How to Create your First PC game

Writing games is the secret desire of millions of gamers. Everyone has a different goal: to tell a story, to become famous, to convey an idea, or simply to create an excellent and exciting product. How to make games if you know nothing about them? We will tell you how to start, what you need, what difficulties you will face, and what mistakes to avoid.

Spoiler: you can learn anything. But you have to make an effort.

Why games aren’t easy

Games are not easy. You’ll spend hours and hours learning how to make your own game, you’ll probably have to hire a write my college paper for me service if you are a student, you’ll face many challenges, and that doesn’t mean your project will take off. Most “first drafts” are unsuccessful and don’t make it to release. The reason is that the creators overestimated their strengths, capabilities, time, and skills. But there is a chance.

Game development is in the facts. Here are a few points that speak for themselves

  1. The famous indie game Stardew Valley was made entirely by one man, Eric Baron. It took five years to develop. He didn’t go to work – his girlfriend was working for a living.
  2. You need hundreds of employees and millions of dollars to develop large projects like Mass Effect. Creating a game still takes a few years. Employees may have to work overtime.
  3. While working on Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar employees sometimes worked 100 hours weekly.
  4. The average game contains hundreds of thousands to millions of lines of code. For example, The Witcher 3 without add-ons has 1.136 million lines of code.

What’s all this for, then? Making your games is very interesting. A developer or game designer can set new standards for game-making – as with Hollow Knight or Minecraft – and get appreciation from players and enjoy the process.

How to become a game developer from scratch

Creating maps for ready-made games. The process takes less time than making a full-fledged game. But it helps you get your bearings and figure out if you want to develop.

You can make maps for Far Cry 4, Counter-Strike, or other “combat” games, experiment with puzzles like Portal 2, or simulation games like Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004.

Most often, maps are created with the help of a particular editor in the game. In it, you can place items, set their properties, etc.

A sample algorithm of actions:

  • download the editor
  • think about which map you want to create
  • arrange the objects
  • plan the lighting
  • set the logic and interactions
  • test the map to see if it’s playable
  • post it if you’re happy with it

Write the game on the constructor. If you are not interested in other people’s projects and want to try something of your own right away, you can create a game on a special game engine:

  • GameMaker Studio. A simple and popular option. It is used not only by beginners but also by experienced indie developers. It’s written on it a lot of indie games, including the well-known Undertale;
  • RPG Maker. This is a Japanese engine used to make 2D pixelated games. It’s more complicated than GameMaker but has more features. A lot of pixel-based indie projects, like Ib, are based on it;
  • Instead or RenPy. Engines are good if you are not interested in the mechanics but the story. They allow you to create text quests and visual novels. But you have to know a little bit of programming to work.

What to do if you already have the knowledge

If you have the knowledge and experience in IT, you can start creating your 2D and 3D games on Unity or Unreal Engine. These are the two main engines. Writing on them is relatively easy; it’s harder to optimize games. Remember that indies are often played on comparatively weak devices like laptops or old computers.

Unity. Unity’s main product is essential for the creators of Unity because it affects the entire ecosystem. The engine appeared in 2005 for iOS devices but quickly spread to other platforms.

  • The main idea is to make the development process for indie developers simple and straightforward.
  • The ecosystem includes additional products, including paid products, with courses, certificates, and other types of support.
  • You can write games in Unity for different platforms, including mobile.
  • The weak point of Unity is the optimization of games, as well as the difficulty of connecting external libraries and the less “beautiful” appearance of the scene by default.
  • Development is done in C#. It is possible to write in the visual language Bolt.

Unreal Engine. UE came before that, in 1998. Epic Games created the engine. Its main activity is the development of games with it. The name comes from the first game developed on the engine – Unreal.

  • The main idea of Unreal Engine – is the efficiency of development and taking the maximum out of the computer.
  • UE is primarily for computers and consoles. The engine is designed to create large 3D projects. Support for 2D games is also there, but not as powerful as in Unity. The same goes for mobile development.
  • It is developed in C++. It is more complex but faster to learn than C#. There is also an internal visual language, Blueprints, which is easy to understand.
  • Weaknesses are the high requirements of the engine to the developer’s competence and the “hardware.” Unreal Engine needs a lot of hardware resources.

What to choose. Unreal Engine and Unity are free, but if the game goes viral, you need to pay the engine developer. Unity’s license states that you must buy a paid subscription when the game’s revenue exceeds $100k. Unreal Engine requires a 5% royalty on games that bring in more than $3k quarterly.

  • Unity is the choice if you want to work with 2D or mobile projects, and the modularity and flexibility of the engine are essential. It has a broader community and more tutorials, so the entry threshold is lower.
  • Unreal Engine is refined if you want to concentrate on 3D development for PCs, immediately “do beautifully” and efficiently. But will need more powerful hardware. The entry threshold is higher, although, in recent years, the difference has been erased.

How to get started with Unity or Unreal Engine

Download the engine. This can be done for free on the project website. Installation is simple: follow the instructions, as in the case of any program.

Start practicing. Do something simple first: you don’t need to take on a complex project immediately. Start with the basics and gradually complicate the task.

Make a test game. Your goal is to create and complete the project. If you quit in the middle, you will not be able to go through all the stages of development and miss important nuances.

The first game can be straightforward. It’s a test game for learning – don’t try to create a masterpiece immediately; it’s almost impossible. If you want to make it harder for yourself, it’s better to put on mechanics, not scale. The important thing is that when you finish your work, you understand the process. This way, you can continue to learn in the direction you are interested in.

Move on. After making the first game, you will understand how and where to develop further and what you need to know. To improve your skills, you can participate in jams – an event like hackathons, where you have to create a finished project in a limited time. According to the best writing services researchers, games from jams rarely become famous, although there are exceptions, such as Hollow Knight. The events provide invaluable experience and an opportunity to learn new things.

Frequent mistakes to avoid

Focusing on technology. Your main task is to develop games, not learn all the technologies simultaneously. That’s why you shouldn’t choose rare engines. They are hard to understand, and overloading can take too much time. Especially for beginners, there is little difference. The exception is if you’re an enthusiast who cares first and foremost about working with technology, not creating games.

Following commercial patterns. Indie development is structured differently than creating AAA games. Large teams of several hundred developers create large projects, so many of the guidelines are redundant for small studios. Being overly obsessed with documentation to the detriment of development only hurts.

Focusing only on money. You don’t have to chase commercial success right away. Learn to make good games, to create and come up with something interesting – it is more critical and will bring more benefit. Make games you like, not games that are popular and profitable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about income. It’s just that it’s not the most important thing at the start, and you should be prepared that you won’t start getting money for making games right away.

Bias. It is challenging to look at the result from the outside, so developers are often biased in relation to the created games. But, the earlier you learn to be honest with yourself, the faster you know. This increases the chance of making an excellent game. Pay attention to outside criticism and correct mistakes. But learn to distinguish between helpful criticism and a simple desire to hurt you.

If you dream of making games, don’t be afraid and start: practice is the best way to learn. It’s a great way to launch your startup if you are a student. If you start right now, it’s more likely that by graduation, you will succeed at some point and be provided with a full-time, well-paid activity. Of course, playing games takes a lot of time, but you only need to find the best essay writing service that will ensure your academic performance. So, don’t hesitate and start right at the moment!

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