your own, from square-one… just skip a few squares. Your goal is to make games. Stay focussed! Are you achieving this goal any better if your players are totally not aware you took the hardest route possible to make your game? No, they won’t. They are just going to go play the 20x awesome game that some newbie went and spat out after a few years in Unity or Unreal. Pride will kill a man! Girls not exempt actually!
We are living in an age where we CAN skip the basics. Just choose an engine and watch tutorials from their official site. You will find out there is no need to start from basics, you’ll understand that stuff as you need it.
Google those game engines I just mentioned and go to their websites. Download, and browse their website for tutorials. You can do it!
But that isn’t enough… you can find all this info on your own. But how do you know the info is good? How do you know it isn’t just the basics-of-the-basics, and that pros out there aren’t doing MUCH better things using MUCH better tricks? You don’t, and they are. You have to take it upon yourself to reach out and ask people when you’re stuck or just plain curious. Talking to people, communication, it’s what makes the human race as vicious as it is. It’s one of our greatest assets. Communication with other people will strengthen your ability to code. Go out there, tell people what you’re doing, and remember to also shut up and listen to them as well. Even when people piss you off, they have something valuable to share, most likely, and you need to understand that. We won’t all get along, definitely not, but in the world of game dev, many of us have learned to put aside our differences for the sake of strengthening our knowledge. Don’t be afraid to share with people your secrets, what you put out, you shall also receive in return. I am sure of it. Don’t trust me on that? Fair enough, but I’m telling you.
Now, you need to know some more things before you begin.
Those of us in the industry are strongly aware that games are made up of 3 really noticable things: visuals, functionality, audio. This means artists, programmers, audio specialists. You need these people, or you need to become these people. But the joy-ride doesn’t stop there. You need to understand economics, law, psychology, team and project management. Along with a lot more. Again, you need to hire these people, or become these people. We can’t all do ALL of these. Some of us try, and some of us do not-a-bad-job! It’s up to you, what you think you can manage. I am someone who has tried to do a little bit of everything, and I am specifically good at NOTHING because of it. However I can be employed to take on almost any job, I have to fight to push my pay grade though, and I don’t always have the perfected speciality to back it. But if you specialize, you miss out on a lot of jobs and experiences. This is your choice, you decide how you want to do this. This is your LIFE!!! Nobody can tell you how to make this choice. But for the skills you don’t have, you need other people. But you need people, period, if not for your sanity, at least to fight your own ever-impending mortal doom. You’re gonna die one day, what will you have achieved when that day comes?
If you think you don’t need to worry about this shit because you’re indie, dead wrong, being indie is 10x the reason to HAVE TO KNOW ALL THIS SHIT!!! Indies have it harder, they don’t get food on their table all the time like people in companies. The success stories you hear are ONLY the ones you hear about. You don’t hear about all the ones who don’t make it because those guys never got noticed, they possibly even put a bullet through their heads before you knew they were a person trying to make a game in a bus shelter.
- Which game engine is better?
- Is it hard to make my own game engine?
- Where can I start learning 2D Art?
- Which 2D software is better?
- Where can I start learning 3D Art?
- Which 3D software is better?